One Family: Output and results of the FamiliesAndSocieties project

In nearly all European countries, family forms have become more varied and individual and family life courses increasingly diverse.

January 26 the Third Annual meeting and a stakeholder workshop of the FamiliesAndSocieties project 'Changing families and sustainable societies: Policy contexts and diversity over the life course and across generations' took place in Vienna.

The main objectives of the FamiliesAndSocieties project are: 

  • to investigate the diversity of family forms, relationships, and life courses in Europe; 
  • to assess the compatibility of existing policies to family changes; and
  • to contribute to evidence-based policy-making

Outputs and results of the FamiliesandSocieties project are presented through a series of Work Packages; each with their own set of sub-objectives. This summary contains an overview of the main results from February 2013 – December 2015, which were presented in Vienna at the 3rd Annual meeting in January 2016.

Some of the key findings: 

In nearly all European countries, family forms have become more varied and individual and family life courses increasingly diverse

Need to be aware of different family forms and treat them equally; policy to support children irrespective of family forms they live in is imperative

An increasing proportion of women are breadwinners - between 20% and almost 50% for childless women and between 3 and 25% for women with toddlers, it may offset the motherhood penalty; supporting women’s employment and reducing the gender pay gap

Maternal education and socio-economic status play a (positive) significant role in child care usage and child outcomes, as well as in the time use of the child. However, disparities according to socio-economic and demographic characteristics can be offset by the provision of high quality child care

Family-friendly policies such as parental leave must consider both parents, as time investments from parents are separable. Moreover, they should consider the timing of intervention according to the effectiveness in improving child outcomes

Please click here to read all the outputs and results of the project.

Read here also Jana Hainsworth blog on the new EU Consultation on work-life balance.