Informations and abstract
Keywords: Family, Welfare State, Care, Disability, Reconciliation
The article first outlines debates around the concept itself of family policy, the distinction between explicit and implicit family policy, variation in the use of this term to identify specific policies across time and across countries, as well as the drivers, ending with a discussion on whether there is an ongoing convergence in goals across the OECD countries, due also to the increasing role international institutions have taken in framing the public discourse in this field. The author then she analyzes comparatively and from a gender sensitive perspective what is the state of the art in a selected number of – partly interconnected areas: support for the cost of children, support for childcare and education for pre-school children, long term care and work-family conciliation policies showing that, notwithstanding some indication of convergence, wide cross country differences persist. In the conclusion she argus that, although there is the risk, denounced by various scholars, that work-family conciliation policies marginalize more traditional policies such as child benefits and frame childcare services merely as surrogate for family care, the increasing attention for early investment in children may offer a balancing counter driver.