Types of Family Sturctures

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Nuclear Family

Parents and children live away from any other family member, meaning that little or no family support is available to them. Interference from family is minimised. It can be hard to build close relationships with other family members.

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Extended Family

Diffrent generations of a family all live near to each other and can help each other out both day to day in emergencies. Likely to include grandparents, parents, children, aunties, uncles, cousins each bringing diffrent experiences and opportunities for support and advice. Privacy and interference may be an issue

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Single-Parent Family

One parent looks after the children/child, taking care of the day-to-day decisions about their care and welfare. This can be both an advantaage and disadvantage depending on the previous relationship between parents. Children may have no contact with the other parent, or there may be regular contact. Regular contact helps maintain relationships but can be stressful. Financial difficulties are common.

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Foster Family

Children are cared for temporarily by another family because their own parents are unable to look after them. Fostering can be long or short term, and children may or may not have contact with their birth family during this time. Fostering is not permanent, and is used in situations where the parents are ill or not able to cope, if the child is at risk or if the child has special needs and the parents need respite care.

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Adoptive Family

Adoptive parents legally and permanently adopt a child This means that the birth parents no longer have responsibility for them and the adopted child has a new family. Sometimes foster parents adopt a child they have been fostering. Both adoptive parents and the child have the opportunity for permanent, loving relationships but these can take time to establish.

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Shared-Care Family

Parent live seperatly but share equally in the decisions made about the child's care and welfare. The child may divide their time equally between the parent's homes or they may be base with one. Clothes and possessions may be spread between both homes which can be an advantage and disadvantage.

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Looked After Children

Sometimes childrent are looked after in children's residential home. This does not usually include very young children.

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The Re-constituted/step family

In a new partnership one or both parents may bring children with them from a previous partnership. There will be opportunities for new friendships and relationships to develop, but rivalry can occur both between children and between children and adults.

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Same Sex Couples

Couples of the same sex may choose to live together. They may already have children, or they may choose to adopt children. The same advantages and disadvantages apply as for the nuclear family.

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