In the past few years, people have come to realize that family and child well-being are public health issues. Helping families and children be happy, healthy and resilient helps the larger community. This report will discuss various aspects of family life including the systems that exist to support them, ways families can have more positive experiences, and some of the struggles families face that compromise their life experiences.
Families are the building blocks of a society, they are the foundational social unit in all communities and societies throughout the world. A family is the first organization a human encounters and is the first place a human receives education, protection and advocacy for basic human survival. There are significant costs to society when children and families don’t thrive. On average, the estimated lifetime cost of child maltreatment is about $210,000 for each victim. This cost includes childhood health care costs, adult health care costs and lost productivity, among others.
The community has a large role to play in supporting families. Individuals, churches, non-profits, government agencies, foundations, and businesses all can contribute to helping families thrive. Some of the best ways to help families are by engaging in activities that increase the protective factors and capacity of families.