A social justice perspective on the delivery of family support

Carmel Devaney, Mandi MacDonald, Julia Holzer

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Family support as an approach to working with children, youth, parents, and families is widely practiced across Europe albeit with a range of diverse meanings and interpretations. This paper responds to this ambiguity and provides a conceptual understanding of the delivery of family support in Europe. In doing so it applies a social justice approach critically examining the extent to which Family Support reflects the right of families, children, youth, and parents
to be supported. It identifies and critically examines similarities and differences in the meaning and application of family support as a key concept in the European context. It is based on a comprehensive review of literature, mapping multi-disciplinary approaches to the provision of support, based on academic material from 2015 – 2020 and adopting a broad and inclusive definition of family. The paper considers the complexities in developing a universally accepted understanding of family support that: has value for practitioners and managers; is selected as a focus by policy makers; is open to evaluation and research; is compatible with academic research; and most importantly provides responsive and effective support to children, youth, parents and families.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107494
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Early online date01 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


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