An article examined the legislation adopted by Britain and France regarding forced marriage, and the politics concerning religious and cultural differences that had driven their approaches. It said that both countries needed to find a way to reconcile multiculturalism with human rights, by working with civil society and non-governmental organizations to uphold international law on human rights while embracing cultural and religious difference.
Source: Aisha Gill and Anicee Van Engeland, 'Criminalization or "multiculturalism without culture"? Comparing British and French approaches to tackling forced marriage', Journal of Social Welfare & Family Law, Volume 36 Number 3
The government announced family policy measures, including: for an expansion of the Troubled Families programme; for a 19 million adoption support fund for local councils; for additional leave rights for adoptive parents, prior to adoption; for the Home Office to look into the recording of mothers' names on birth certificates; for the piloting of age rating of online music videos; and for a family test to be included in impact assessments on all government policies from autumn 2014.
Source: Speech by David Cameron MP (Prime Minister), 18 August 2014
Links: Speech | 4Children press release | 4Children press release | Children England press release | Contact a Family press release | Gingerbread press release | BBC report | Guardian report | Inside Housing report | Telegraph report
The Welsh Government began consultation on proposals to extend access to intermediary services (support to facilitate contact between adopted people and their birth relatives) to the children and grandchildren of adoptees, and to members of the adopted person's wider family, such as the spouses of their descendants. Under the proposals (which would apply to adults adopted in Wales before 30 December 2005), adopted people would be able to register a veto to prevent an intermediary agency from making contact or to say that they only wanted to be contacted in certain circumstances. The consultation would close on 27 October 2014.
Source: Extending Access to Intermediary Services for Descendants and Relatives of Adopted People, WG22541, Welsh Government
A new book examined the experiences of children and young people, parents, and older generations within families over time. Drawing on work from a large-scale qualitative longitudinal study of the life course conducted in the United Kingdom (Timescapes Study), chapters examined the relationships of people from varied backgrounds and geographical locations, identified policy-relevant findings, and discussed methodological issues.
Source: Janet Holland and Rosalind Edwards (eds), Understanding Families Over Time: Research and policy, Palgrave Macmillan
A report examined how local authorities could improve services for children and young people. It called on local government to 'reclaim' children's services from national government and the inspectorates, and to use their democratic legitimacy, informal power, and role as 'place-shapers' to champion better outcomes for children and young people. It said this would require systemic change, including workforce reform to promote a more integrated children's workforce, stronger mechanisms for sector-led improvement, changes to the assurance mechanism, and deregulation.
Source: Reclaiming Children's Services, SOLACE
A report provided a compendium of cross-national comparative understanding, and translation, of key concepts relating to generations, inter-generational relationships, and generational policy. The report was published in five languages (German, English, French, Spanish, and Italian).
Source: Kurt Luscher, Andreas Hoff, Giovanni Lamura, Marta Renzi, Mariano Sanchez, Gil Viry, and Eric Widmer, Generations, Intergenerational Relationships, Generational Policy: A multilingual compendium, Centre of Excellence, Cultural Foundations of Social Integration, University of Konstanz
A report examined employers' views about shared parental leave and extending the right to request flexible working to all employees, based on research undertaken in 2011 (prior to changes in United Kingdom government policy). It said that employers were supportive, in principle, of family friendly working but were concerned about the practical application of regulations, and there was limited support for shared parental leave.
Source: Elizabeth Jordan, Andrew Thomas, John Kitching, and Robert Blackburn, Employment Regulation Part B: Employer perceptions of maternity and paternity leave and flexible working arrangements, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
An article examined the implications of different family policy regimes in developed (OECD) countries for mothers' autonomy (freedom to choose between employment and homemaking as alternative means of self-fulfilment and economic independence). In contrast to suggestions that well-developed childcare-related provisions in certain countries offered uniquely strong support for mothers' choice to work, the large majority of countries (13 out of 15) offered at least moderately strong support for 'work-centred' mothers' choice or autonomy. In addition, actual levels of labour force involvement exceeded ideals among the majority of 'home-centred' mothers in 7 out of 15 countries. Single mothers living in policy contexts with under-developed maternity leave provisions were especially likely to face incentives to work.
Source: Alexander Janus, 'The implications of family policy regimes for mothers' autonomy', Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, Volume 34
An article examined the ways in which coupledom was promoted through contemporary family policy. The coalition government encouraged a particular type of intimate relationship, despite an increasing recognition of 'diverse' family forms – not compulsory heterosexuality, but compulsory coupledom.
Source: Eleanor Wilkinson, 'Learning to love again: "broken families", citizenship and the state promotion of coupledom', Geoforum, Volume 49
An article examined the recent development of childcare policy in the United Kingdom and considered the case for government intervention.
Source: Gillian Paull, 'Can government intervention in childcare be justified?', Economic Affairs, Volume 34 Issue 1
A report examined whole-family support in Scotland for families facing multiple disadvantage. It said that their lives were often complex and that the best services worked with that complexity, but policy, such as the 'spare room subsidy', often worked against it. The report made multiple recommendations for policy makers, including: greater support for full time carers; support to ensure that benefits entitlements were claimed; and the abolition of the 'spare room subsidy'.
Source: Duncan O Leary and Jo Salter, Ties That Bind, Demos