Title:Changing families, new understandings
Subject:Family – general
Publisher:Vanier Institute of the Family
Place of Publication:Ottawa
Date of Publication:2011
Families in Canada have changed dramatically since the 1950s, provoking widespread debates about what kinds of families should be recognised and supported socially, especially in law and public policy. This paper reviews those changes, asking why families matter to individual members, to communities and to society as a whole. It identifies some of the key debates provoked by these changes and explores their implications. It argues that the challenge for contemporary thinking about families is to focus on functions and practices – on what people do to take care of themselves and each other, to have and raise beloved children, and to ensure as best as possible, the well-being of themselves, their households, their communities and their society.