Enhancing the family social welfare through the introduction of Family Support Schemes aimed at offering support to parents who experience difficulties in providing care for their children
To enhance family ties, the community should create a favorable environment and refocus the activities of state organizations toward the concept of family. In particular, a community-based approach involves the introduction of family support schemes and enhances the contribution of other organizations that have sufficient potential to play the leading roles in creating comprehensives and integrated programs for families (Final Report of the Commission on the Family, 1998). More importantly, families should also be encouraged and provided with viable solutions to caring for their children more effectively. There should be practical recognition and support to those parents who take the core caring responsibilities for children provided their choice is either to participate in the labor market or take full-time jobs at home. Finally, the government should introduce a state network supplying the parents with all the necessary information about workplace and educational opportunities both for them and their children. It is also worth saying that the National Coordinated Group should facilitate and support the parents’ demand for the identified programs (Final Report of the Commission on the Family, 1998).
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Strengthening stability and continuity of family relations through the commitment to marriage
A stable and full-fledged family is often highly-valued because it contributes greatly to the social stability and welfare of the overall community, particularly when it comes to children. Continuity and stability are often perceived through the great commitment of marriage that should be sufficiently supported by public and state policy (Final Report of the Commission on the Family, 1998). In this regard, society needs more effective and consistent preparation for marriage through the greater use of family counseling and mediation. Besides, marriage breakdown can negatively affect children’s psychological state and their future attitude to a family. For avoiding misconceptions and problems in these terms, higher equity strategies should be implemented, specifically when it comes to married couples with low incomes and those are often treated less favorably. Further on, the government should provide more effective approaches for advancing the importance of marriage and its role in building a strong family in a much healthier environment. The state should present sufficient support in the form of counseling services and mediation programs. Finally, the government should work out effective incentives promoting the popularity and positive perception of marriage for a young couple to be more involved in strengthening family ties.
Improving the educational options for children and preparing them for family life
Children will also become future parents and, therefore, they should be supplied with detailed information about marriage. Therefore, investment should be presented to encourage the creation of specific programs on improving children’s education irrespective of their economic and social background as well as parent’s employment position (Final Report of the Commission on the Family, 1998). To carry out this mission, the government should widen the array of options for all parents regardless of their marital status and income. The next step will be aimed at offering extra workplaces for families in need. The recognition of additional requirements that some children face can considerably improve the quality of services and provide a more solid ground for introducing more children-oriented programs. Finally, public communities should play a more prominent role in developing social services for children and meeting the needs of children with diverse backgrounds, specifically when it comes to children with disabilities. The establishment of counseling and advisement will considerably promote the implementation of social services aimed at enhancing children’s education.
Presenting Recommendations within the Context of the Irish Society
Today, traditional patterns of the Irish family are constantly changing, creating more reasons for necessary shifts. In particular, Irish couples used to be characterized as more strong, large, stable, and practical in the twentieth century. This image was highly popularized in the past century and, therefore, Irish patterns of family psychology served as exceptions in the light of Western influences that considerably deviated from the conventional views established in the Irish society. This great affiliation to traditional patterns is largely predetermined by the pre-industrial and rural nature of society being a major change factor during the last decades. However, modern impact introduced the society to increased rates of immigration, industrialization, and feministic movement followed up with the higher quality of education as well as females entering an employed environment on an equal basis with men. On the one hand, the emerged changes have had a positive impact on the educational development in Ireland as well as the enhancement of equal opportunities both for men and for women. On the other hand, the broken tradition has caused several problems leading to the disruption of a family concept, which is now less propagandized among the Irish young couples.
About the above, it is imperative to introduce the identified recommendations to the Irish community to renew the traditional image of a family with particular reference to children’s education and social welfare of married couples. The main task here lies in renewing the value of marriage and embracing such concepts as economic stability and moral firmness (Seward, 2005, p. 411).
