Why Are The U.S.’ Family Policies So Dismally Outdated?

By Catherine Gigante-Brown

The question is so commonly asked and debated, it’s become something of a cliche: Why are America’s family policies so terrible?

If you’re from the states, you’ve no doubt at some point talked with someone from another developed nation — like, say, Canada or Australia or somewhere in Europe — and been astounded to hear about the downright humane mechanisms of support said nation has in place for families.

Months of paid maternity and paternity leave. Government-funded in-home assistance for new parents. Subsidized childcare. Elsewhere, these kinds of services are commonplace; here, they sound so surprising, they almost seem absurd.

For a country so ostensibly obsessed with the importance of families, the U.S. provides remarkably scant support for them.

This Thanksgiving week, The Establishment decided to dive deeper into how and why, exactly, America fails so miserably when it comes to family policy . . . while looking ahead to possible progress on the horizon.

In “The U.S. Makes Progress On Parental Leave — But Not Nearly Enough,” Catherine Gigante-Brown looks at the changing political discourse surrounding parental leave, while examining the lingering cultural reasons that things have yet to completely change.

In “Parental Leave Policies: America Vs. The World,” Gigante-Brown assesses how the U.S. stacks up against other developed nations (hint: not well).

And in “The New Workplace Reality Demands New Policies For Families,” Jody Allard discusses the ways employers will need to keep pace with a shifting workplace culture.

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Lead image credit: Flickr/Todd Ehlers

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