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Building a better understanding of how families are faring

Building a better understanding of how families and whānau are faring in New Zealand

The Families Commission / Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit is consulting on draft frameworks to measure and monitor family and whānau wellbeing to see how they are faring over time.

The frameworks feature in this second annual Families and Whānau Status Report released today, which looks at family trends, attitudes and aspirations within the wider economic and social context in which families and whānau function.

Families Commissioner Belinda Milnes says, “The frameworks will help us to better understand trends in family and whānau wellbeing and the impacts of changing demographic patterns and family dynamics. The annual Status Report is unique in that it focuses on families and whānau, not individuals, and provides a different perspective on how New Zealand as a whole is progressing.

“We want the report to encourage thinking and discussion about how to measure wellbeing, and how to improve policies and practices that impact on families and whānau. It will also help to identify where further research or data is needed, which will guide our family and whānau research programme.”

This year’s Status Report shows how current demographic trends such as smaller family sizes, increased longevity, relatively high fertility levels, higher rates of household formation and dissolution, is changing the structure of families and whānau in New Zealand.

Ms Milnes says, “Rapid changes are putting new pressures on families and whānau, making it important to review how well they are standing up to new economic and social circumstances, expectations and values.

“This report will help the wider social sector - including government agencies who make or fund policies, and community organisations that deliver services, to be aware of and more responsive to the issues that impact of family and whanau wellbeing,” the Families Commissioner concluded.

The Report and Summary are available on the Commission’s website at http://www.familiescommission.org.nz/publications/research-reports/families-and-wh%C4%81nau-status-report-2014

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