Social policy and the family revision

Including:

  • Conservative government & their social policy in relation to the family
  • Labour policy & their social policy in relation to the family
  • Lewis details of positive labour actions on the family
  • Criticisms of labour - Nanny state
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AS Sociology 24th April 2010
Families & Households Revision
SOCIAL POLICY AND THE FAMILY
CONSERVATIVE POLICY
John Major Government: Had a clear preference for the nuclear family. Single
parents were targeted
The supporting of traditional family values was quickly `brushed under the carpet'
when it was revealed many cabinet ministers themselves were divorced
Child Support Act (1991): Led to the Child support agency which chased
absent fathers to pay maintenance for their children instead of the state
Family Law Act (1996): Introduced a 1 year waiting period before a couple
could divorce
DAVID WILLETS SPEECH (2002) ­ CONSERVATIVE PARTY CONFERENCE
"Let me make it absolutely clear, the Tory war on lone parents is over. We will
support them and value them, and above all, we'll back them (alternative
families)
However, despite this, Willets still claimed that it was better for children to be
brought up by two parents in a stable marriage.
LABOUR POLICY
Middle course between supporting marriage and providing for other family forms
Didn't condemn alternative family structure
Supporting Families (1998): Discussion document with the aim of providing
better services and support for parents. They accepted some S.P's were
successful
New Deal (1998): All Single parents to attend annual interview about job
opportunities. The working families tax credit tops up the wages of parents
moving from benefits to low paid jobs
Sure Start Programme: Provides help and support services for low income
families with young children.
"Take all children out of poverty"
Child benefits was increased by 26% in real terms between 1997 and 2001
Labours policies focus on money and work:
o Children need money
o Parents have a responsibility to work
Labour has recognised that there are few families in the 21st century which have
exclusively a male breadwinner
Chris Cartwright

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AS Sociology 24th April 2010
Families & Households Revision
LEWIS ­ LABOUR
Labour has invested in subsidies for nursery childcare
Lengthened maternity care from 14 weeks to 9 months
Almost doubled maternity pay
Introduced flexible working patterns
CRITICISM OF LABOUR POLICIES ­ NANNY STATE
Increased influence of the state on the family is a form of nannying
Laws such as the banning of smacking and proposed child curfews are good
examples
Focus too much on motherhood, rather than fatherhood ­ merely helps support
the traditional…read more

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