Family Support Policies in Transitional Economies: Challenges and constraints
The propagandists of ancien regime Russia and Eastern Europe portrayed state family support policies as models of care and efficiency. The collapse of communism revealed that this was a much distorted picture of the reality. But the positive work of these schemes should not be forgotten. Help available from the state did indeed do much to offset the financial strain that child-rearing inevitably imposes upon poorer families. This paper looks at how such policies have fared in nine of the countries that have undergone the transition to the free-market economy. It asks whether such positives as did exist prior to 1989 have survived to benefit the children of today. It concludes with a discussion of what can be done to improve matters for families of the region, arguing for an approach that would utilise the already existent infrastructure of care that remains as a relic of the old regimes.
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