Families and children: promoting family wellbeing and cohesion
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Apartheid policies had devastating effects on family life in South Africa; the creation of homelands, forced resettlement and migratory labour policies strained and disrupted family relations. Ben Roberts, Jare Struwig and Zitha Mokomane draw on a recent study on family cohesion and values, and actions for promoting child wellbeing.
The family is critical to achieving a healthy, cohesive society. Stable, well-functioning families tend to exhibit higher levels of social capital and resilience which, in turn, contributes to greater social cohesion at the societal level. Conversely, the absence of a stable, nurturing family environment has been found to have a profoundly damaging impact on the individual, often leading to behaviour which is, in turn, profoundly damaging to society.
Recognising this, and the importance of families, the Programme to Support Pro-Poor Development (PSPPD) financially supported a project that focused on better understanding patterns of family cohesion and values in South Africa, using data from the 2012 round of the South African Social Attitude Survey (SASAS).
The intention of the project was to design evidence-based policies aimed at strengthening and promoting the wellbeing of South African families.