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Policies, legislation, and social change influence parenting, young lives, and families. Policies are set by individuals or organization to guide decision making while legislations are drafted and enacted by the governing body or legislature and finally, social change entails a significant change in norms and behaviour patterns. Housing policy in UK aims at improving lives of citizens but in the process of shifting, families are affected as they have to move to insecure places to wait for regeneration.
Legislation such as the Equity Act helps in equal sharing of resources and equal opportunities for all kinds of people regardless of their race, religion, level of education among others. This has advantages on families and young people who are given equal chances of advancing in life. Families live comfortably in places they want without any discrimination. Family justice system courts also support children who have been mistreated where some are moved to Child Care Services.
Another aspect involves social change where marriage is not the only accepted form of relation. Cohabiting has been accepted by the society which is advantageous to young people and families. For example, families reject either the bride or groom out of spite and as a result, the couple decides to move in together and later it becomes accepted by the family. However, it has led to an increased number of divorce cases since many young people begin cohabiting at a very young age and are not capable of handling challenges that come with marriages. Policies, legislation, and social change are directly connected with families, young lives and parenting and indeed, affect them both positively and negatively.
Policies are set in order to achieve certain goals and make expectations of citizens clear. Such policies in UK include the taxation policy on drugs such as tobacco (Gilmore et al., 2014). Imposing high taxes on tobacco could lead to a decrease in its rate of consumption on mainly young people. Consumption of tobacco has its adverse health implications hence reducing its consumption would mean improved health on young people. This would in return enable the energetic youths to focus their energy on other important things which are beneficial to them and the society as well. Other policies implemented include banning advertisements on tobacco which reduces the promotion of its usage.
Despite the fact that policies have positive effects on young people, they also have their disadvantages. Using the tobacco policy explained above, young people tend to be rebellious and curious. Restricting their usage creates a certain kind of curiosity in young people and therefore they try by all means to acquire the drug and consume it. Also, to the people already addicted to smoking, they may result even in stealing in case the prices are too high for them to buy the drug. Families are also affected by tobacco consumption as the breadwinners could wrongly use the income in the purchase of the drug. This would cause conflicts and arguments in the family. Another aspect is on parenting. Tobacco has adverse effects such as lung disease which could eventually lead to death. Death of a parent/parents could render children as orphans or lead to single-parent situation hence interfering with the parenting state (Hoffman and Tan, 2015).
The housing policy is another major policy that’s being implemented in the UK (Guo, Slesnick and Feng, 2016). In this policy, people in low-quality houses are forced to move out of their houses and move to temporary houses in order to allow the government to regenerate their houses. The policy is great as it’s meant to improve the housing of families. Secure and comfortable houses are built for families. Additionally, this has a positive effect on children and young people as well. Children are provided with decent places to live in and can easily go to schools and concentrate on their studies. With regard to young people, especially teenagers, they develop the confidence to interact with other peers and can even visit each other’s home for sleepovers among others. Finally, parenting becomes easy for parents as well since they are able to focus on their children as they do not have to worry about housing problems.
Temporary housing during regeneration, however, is one of the major disadvantages of this policy. Families are forced to move out and look for temporary homes which mostly are overcrowded. They have poor sanitation, are insecure and not healthy for families. Young people and children are the ones mainly affected by this kind of arrangement. According to a survey carried out by Kantar Public, children from homeless families tend to become withdrawn from classes and lose their concentration in studies as they result to look for jobs to help in the family. This in return deteriorate their performance at schools while others drop out. The young people, on the other hand, could cause trouble in the neighborhood as they engage in illegal activities such as theft in order to fend for themselves and their families. Some lose their confidence and self-esteem in life which in return turns them violent as they always act in self-defense (Digby and Fu, 2017).
Then New Labor Policy is a policy introduced in the UK in order to reduce social exclusion and poverty levels (Kakabadse, Marzec, and Rose, 2014). The aim of the policy is to offer joined-up services to the families in the most deprives areas which are accessible, affordable and flexible. To some extent, the policy succeeded in its mission as it was able to have direct impacts on both children and young people. They were able to feel safe, stay healthy and enjoy their lives and in return contribute positively towards the society and economy at large. With regard to families, the bonds became stronger as they were able to have something to look forward to in future and they didn’t have to spend most of their days worrying about basic needs. Finally, on parenting, the burden of struggling to provide to the children by the parents and Children Centers set up by the government was reduced. This enabled ample time for parents and guardians to spend with their children and guide them on life.
