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The Dynamics of Family Policy

Alice K. Butterfield, Cynthia J. Rocha, and William H. Butterfield

Publication Date - 01 July 2010

ISBN: 9780190616519

474 pages
5.8 x 8.8 inches

In Stock


Families, in whatever form they may take, are at the center of all our lives. In the absence of a comprehensive national family policy, any policy that attempts to alter our lives peripherally can affect the stability, composition, and future of our families. In the United States, all policy becomes family policy. Such is the position of the authors of The Dynamics of Family Policy.

This book challenges readers to redefine and broaden definitions of the family to reflect fundamental and recent demographic shifts in its structure. Devolution and managed care are among the nine major themes that weave their way through the chapters of the book. The book provides an approach to policy analysis and advocacy that takes politics, power, and social problems into account. The authors provide an in-depth and detailed coverage of social policy in areas such as poverty, work and employment, food, housing, and welfare, health care, and family violence. Additional chapters address family-focused policy initiatives such as marriage incentives, family caregiving across the lifespan, and the care and support of children. The book includes exercises and assignments for readers who want to become more actively involved in advocacy and policy practice.

The Dynamics of Family Policy explores the roles professionals play in developing, implementing, and monitoring family policy. The book's combination of a comprehensive government policy account and a family-focused analytic perspective will enable students to maximize their understanding as they begin their careers in the helping professions.


  • Comprehensive coverage enables you to use it as a central text in social welfare courses
  • Offers a dynamic model of policy analysis and advocacy that puts the welfare of families at the center of policy making
  • Special attention is given to the involvement of families in finding solutions to their problems through impact analysis, research, and advocacy campaigns
  • Includes chapter on social economy and family well-being in the global context

About the Author(s)

Alice K. Butterfield (PhD, MSW, Washington University) is professor at the Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago. She is the author of more than thirty-five journal articles and book chapters, many of which are devoted to housing policy and service delivery for homeless families, community practice, and international social work.

Cynthia J. Rocha (PhD, Washington University; MSSW, University of Texas at Austin) is acting associate dean and associate professor at the College of Social Work, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has taught family policy and policy practice for fourteen years and has researched the challenges faced by poor and dislocated workers throughout her career. She has published numerous articles on the family, the family well-being of dislocated manufacturing workers, economic justice, and the working poor.

William H. Butterfield (PhD, MSW, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor) held a joint appointment at the University of Wisconsin in social work and at the Medical School as director of Family Counseling in the University Family Health Service. Subsequently, he joined the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as associate dean and director of the PhD program.

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1 Valuing the Family
    Chapter 2 Policy Dynamics and Family Policy Analysis
    Chapter 3 Advocating for Families
    Chapter 4 Family Poverty
    Chapter 5 Theories of Poverty for Family Policy
    Chapter 6 Welfare, Food, and Housing
    Chapter 7 Work and Employment Download the PDF
    Chapter 8 Health Care
    Chapter 9 The Care and Support of Children
    Chapter 10 Family Violence
    Chapter 11 Marriage as Family Policy
    Chapter 12 Family Caregiving and Aging Policy
    Chapter 13 Family Policy in a Global Context

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