Social platform on research for families and family policies


Family Research Centre is a partner in FP together with the social work unit of the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy. FP gathers a Consortium of 12 organizations working collectively together to help increase the wellbeing of families across Europe. It aims to do this by encouraging dialogue between stakeholders about family life, ultimately providing input into the EU’s Socio-Economic and Humanities Research Agenda on Family Research and Family Policies. The work of FP is carried out by the partners including leading European family – and also media and demographic – research institutes and universities, of which Technical University of Dortmund is an overall coordinator, and representatives from civil society, for example Confederation of Family Organisations in the European Union (COFACE) and World Movement of Mothers Europe. FP it works through workshops, focus groups, conferences, and a ground-breaking website. FP is funded by the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme for duration of 18 months (October 2009 – March 2011).

The work of FP encompasses four key stages to the project. The first is to chart and review the major trends of comparative family research in the EU. The second is to critically review existing research on the family. The third is to build on our understanding of existing issues affecting families and predict future conditions and challenges facing them. And the fourth is to bring the results and findings of the previous three stages together, and to propose key scientific research questions about families to be tackled with future EU research funding.


Work package 1: Major trends of the research on family life and family policies in Europe
Family Research Centre is responsible for the first stage of the FP project which chart and review the contemporary field of comparative family research in the EU. The research review provides an overview over studies on changing family structures, developmental processes in the families and family policies in the EU-Member states. It will be accomplished jointly by 9 of the partners and consists of 8 existential fields: 1.) Family structures and family forms, 2.) Familial developmental processes, 3.) State family policies, 4.) Family and living environments, 5.) Family management, 6.) Social care and social services, 7.) Social inequality and diversity of families, and 8.) Family, media, family education and participation. Using existing research from this wide field, the aim of this work package is to identify major and most common trends with respect to the needs of families and family policies, cultural differences, and specific developments of member states, but also to recognise gaps, new issues and openings, where more comparative research would be needed.

The partners involved will accomplish a systematic literature review on European comparative research published since the mid-1990s in these 8 fields using existing scientific and statistical databases, reports from the previous EC funded research projects, and other relevant publications. Results of the review will be published in existential field reports and a joint summarizing report provided by the lead partner in cooperation with other participants. The joint report will be completed by the end of June 2010. This report will then function as a basis for the following stages of the project.

Both the existential field reports and the joint report will be published on the internet platform of the project (see the address of the website below). The website is designed to promote and facilitate stakeholder dialogue and input to ensure that a wide variety of perspectives are taken on board. If you would like to be a part of this project, register now and get involved.

More information:

FAMILYPLATFORM website: http://www.familyplatform.eu
Kimmo Jokinen: kimmo.j.jokinen@jyu.fi
Marjo Kuronen: marjo.kuronen@jyu.fi