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Copy of CAFS > Family Studies

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Guy McDermott

on 23 July 2014

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Transcript of Copy of CAFS > Family Studies

FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES
The Australian 2006 Census (ABS) defines a family as; 'Two or more persons, one of whome is aged 15 years or over, who are related by blood, marriage (registered or de facto), adoption, step or fostering; and who are usually resident in the same household. The basis of a family is formed by identifying the presence of a couple relationship, lone parent-child relationship or other blood relationship. Some households will, therefore, contain more than one family.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) defines a family as; 'Two or more persons, one of whom is aged 15 years or over, who are related by blood, marriage (registered or de facto), adoption, step or fostering; and who are usually resident in the same household. The basis of a family is formed by identifying the presence of a couple relationship, lone parent-child relationship or other blood relationship. Some households will, therefore, contain more than one family.'
THE NUCLEAR FAMILY
A Nuclear Family structure comprises of a heterosexual couple
and their offspring. This family structure is the most common
and very often referred to as the norm of today's society. However,
it still holds the lowest growth rate, as increased divorce rates and
other social trends are leading to a reduction in the number of
people with a Nuclear Family structure.
A family is the most significant unit of society and the wider community. Regardless to the size of the family or how many members there are involved, the role of the family is to nuture, care, shelter, socialise, protect and encourage the development of family members.
The common roles of any family is to satisfy the emotional needs of each family member for love and security. A family is also expected to provide economic support for other family members whilst providing us with a sense of plane and position in our society.
The Sole-Parent Family
A sole-parent family consists of a lone parent with at least one dependent child or non-dependent child (regardless of age) living in the houshold.
A family can become a sole-parent family through either divorce, seperation, death of a partner or the use of artificial reproductive technologies.
Performance of functions:
The nuclear family and the sole-parent families both share the same function which involve 7 main functions. These include;
- Physical
- Social
- Economic
- Emotional
- Cultural
- Adaptive
- Moral, spiritual and religious

