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Family policy mattersResponding to family change in Europe$
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Linda Hantrais

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9781861344717

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861344717.001.0001

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Impacts of policy on family life

Impacts of policy on family life

(p.163) Seven Impacts of policy on family life
Family policy matters

Linda Hantrais

Policy Press

This chapter aims to explore further the relationship between policy and changing family structure. It reviews some of the approaches used to track the policy process and determines whether policies appear to be achieving their intended objectives. Qualitative approaches that consider the context specificity and the motives and meanings of actors provide a useful complementary tool for fleshing out the possible effects of social policies. They are particularly valuable when they examine the totality of the process from policy formulation through to implementation and practice, as translated into the lived experience of families. The chapter also analyses the results of quantitative impact assessments of family policy measures, in conjunction with qualitative analyses, to identify and compare the possible influence of public policy on decisions taken about family life across Europe. An indicator of the impact that policy measures are having on families and of their effectiveness in reaching the population targeted is the extent to which those eligible to receive them take up benefits and services. High take-up rates can be interpreted as an indication of the acceptability of public-policy provision, while low take-up may suggest that policy intervention in a particular area is not widely accepted.

Keywords:   policy, family, relationship, Europe, population

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