Family Impact

Why is it Important to Assess Family Impact?

Most policymakers would not think of passing a bill without asking, “What’s the economic impact?” The Family Impact Institute encourages policymakers to routinely ask, “What is the impact of policy for families? Would involving families result in more effective and efficient policies?” To learn more about why families are important and how family considerations can be incorporated into policy decisions, check out these resources.

The Family Impact Rationale: An Evidence Base for the Family Impact Lens
Families have long been endorsed as a basic building block of a strong and vital society. Yet families are seldom addressed in the normal routines of policy and program development, implementation, and evaluation. This resource defines the family impact lens, explains what it can accomplish, and provides the empirical and theoretical rationale for viewing policies and programs through the lens of family impact.

The Family Impact Handbook: How to View Policy and Program Through the Family Impact Lens
This handbook explains how legislative and agency staff, policy analysts, human service professionals, program or organization staff, policy and program evaluators, educators, etc. can operationalize the family impact lens. One feature –The Family Impact Toolkit—provides key definitions, key procedures, and key tools. Step-by-step procedures are given for three family impact methods—raising the family impact discussion starters, using the family impact checklists, and conducting family impact analysis. Several case studies and examples are provided.

The Family Impact Guide for Policymakers: Viewing Policies Through the Family Lens
When economic questions arise, economists are routinely consulted for economic data and forecasts. When family questions arise, policymakers can turn to family scientists for data and forecasts to make research-informed decisions. This guide explains how policymakers can bring the lens of family impact to their deliberations and decisions.

Family Policy Matters: How Policymaking Affects Families and What Professional Can Do
Professor Karen Bogenschneider’s best-selling book integrates the latest research and cutting-edge practice to make a research-based case for family policy. Examples from around the globe are used to explain how families support society and how policies support families. The book moves beyond analysis to action with pragmatic processes and procedures for building better public policy and for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of policies by viewing them through the lens of family impact.

Family Impact Resources

Learn how to conduct family impact analyses using checklists, procedures, tips, and helpful tools. Check out examples of family impact analysis of programs and policies. Review newsletters and briefs that explain to policymakers the value of viewing issues through the family impact lens. Learn about state policies, federal laws, and international efforts to require or promote family impact analysis.