Functionalists see the state as acting in the interests of society as a whole and its social policies as being for the good of all. They see policies as helping families to perform their functions more effectively and make life better for their members.
Ronald Fletcher: argues that the welfare state supports the family in performing its functions more effectively.
For example; the National Health Service means that with the help of doctors, nurses, hospitals and medicines, the family today is better able to take care of its members when they are sick.
New Right criticise many existing government policies for undermining the family. They argue that governments often weaken the family's self-reliance by providing generous welfare benefits. These include providing council housing for unmarried teenage mothers and cash payments to support lone-parent families.