Global Consortium for International Family Studies

Discipline of Family Studies

The Family is a common theme of interest to many social science disciplines. Family Studies is today a recognised field of study in 'applied issues related to relationships' and the integration of 'theory, research and practice' (Olson & Defrain, 2003, p.69). Supporting families in their diversity of form and need is a priority in most countries and requires a skilled and highly educated human services workforce. As a discipline of study, Family Studies provides students with comprehensive multi-disciplinary knowledge and skills to undertake research, policy development and service delivery directed towards strengthening families and communities. The past decade has seen significant growth in the internationalisation of higher education. Intercultural curriculum is a significant dimension of internationalization of higher education and involves much more than mere inclusion of information on other cultures and countries in the course content.

"The study of families is truly multidisciplinary. A critical analysis of the changing forms of families, the forces impacting upon families, and the services, programs and policies that could support families in the challenges they face across the globe, cannot be encompassed by any one academic discipline. This is why family studies is so important in this ever shrinking yet diverse world."  -  Deborah Hartman   Board Member GCIFS and Manager Resesarch & Development, University of Newcastle, Australia

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