Whilst the two families share these common functions, obviously their ability to achieve and perform these functions may be different. There oppourtunity to fulfill a particular function may vary.
Physical FUnctions:
basic needs such as food, adepquate clothing and shelter as well as health and dental care, fitness oppourtunites and lesiure activities.
NUCLEAR FAMILY:
- as a nuclear family allows for two incomes to be shared to provide for the family, many physical functions are quite easily attainable for the average family. For example; in most cases there is an adequate amount of food and the oppourtunity for specific diets or fitness activities. In terms of health and dental care, these are both quiet easily accessable as well considering there are two parents to help out, the children are able to attend regular check ups and attend lesiure or sporting activities.
SOLE-PARENT FAMILY:
- however in regards to a single parent family structure, there is only a single income supporting majority of the family which makes it difficult to fulfill as many aspects of the physical funtions. Usually, food and housing are a sole-parents priority before lesiure and sporting activities. The children would attend fewer check ups, as the single parent would be forced to work around a very busy and working schedule. In most cases, children of a sole-parent family may become more independent in terms of travelling to work or sporting commitments via public transport or cooking their own dinner, because their mother or father is at work.
Economic Functions;
basically the economic status of the family, which largely dictates their ability to fulfill other functions
NUCLEAR FAMILY:
- once again, the nuclear family are generally seen as very comfortable in terms of economic status. This is mainly becuase they have shared incomes which enables them to save and gain those extra activities and social outings or celebrations. overall a nuclear family are usually comfortable with a strong economic sustainability.
SOLE-PARENT FAMILY:
- The biggest difference between a nuclear family and a sole-parent family is the income factor. Therefore, when comparing the economic functions of the families, Many of the decisions made in a sole-parent family, such as to cut back on lesiure activities, to componsate for groceries, is largely a result of the financial struggle of the family. For this reason, sole-parent family members may not experience the recreational time or oppourtunities of that of a nuclear family. In addition, many siblings may be encouraged to get a job as soon as possible, in order to assist with the financial requirements of the household.
EMOTIONAL FUNCTIONS;
refers to feeling loved and wanted by others, showing affection and support and praise which contributes to the development of the family.
NUCLEAR FAMILY:
- the emotional functions of a nuclear family are the very solid foundations of the family. In this family each member has the oppourtunity to recieve support and encouragement from the other family members. They are able to take time out to spend with one another and share love and affection.
SOLE-PARENT FAMILY:
-In an opposition, the sole-parent family may struggle to fulfill emotional functions. This is mainly because there is one single parent trying to make up for the support and affection that two parents would normally provide. One sole-parent also recieves a lot of pressure to be present to encourage their children and show them praise in their achievements, however this may be difficult whilst still maintaining a finiancially stable lifestyle.
SOCIAL FUNCTIONS:
focus on the socialistion of family members and to help them acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and beliefs to be able to interact with groups successfully.
NUCLEAR FAMILY:
- with the benefits of a nuclear family, children especially will enhance their social abilities, with more oppourtunities to attend sporting events or extra curicular activities where they can meet new people and interect with others. Also with a shared parenting role, each parent may have more time to attend to their social needs, such as having a night out with some friends while the other parent stays home with the kids.
SOLE-PARENT FAMILY:
- on the other hand, in the case of a single parent family, particularly the children may need to compromise many social oppourtunities, for example, they may not be allowed out because they have responsibilities at home such as making the dinner. Financial prioirtising may also limit the amount of social celebrations possible for each family member.
CULTURAL FUNCTIONS:
- Involves passing on values, beliefs, customs, behaviours and traditions to family members
NUCLEAR FUNCTIONS:
- Nuclear families have the priverlage of being exposed to two different families, from either parent's side. Through this they are able to experience a vast range of traditions and customs yet gain the pressure of many expectations cultural norms.
SOLE-PARENT FAMILY:
- In a single parent family, there is only one side of a family able to pass on culture and customs, therefore there is a lack of traditions or it may be more difficult for the single parent to get the children to become more engaged in their culture. However in terms of languages, a single parent family is easier for the children as there may be less of a language barrier.
MORAL, SPIRITUAL AND RELIGIOUS FUNCTIONS:
understanding moral differences between right and wrong, as well as developing values religious affiliations. May strongly depend on the culture of the family.
NUCLEAR FAMILY:
- Morals and values can be very effectively enforced amongst a nuclear family structure, being that there are two parents to help the children gain an understanding of rules and moral perceptions of what is regarded as right and wrong. Religious affiliations are also easier to enforce, although in one regard, having two different opinions of authority can sometimes lead to conflict or disagreements in discipline techniques.
SOLE-PARENT FAMILYl
- However within a sole parent family structure, there may be a lack of moral training or understanding due to the parent not being present to correct the children. Additionally, religious beliefs may be pushed aside and deprioritised. Although, on the plus side, one singular parenting style may enforce the discipline and teaching techniques.
ADAPTIVE FUNCTIONS:
Relates to the families ability to cope with and adjust to change. Involving resilience and flexibility of the family.
NUCLEAR FAMILY:
- Amongst the atmosphere of a nuclear family structure, there is not much need for adaptation. This is because between two parents they are able to quite easily fulfill many of their needs and wants, there is not much comprismising involved.
SOLE-PARENT FAMILY:
- However in the single-parent family structure, majority of the time, the children will need to work together and comprimise for one another so they equally can fulfill their needs and wants. The children specifically have had to grow up in an adapting environment in comparison to a large majority of other children, where they hold different and perhaps more roles and responsibilities within their household. Additionally, the single-parent must acquire strong adaptation skills in order to act on behalf of both parents.
FAMILY STRUCTURE TRENDS
DISTRIBUTION OF FAMILY TYPES
- THIS GRAPH SHOWS THAT DURING DECADS FOLLOWING wORLD WAR 2 NUCLEAR FAMILIES BECAME THE MOST COMMON FAMILY STRUCTURE AMONGST AUSTRALIA.
- THE GRAPH ALSO CONCLUDES THAT THE NUMBER OF SOLE-PARENT FAMILIES HAS INCREASED FROM 1986 TO 2001 BY A HUGE 53%
NUMBER OF YOUNG PEOPLE
WITH CHILDREN
- THIS GRAPH HELPS US TO COMPARE THE AGE THAT YOUNG PEOPLE ARE HAVING CHILDREN AT. CLEARLY THERE ARE FEWER PEOPLE WITH CHILDREN AT A YOUNGER AGE. THE FACT THAT PEOPLE ARE WAITING LONGER TO HAVE CHILDREN DECREASES THE LIKELY HOOD OF NUCLEAR FAMILIES AND PERHAPS EVEN INCREASING THAT OF THE CHILDLESS AND DE FACTO RELATIONSHIPS.
PROPORTION OF DIVORCES THAT INVOLVE CHILDREN
- THE PPORTION OF DIVORCES THAT INVOLVE CHILDREN DECREASED FROM 57.5% (1988) TO 49.3 (2007).
- ALTHOUGH THIS GRAPH SHOWS THE WIDER SCHEME AS A DECREASING NUMBER, THE DECLINE OF THIS RATE HAS SLOWED DOWN OVER THE YEARS.
The Statistics of the ABS show that one-parent families increased to 762,600 in 2001 from 449,300 in 1986. This increase is largely associated with an increase in the number of seperated and divorced people.
Sole-parent families also include those parents who were single at the time of the birth of their child , and remain single. The portion of births occuring outside a registered marriage has increased from 17% in 1986 to 31% in 2001.
Statistics also show that the divorce rate per 1,000 people has increased from 2.5 in 1986 to 2.8 in 2001.
If we were to look at just NSW alone, we would find that the number of divorces by jurisdiction has increased from 11,880 (1988) to a huge 13,726 (2007).
Another studies source shows that in 2006, sole-parent families represented 23.8% of all families with dependent children.

