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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Assessing Family Policy in Canada: A New Deal for Families and Children

Choices by Pierre Lefebvre, Philip Merrigan

Lefebvre and Merrigan begin their report by pointing out that most children in Canada are emotionally, physically, and socially healthy, yet they suggest there are some disturbing trends relating to children in Canada. Recent reports have revealed that child abuse and neglect have increased, juvenile crime is rising, children are consuming more alcohol and drugs than previous generations, and suicide rates are rising. Lefebvre and Merrigan identify a number of factors that, in their view, can lead to the increased vulnerability of children, including: growing up in a single-parent family, having poorly educated parents, and living in poverty.

At the dawn of the 21st century, Lefebvre and Merrigan suggest that responding to problems faced by children and families today requires a new sense of urgency. This pressure stems form factors including declining birth rates, an aging population, and new educational imperatives linked to the new knowledge-based labour market. As one of the driving forces behind the new policy commitment to children and families the authors cite research illustrating the importance of early childhood development and its linkages to adult performance.

Lefebvre and Merrigan explore a number of approaches that governments can take to address the child and family policy issues they view as critical. They propose several different avenues of reform, and offer both short-term and long-term solutions.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Pierre Lefebvre; Philip Merrigan;
Publisher: Institute for Research on Public Policy [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2003; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: National;
Registration Required: No Language: English French
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Children & Family / Standard of Living
Policy Articles / Children & Family / Daycare & Childcare
Policy Articles / Children & Family / Poverty
Policy Articles / Children & Family / Social Justice
Policy Articles / Children & Family / Daycare & Childcare / 2003
Policy Articles / Children & Family / Poverty / 2003
Policy Articles / Children & Family / Social Justice / 2003
Policy Articles / Children & Family / Standard of Living / 2003
Policy Articles / Children & Family


Keywords / Tags:

vulnerability of children; socioeconomic status; employment strategies; education levels; early childhood development; income levels;