A family perspective in policymaking analyzes the consequences of any policy or program, whether or not it is explicitly aimed at families, for its impact on family stability, family relationships, and the family’s ability to carry out its responsibilities. The family perspective encompasses a larger scope of issues than family policy. Issues such as health care, housing, poverty, substance abuse, and unemployment would not be considered family policies because they are not aimed specifically at families. Nevertheless, they would certainly benefit from a family perspective that examines whether families are part of the problem, how they are affected by it, and whether they need to be involved in the solution.
Using a family impact perspective has proven useful to people across the political spectrum because it does not conclude that policymakers should vote for or against a bill for example; instead a family impact analysis provides policymakers with information about the ways a policy or program helps or hinders family well-being. These family consequences are important considerations in policy debate.
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