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Family policy in Austria

Child policy always has been of high importance in Austria. Because of this, Austria has one of the most developed systems of family benefits. Families are the foundation of society. We respect and support them in all their different forms. Families render valuable services for children and care for dependent family members, thereby furthering social cohesion and the living together of different generations. For this reason, family policy is very important in a rapidly changing society.

Families need time. In Austria, the reconciliation of work and family life for women and men is of central concern. Financial support or other forms of support as well as the creation of an optimal framework and infrastructure (child care) are of high importance. The reconciliation of work and family life not only affects every individual, but is also an economic and social challenge. The well-being of the child must thereby be of central concern. We aim to create a child and family friendly work environment and to provide families with developmental possibilities. Today men perceive their roles differently than fathers of previous generations. Austria supports an active fatherhood and encourage a modern role perception between fathers and mothers.

The broad exchange at European level facilitates the exchange of international best-practices and the use of these for Austria. Internationally, Austria ranks very high in terms of financial support for families, but immaterial support for families, such as parental development, family counselling and family research, are supported by the Ministry as well.

Family policy is concerned with the creation of a legal, social and economic framework, as well as instruments and measures that support family development and the well-being of family life. Family policy is linked to social policy, demographic policy, gender, men, women and children’s rights policy or employment, educational and tax policy.