Open access

The conceptualisation and delivery of family policy and support in Europe: A review of international and European frameworks and standards

MandatorCOST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology)
Number of pages130
PublisherCOST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology)
Publication date2021
First online date2021

The European Family Support Network aims to promote children's rights and family welfare through advancements in family support research, policy and practice. Under the auspices of EurofamNet and funded as a COST action scheme, the network is currently undertaking a four- year programme of research and knowledge exchange activities4. Advancing the workstream ‘the conceptualisation and delivery of family support in Europe5', this report presents a review of international and European treaties and policies related to family and parenting support spearheaded by the United Nations (UN), Council of Europe (CoE) and European Union (EU). Overall, the review sought to: ● Outline the imperatives for developments in family and parenting support arising from international human rights instruments and campaigns, most prominently the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC, 1989). ● Chart the key phases and features of major legislation and policy frameworks related to children's rights, family policy and family support developed by the CoE and EU. ● Appraise these international and European frameworks in respect of the standards, approaches and guidance they promote for national-level family and parenting support policies and provisions. Below we set out the aims and approach of our review in more detail. The first section clarifies our analytical focus and influences. It highlights how our review is primarily concerned to examine formal policy and provision approaches to, and frameworks for, family and parenting support. In general terms, it defines family and parenting support in these regards as referring to a range of state support measures that provide resources and guidance that seek to support family roles, members' and groups (including those targeted at parents and parenting) (Daly, 2015; COFACE, 2019). Further, this section establishes the importance of considering the broader family policy context viewing family support as a major sub-field of family policy; and emphasises the importance of family support developments to the advancement of children's rights and social justice. The second section introduces the significance of the supra-national European and international policy and practice context for national-level approaches to, and developments in, family and parenting support across European countries. The third section elaborates on the aims and objectives of our study, the research questions and the policy review approach adopted. The final section summarises the main content of the report.

  • Family support
  • Children's rights
  • Family policy
Citation (ISO format)
CHURCHILL, Harriet et al. The conceptualisation and delivery of family policy and support in Europe: A review of international and European frameworks and standards. 2021
Main files (1)
  • PID : unige:158873

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