This article uses time series and survey data to explore public commitment to children and their families from 1980 through 2001 in 21 industrialized countries. Despite the shrinking child population in all countries and the slowed growth of the welfare state in most, the authors find that spending on children and families has increased in most countries. They conclude that the instruments and goals of the family benefit and service package have changed over time and that future public spending on children is increasingly likely to go toward helping families balance their responsibilities as workers and parents and toward enhancing the development of young children.
Authors: Shirley Gatenio Gabel and Sheila B. Kamerman
Published in: Social Services Review, 80 (3), 239-266.