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18 Jan, 2024

Key findings: Family diversity and access to social rights

In October 2023, COFACE and UNAF Spain co-hosted a  European expert meeting on family diversity and making social rights accessible to all types of families.

The context is one of fast-paced changes in labour markets and income security to which families have to act as key responsive entities, cushioning potentially negative impacts and enabling/disabling risk-taking and change. As well as being under care and work pressure, families are time-starved with negative impacts on their mental health and well-being.

Policy and support systems need more than ever to be inclusive, flexible, connected and complementary to ensure that families can be resilient to internal and external shocks. However, are these policies and services truly accessible to all types of families and are they designed with family diversity in mind? Families whose composition is less traditional are especially vulnerable and can be affected much more by social and economic hardships.

The European Union is taking different policy and legal initiatives to support this process under the European Pillar of Social Rights (e.g. EU Work-life balance directive, European Care Strategy, EU Child Guarantee), but more could be done to ensure that new social rights are fully accessible to all without discrimination.

The objectives of the expert meeting were the following:

  • Provide an overview of the social rights of families at national and EU level
  • Study policies to support families in Spain
  • Take specific look at early childhood services and policies and their availability for different types of families
  • Facilitate cross-country exchanges of good practices in family diversity policies
  • Identify any gaps in eligibility or family policy designs
  • Consider what adaptations of social protection systems and EU policies are needed.

 

See full meeting report here

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