School of Sociology and Social Policy

Timescapes: An ESRC Qualitative Longitudinal Initiative

Understanding and Supporting Families Over Time

This two day conference brought together academics, policy makers and practitioners in the UK to explore how we might better understand and support families over time.

A collaboration between ESRC Timescapes, The Social Policy Association and the Family and Parenting Institute, it drew upon a growing body of evidence on the shaping of families through the life course, with a particular focus on the Life chances of Children and Young People, the Dynamics of Parenthood and Family Life, and Older Lives and Times.  

Day one of the conference, Understanding Families over Time, presented evidence from Timescapes and other key studies on changing lives and times across the generations, and explored the implications of the findings for family policy. Speakers included Professors Paul Boyle, Fiona Williams, Kathleen Kiernan and Tess Ridge. 

Day two of the conference, Supporting Families over Time, explored the different ways in which public and third sector initiatives support families with complex needs, including those living in poverty.

A range of initiatives were represented, from voluntary organisations such as Barnardos, Family Action, and Home Start, to the Government led Family Intervention Programmes and Family-Nurse Partnerships. Frank Field MP and Graham Allen MP introduced the day, and it culminated in a plenary session with Katherine Rake, Director of the Family and Parenting Institute.

Conference materials

Host and speaker organisations

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