Main family policy dilemmas in contemporary Poland - postulated directions of changes in the light of some European experiences

Joanna Szczepaniak-Sienniak, Wroclaw University of Economics

Abstract: In search for new solutions for family policy in Poland this paper focuses on two issues: transformation of family models and inadequacy of family policy implementation. Factors and manifestations of de-institutionalization observed in Polish families are the core issues of these considerations, especially in comparison to the European background. Due to socio-economic diversity and cultural changes in individual countries transformation of the family in Europe is not universal and proceeds with various speed. More in-depth analysis indicates that although this process is not that advanced in Poland as it is in other European countries, it significantly affects disproportion between family policy solutions and actual needs of the families. The author's main goal is to present the most important features of family policy in Poland, particularly focusing on its shortcomings. Lack of any coherent and consistently implemented program is an essential feature of family policy in our country. Family policy is unstable, short-term and often inadequate for existing needs. Apart from ideological concepts, it lacks practical solutions for the formation and functioning of families. Family policy in Poland undoubtedly requires fundamental transformation. Experiences of other countries that faced or have been facing similar problems for much longer than Poland may provide valuable policy implications. Defining priorities of family policy and its consistent implementation are the most important challenges. In this context, solutions deriving from social-democratic model are of author's particular interest.

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Presented in Poster Session 2

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