Focus on 'the family'? How South African family policy fails queer families
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In the past decade, South African policy-makers have increasingly focused on the family as a site of state intervention. To date, several family-related policies have been developed to support societal well-being and cohesion. The most recent policy document is the White Paper on Families (Department of Social Development 2012), which aims to facilitate the mainstreaming of a family perspective into all government policy-making from the national to the municipal level and across multiple departments. The White Paper stresses that its implementation will be dependent on a sound inter-sectoral and interdepartmental system and mechanism, an active political administration and technical expertise (Department of Social Development 2012:44). This is an ambitious and broad-based implementation plan that potentially has significant implications for social life. A thorough inspection of the assumptions made in the policy, particularly concerning queer families that have historically been marginalised, is thus important.