Regarding the first recommendation, strengthening family ties and creating family-oriented social services that will be capable of providing consistent advice and mediation to a married couple experiencing hard times is a step up toward the renewal and upgrade of existing traditional patterns of the Irish family. What is more, all innovations will be directed at improving the quality of care for children where parents should realize the seriousness of responsibilities taken for children. The Irish family should also be aware of the choices they should make while selecting the workplace. All these measures can be successfully carried out through the introduction of a national network that should be available for all parents irrespective of economic, cultural, and social circumstances, which can considerably facilitate the distribution of information among parents. In another world, each family should be constantly supplied with information expanding on necessary skills each parent should develop for delivering diligent care for their children.
While considering the benefits of the second recommendation, the government should ensure the Irish society that the concept of marriage is one of the leading values enhancing the strength of societal well-being. While considering recent introductions, such as the legalization of divorce, Ireland has witnessed a considerable breakdown in terms of sexual morality (Seward, 2005, p. 412). The advent of the modern convention has given rise to a worsening situation with birthrates and the increasing popularity of cohabitation and civil marriages. Consequently, the introduction of forgotten marriage values is the main task of the Irish government if it plans to renew the social and economic welfare of the country. Stability and continuity of marriage, hence, the community should work out more consistent laws and regulations controlling and establishing greater equity of men and women, which is one of the reasons for the challenging situation in the country.
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Finally, the government should also take care of the educational level in the Irish Republic to prepare the younger generation for marriage. Children should contemplate great patterns of family psychology where marriage is presented as a sign of economic stability and as the main support for children’s development. Closer interaction between parents and their kids is the main condition for reforming the family policies in the state. Therefore, it should be a priority for the Irish community and for the government to introduce a dramatic shift in the sphere of children’s education.
Outlining Family Policy Orientations about Harding’s Framework
The notions of state and family are closely intertwined as far as economic and social welfare is concerned. In this respect, state policy should correlate with family needs. The government should be aware of the significance of family ties that influence greatly the nature of relations among the members of society. Moreover, the state policy should be more concerned with demographic policies creating more economic opportunities for young and low-income families to educate and bring up their children on an equal basis. Regardless of existing social and cultural discrepancies, governmental strategies should be aimed at advancing the quality of social services that contribute to family reforms.
While presenting the family orientation about the first recommendation, it is imperative to pay close attention to Harding’s vision of the family concept as a constantly changing phenomenon and the task of the government lies in assisting families to face those challenges and cope with the emerging problems. Also, sufficient funding should be guaranteed for low-income families as well so that families can easily adjust to changing patterns and accommodate their previous visions with the newly established environment.
Considering the second recommendation, Harding’s position toward family conception and the role of the state in forming the correspondent policy provides several benefits for re-creating a full-fledged society. In his book, Harding (1995) attaches much importance to two key themes: the changing nature of the family as well as the significance of existing shifts and the interaction between family and the government, as it is presented within a social context. More importantly, the scholar provides an extensive view of the continuity and change in family – the areas that closely correlate with each other. The solutions offered to enable the state to cope with changing patterns and impart the notion of marriage with the idea of stability and continuity. Such an approach makes the quest for family strategies more affordable and consistent in today’s modernized community (Harding, 1995). To enlarge on this, the government should direct its reforms at the development of outside concepts that would affect family units and deliver new, more favorable techniques for managing social and economic problems.
Finally, children’s education is also of great importance for tightening up the relations between the state and family units because the success of social reforms largely depends on this issue (Harding, 1995). However, reform penetration to the social sphere should be based on a strong state infrastructure guided by a well-planned community that has enough financial resources to improve the educational level and engage children with morally-justified family education.
Final Report of the Commission on the Family. (1998). Strengthening Families for Life. Dublin Stationary Office.
Harding, F. (1995). Family, State, and Social Policy. US: Palgrave Macmillan.
Seward, R. R., Stivers, R. A., Igoe, D. G., Iftekhar, A., and Cosimo, D. (2005) Irish Families in the Twentieth Century: Exceptional or Converging? Journal of Family History. 30(1), pp. 410-430.