However, the Labor policy has its disadvantages which include the lack of individualized care of children and young people. Due to the high number of people supported by the program, it’s almost impossible for the young people and children to have personalized interaction with the professionals which leads to lack of proper development that is guided and according to the individual characters. There is also a lack of effective transition of young people to adulthood. This would lead to the existence of uninformed parents and families due to lack of proper foundation (Anning and Frost, 2016).
Legislations are laws that are vital in any nation as they help the government in protecting its citizens and organizing the society at large. Equity Act is one such legislation in the UK (Waughray, 2014). The Act states that all individual should be treated equally regardless of their race, religion, cultural beliefs among others. Job opportunities, services, distribution of resources and other incentives provided by the government should be shared equally among all citizens. People are allowed to live in any place as long as they are comfortable with the environment. In the UK, Christian and Jewish schools are funded equally. Equity enables young people to contribute positively to society and the economy. They are able to settle down and grow themselves since resources are provided to them and according to their merits. With an equal distribution of resources and opportunities, families, on the other hand, are able to take chances and live a comfortable life. Parenting also becomes easier since there is cohesion in society and children grow up learning positive values even from the society.
There are challenges however that come with Equity. In the UK sometimes you find that Christian and state schools are funded equally but it does not happen with the Muslim schools. This creates division in society as they feel they are discriminated. Discrimination can develop ill-feelings among young people who retaliate by forming gang groups who cause chaos in the society in order to show their dissatisfaction. Discrimination can also have negative implications on families, especially where it involves interracial marriages. Tension in families would lead to unhappy families who at times end up separating. Finally, parenting could turn out to be difficult since while trying to instill good values in your children, the society contradicts with the values and teaches the young people differently (Lester, 2016).
The family justice system courts are established in the UK to help fight child protection cases (Dickens, Beckett and Bailey, 2014). Recently, they are working on using methods that are not adverse while carrying out their investigations. The judges in the family courts are more concerned in working towards the best interest of the children. Though the aim of the court is to discover the truth, they would rather use other means other than questioning children on matters that may cause harm in their lives. The children are protected and grow up in a positive environment and when transferred to Child Care Services, they receive protection and care they deserve. Most of them make great families in future since they would never want their children to experience what they experienced while growing up. The families that get united through the system are also strengthened and parenting is enhanced.
The problem with the approach is that the judges may never actually get the truth they want since they fear to affect their lives. In the process, the child may never get the justice they deserve. Some children end up going back to the same families mistreating them and hence it becomes even worse. They grow up with a negative perception regarding families and parenting. Some parents also may be judged according to incomplete truths since the investigation is not completely carried out. These affects family relationships as it becomes sour and the child-parent relationship may be deterred for life. Parenting becomes impossible since children become violent or vice versa. Some children are even taken to Child Care Services to grow up there which is negative on the children since they grow up without real families and their lives are affected for life (Welbourne, 2016).
Social change entails a substantial change in behavior patterns, norms, and cultural values. Stereotypes are one of the social belief that people sometimes use to judge people. It could either be in terms of gender, job application and race. One such behavior is the negative expectation of older adults in terms of jobs. It is believed that older people are forgetful and cannot easily learn new information. Both young and old people believe that, as one grows old, there is general declination in memory. However, there is another contradicting aspect which is evident that some older people are holding very high positions in government and they are providing excellent results (Lain and Vickerstaff, 2014).
Gender stereotypes have harmful effects on the gender in question (Holth, 2014). For example, there is a general belief that men perform better than girls which are not entirely true. At times, even in academics, girls perform better than boys and during job employment, despite the girl showing exemplary performance, they still get paid less on the basis that they are girls. During promotions, they are not even considered despite showing good results. This can be so demoralizing for ladies who have worked hard to achieve their success. Young people being given that kind of treatment tend to relax and not give their best in workplaces since they know they will not be appreciated at the end.
Families are also affected by these stereotypes. During the period of child development, women are portrayed to be only good in kitchen work. Even after excelling, they are still sent to the kitchen as it is believed that’s where women belong. Parenting becomes a challenge as well especially on children who have already been discriminated. The confidence of the young and children sometimes get shattered which in return causes negative reaction regarding life (Heilman, 2012).
Although stereotypes are mainly negative, there is some positive impact that comes with it. Mainly, women are the targets for these stereotypes and are aware of it. As a result, women are constantly improving themselves so that they can show their value and strength in the society and government as well. The efforts have borne fruits since some changes are happening such as reservation of parliamentary seats are reserved for them. The stereotype serves as a motivation to constantly improve. Through this, they are able to support their families as well since they are contributing to the source of income at homes (Heilman, 2012).
