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European Policy Brief: Parental Separation, Child Well-Being And Family Policies In Europe


It is well-known that family configurations have become more and more diverse over the last decades. Single-parent families, cohabiting families of the opposite or same sex, and intergenerational households are only examples of the current diversity. In Europe, family structures still vary substantially among countries. For instance, in 2011 the number of live births outside marriage ranged from 7.4% in Greece to 65% in Iceland. However, trends over time have substantially increased everywhere. The promotion of policies supporting the reconciliation between work and family for all family forms are one of the main EU challenges today. The picture becomes more complex when taking family disruptions such as parental separation into consideration. This creates challenges for policy-makers as the lack of appropriate interventions may have an impact on the life chances of parents and children. This policy brief summarises recent research findings of the of the project FamiliesAndSocieties on the consequences of parental separation for the future of children, and presents suggestions for policy interventions to prevent adverse consequences associated with it.

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