>the number of sole-parent families increased by more than three times as much between 1976 and 1996.
IN CONCLUSION: most statistics show that there is an increase in divorce rates, leading to an increase in sole-parent families, however if we look from a broader spectrum, we will see that over the last few decades, sole-parent families are in fact on the decrease over many years. The decrease is simply slowly down, so if we only take a small portion of time this decrease may appear as a short term increase.
AFTER ANALYSING THE CURRENT TRENDS OF FAMILY STRUCTURES IT IS CLEAR THAT TODAYS SOCIETY HAVE AN INCREASING DIVORCE RATE, WHICH LEADS ME TO ASSUME THAT THE TREND WILL ONLY CONTINUE TO INCREASE.
I PREDICT...
HOWEVER, WHILE THERE IS A CONSTANT RISE IN DIVORCE RATES, PEOPLE ARE BECOMING MORE AWARE OF THESE STATISTICS AND PROLONGING THE LENGTH OF ENGAGMENT OR WAITING LONGER BEFORE HAVING CHILDREN. AS A REULT, MY PREDICTION IS THAT NUCLEAR FAMILIES WILL CONTINUE TO DECREASE BUT SO WILL THE NUMBER OF SOLE-PARENT FAMILIES ON THE WIDE SCHEME OF THINGS.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:
> sTATISTICS FROM THE AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS
(AUSTRALIAN SOCIAL TRENDS, 2003)
(DIVORCES, AUSTRALIA, 2007)
> www.barrycomp.com (2008)
> www.ways2work.com (2010)
SO OVERALL, I ASSUME THAT IN THE WIDER SPECTRUM, THE NUMBER OF SOLE-PARENT FAMILIES WILL SLOWLY DECREASE DUE TO SOCIETIES AWARENESS OF THE LARGE NUMBER OF DIVORCE RATES. IN CONJUNCTION PERHAPS CHILDLESS FAMILIES AND DE FACTO RELATIONSHIPS WILL SLOWLY INCREASE OVER TIME BECAUSE OF THE HESITATION TO SETTLE DOWN AND START A FAMILY BEING A COMMON CHARACTERISTIC OF TODAYS YOUNGER SOCIETIES.
Adoptive Families
Adoptive families are one social parenting option that a family might consider if natural conception is not possible. In this structure, the family legally adopts and takes care of a child that cannot be taken care of by its biological family. Legislation regarding adoption in New South Wales is covered in the Adoption Act 2000 (NSW).
Reasons for Adoption
Adoption gives the child in need a safe home with a family that can satisfy their physical, economic and social needs and ensure that they live a happy, healthy life.
Although an adoptive family is a particular family structure with specific circumstances, it also has similarities with other family structures. For example, when a couple adopts a child, they not only become an adoptive family but also have the characteristics of a nuclear family.
Same Sex Couple
Same sex couples refer to a couple where both
involved individuals are the same sex. Same-sex
marriage is legal and socially acceptable in various
countries such as the Netherlands, New Zealand, Belgium, Canada and South Africa. Although there is substantial social debate, it is not currently legal in Australia.
In Australia, in 2006, approximately 3,200 children
were living with same-sex couples. Of this, 89%
were living with same-sex female couples. Children
of same-sex couples are often step children, but
are also natural or adopted children of one or both
parents.
Kinship
Broadly, kinship patterns may be considered to include people related by both descent (one's social relations during development), and by marriage. Human kinship relations through marriage are commonly called "affinity" in contrast to the relationships that arise in one's group of origin, which may be called one's "descent group".


Kinship can also refer to a principle by which individuals or groups of individuals are organized into social groups, roles, categories, and genealogy by means of kinship terminologies. A relationship may be relative (e.g., one is a father in relation to a child), or reflect an absolute (e.g., status difference between a mother and a childless woman).
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