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National Families Week 2004

Friday 7th of May 2004

National Families Week begins on Mother’s Day and concludes on National Families Day on Saturday, 15th May 2004.

 

Families are very much on the political agenda as the Federal Government releases funds for projects to enhance family relationships and parenting skills and, provide further anticipated financial support in the Federal Budget.

 

The Federal Government’s response is an acknowledgement that ‘families are the fundamental building block of all human civilizations’. Marriage is the glue that holds it together. There is a link between the health and well-being of our children and adults and society’s view of families and marriage.

 

While it is good that society debates the importance of access to good health care, nutrition, education, love, encouragement and the sense of feeling safe for our children, society ignores the importance of the marital status of parents.

 

Whilst single, divorced or step-parenting is unavoidable, research studies such as from the Centre for Law and Social Policy (2003) and Child Trends (2002) in America report that, on average, children do best when raised by their two married biological parents. Children tend to do better at school, be less idle, less involved in criminal activity, have a lower risk of becoming sexually active, fewer in the poverty trap, better physical health and mental well-being, and less involved in substance abuse.

 

Researchers such as Linda Waite and Maggie Gallagher (2000) and Janet Wilmoth and Gregor Koso (2002) further report that good marriages impact the well-being of adults. Married people tended to have lower illness rates, longer life expectancy, less alcoholism, better physical and mental health, and, a parent’s ability to parent is enhanced.

 

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s Report in 2003 found that in 1998-99, of single parent families, 40.8% experienced high financial stress compared to 13.7% for couples with children. In 2002, 7% of couple families and 54% of sole-parent families had no parent employed.

 

It is good that government wants to work with local communities to develop solutions to complex social problems and strengthen communities to give children a better start in life. But research and statistics from Australia and overseas suggest we should be concerned with the health of marriage in our culture. For, as marriage goes, so go our children, our families, and with them, the future of humanity.

 

To assist families and marriages, the Anglican Counselling Service (ACS) provide pre-marriage education courses to help couples have the best possible start in the relationship. ACS also runs marriage enrichment workshops, parenting workshops and provide counselling support for married couples, couples experiencing relationship breakdown, blended family issues and parenting issues with a room set up for child therapy.

 


For More Information Contact:

Anglican Counselling Service (Diocese of Armidale)
PO Box 3052 Tamworth 2340
Tel: (02) 6762 4380
FAX: (02) 6762 5740
Internet: acsdarm@acsdarm.org.au

 


Authorised: Rev Brian Kirk, Executive Director

7 May, 2004

Phone contact: (02) 6762 4380



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