Young people mainly respond through violence to ensure that their voices are heard or prove themselves. They end up hurting their peers who they feel are getting better treatment. They lose their focus in life since they only try to prove themselves and in the process lose themselves. Some end up in prison which stops their growth and development in the society. Their families are affected by this since some of them would be making contributions to better their lives but instead, they end up in prison. Parenting is also affected since the guidance provided by the parent mainly has to be in line with the stereotypes. Some people are stuck to the beliefs such that, they oppose any improvements by the younger generations since they believe whatever is going on in the society is right and has been there for a long time (Lamont, Swift and Abrams, 2015).
Marriage is another concept that is changing in the society. Gay marriages are being accepted by a large number of countries (Leckey, 2017). This is positive in that, people do not have to hide anymore and live in fear. Instead, they have the freedom to love each other like common couples and even adopt children. Another aspect of marriage that is changing is that marriage is not the only form of relationship that is accepted by the society. Cohabiting is being practiced worldwide and there have not been any complaints regarding the change. Young people can now start families any time they want and not hold large ceremonies if they do not have the resources.
However, freedom has led to many young people engaging in fornication acts which lead to unwanted pregnancies at times which in return forces young ladies to abort children. Some families are in constant conflict since that kind of behavior is unacceptable. Also, the marriage that was considered to be a holy stage of life, nowadays people are divorcing any time they come into disagreement with their partners. Children and young people are affected negatively since divorce causes separation which affects them emotionally and mentally. Some even become violent during the period of separation. A single parent has to be responsible which becomes challenging during parenting (Nazio and Saraceno, 2012).
The above essay has clearly illustrated how policy, legislation and social change influence young lives, parenting and families both negatively and positively. Policies discussed include housing policy, tobacco policy, and new labor policy. Tobacco policy reduces its consumption which in return improves the lives of the parties involved while it also has its negative impacts such as rebellion from the youths. The housing policy improves the living style of families but its temporal arrangement causes adverse effects on children’s education and families as explained.
Legislations on the hand comprise of Equity act and the family justice system which fights for justice on child protection cases. Equity promotes peace in families, young people and supports parenting. All kinds of people are given opportunities to get jobs on their merit, schools get equal funding regardless of religion and people can live where they feel comfortable. The court system, on the other hand, protects children and families from facing humiliation and embarrassment by using better approaches that do not expose their vulnerabilities.
Social change has focused mainly on stereotypes such as women belong in the kitchen and boys are better than girls. This has led to demoralization and violent reactions which have negative impacts on families. Discrimination motivates individuals who tend to work even harder to prove themselves such as women proving themselves in studies and political arena that they can perform as good as men or even better. Cohabiting and gay marriages have also been accepted by some societies. The young people feel the acceptance and react positively towards society. However, it has led to increased rates of divorces which affects parenting, the family and the relationship with their children.
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Robinson, M. (eds) Developing Multi-professional Teamwork for Integrated Children’s Services, London, Open University Press, McGraw-HillEducation.
Dickens, J., Beckett, C. and Bailey, S., 2014. Justice, speed and thoroughness in child protection court proceedings: Messages from England. Children and Youth Services Review, 46, pp.103-111.
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Guo, X., Slesnick, N. and Feng, X., 2016. Housing and support services with homeless mothers: Benefits to the mother and her children. Community mental health journal, 52(1), pp.73-83.
Heilman, M.E., 2012. Gender stereotypes and workplace bias. Research in organizational Behavior, 32, pp.113-135.
Hoffman, S.J. and Tan, C., 2015. Overview of systematic reviews on the health-related effects of government tobacco control policies. BMC public health, 15(1), p.744.
Holth, L., 2014. Passionate men and rational women: gender contradictions in engineering. NORMA: International Journal for Masculinity Studies, 9(2), pp.97-110.
Kakabadse, N.K., Marzec, N. and Rose, R., 2014. What next for children’s services? Can
policy at a local or national level have any significant impact on the outcomes for children and their families?. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 19(1), pp.84-98.
Lain, D. and Vickerstaff, S., 2014. 19. Working beyond retirement age: lessons for policy. International handbook on ageing and public policy, p.242.
Lamont, R.A., Swift, H.J. and Abrams, D., 2015. A review and meta-analysis of age-based stereotype threat: Negative stereotypes, not facts, do the damage. Psychology and aging, 30(1), p.180.
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Freedom is Under Threat and Why it Matters, London, Oneworld.
Nazio, T. and Saraceno, C., 2012. Does cohabitation lead to weaker intergenerational bonds than marriage? A comparison between Italy and the United Kingdom. European sociological review, 29(3), pp.549-564.
Waughray, A., 2014. Capturing caste in law: caste discrimination and the Equality Act 2010. Human Rights Law Review, 14(2), pp.359-379.
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children in the family justice system’, Child and Family Law Quarterly, 
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