The conception of the family in the realm of Lithuanian family policy
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Vilnius University, Universiteto str. 3, LTLT-01513 Vilnius, Lithuania
Submission date: 2012-01-01
Final revision date: 2012-06-30
Acceptance date: 2012-06-30
Publication date: 2012-06-30
Corresponding author
Vilija Targamadzé   

Vilnius University, Universiteto str. 3, LTLT-01513 Vilnius, Lithuania
Wychowanie w Rodzinie 2012;5(1):17-31
The family, its conceptualization and functioning, as well as family policy are discussed at the personal, community and state level. This makes sense because different cultural, historical, ethical, social and other alternations affect the assessment and evaluation of these three significant components. Besides family policy is a very important part of public policy in a state, what makes obvious impact on every human life (even those who are living not in a family). The aim of this article is to shed light on the concept of family, family functioning and family policy as three mutually interacting components in a unified narrative. The object of study is the concept of family, family functioning and family policy from the perspective of its content. The research methods employed include analysis and design of scientific literature and documents. The article analyzes the definition of family, paying particular attention that different authors present various definitions of families. Although these definitions focus on different aspects of families (e.g. marriage, community, the continuity of the nation, etc.), it is shown that in each country the concept of a family is regulated by laws, by which regulations (and other legal documents) are prepared. The legal concept of a family in Lithuania is still not entirely clear. The concept is not defined in the Constitution and marriage is not indicated as an obvious attribute of being a family. Meanwhile, the Family Policy Concept(2008) clearly defines a family, indicating that marriage is necessarily between a man and a woman. The recognition of families only by marriage has raised many discussions among politicians, particular public interest groups and private individuals in Lithuania. These discussions became even stronger when the Constitutional Court stated that the Family Policy Concept 2008) contradicts the Constitution of Lithuania. Having in the mind, that the implementation of family policy in Lithuania is fragmented, lacks a unitary system, including the absence of an official institution responsible for family policy (this function is currently delegated to The Ministry of Social Security and Labour), the implementation of family policy is legislated and implemented without correct procedures. Following the concept of family, family functing and family policy analysis, it can be stated that the concept of family and its functions is different. They are both influenced by different views from scholars’, politicians’ and other particular persons’ or groups’ regarding marriage, as well as socio-cultural, political and other factors. The variety of family conceptions encourages debate, which should not persist and interfere with the formation and implementation of State family policies. The concept of family, family functions and family policies are considered as three mutually interacting components. Based on this, the tools of appropriate and thoughtful family policy implementation can be formulated and developed. Family policy in Lithuania is not yet sufficiently formulated in both conceptual and realizable levels. For that reason it is necessary to do a comprehensive study in order to provide a basis for implementing new family policies based on that study. Likewise, to develop the concept of family and family function, it is necessary to formulate an Educational Policy Concept and to implement its strategies, designing the tools for its implementation in the context.
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