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Document Details :
Title: Familien stärken
Subtitle: Eine politische Floskel ...?
Author(s): NACKE, Bernhard
Journal: Marriage, Families & Spirituality
Volume: 12 Issue: 1 Date: Autumn 2006
Strengthening Families: A Futile Political Maneuver?
Drawing on the recently published work Der Familie und uns zuliebe: Für einen Paradigmenwechsel in der Familienpolitik? (Mainz: Grünewald, 2005) the article examines the current debate on family policy in Germany by discussing a number of theses. It emphasizes the neces- sity for a thorough understand- ing of the political preconditions of the family and calls for a basic paradigm change in family politics. It considers issues connected with demographic change, child and family poverty, as well as the multiplication of family forms – developments to which public policy thus far has responded with only uncoordinated individual measures. An adequate family policy for the future should meet the following criteria: It will have to take into account the irreplaceable contribution of families to society, it should be conducive to the well-being of children and create conditions in which parents have a real choice in how to balance jobs and family. The twin concepts paid work/family work imply that freedom of choice to respond to concrete family situations should remain possible. The article continues by reflecting on the bases for family policy. The proper character of family policy as a cross section field requires a new “family order” in politics, which cannot be simply reduced to or merged into a social policy. In the German political context basic rights and conditions of families should be assured on the federal level. Above all legal structures that work against the family should be dismantled, particularly in the areas of tax and social security. On the provincial and city levels as well, such possibilities should be explored to their fullest extent. The established churches deal with the actual situation of the families and with their experience can contribute to the political discourse in this area.