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Program Goals

1. Develop innovative and cutting-edge research efforts that incorporate a framework for exploring how national, local community, workplace, and families’ expectations and norms interact with the direct aim of promoting the successful development of polices and programs to support working families. Community, Families & Work Program (CFWP) at Brandeis University conducts cutting edge, methodically innovative, and policy-oriented research to enhance family well-being.

2. Convene an annual conference to bring together journalists and work-family researchers. The conferences will provide journalists with important, state-of-the-art research findings that they will need to report intelligently on community, families, and work topics and will provide researchers with linkages to the media that they might otherwise not be able to establish. The conferences will also provide an opportunity to showcase CFWP’s research. The first such conference will be held in the spring of 2002.

3. Create an ongoing forum consisting of a working group of business and local communityleaders and representative families to articulate the issues that need study and to review proposed ideas generated by the researchers. This forum will also be able to help researchers accesscommunity groups. The structure of the Program will model the triple-focus that will infuse all of our efforts.

4. Establish a fee-based Associates program to engage the broader community in the activities of the Program, including presentations, programs and conferences.

Community, Families, and Work -- What do these Terms Mean?

Community refers to the various contexts in which families function.  As such it can refer to groupings that are defined by: geography (e.g., schools, workplaces, neighborhoods, towns, states, countries); purpose (e.g., church-based or other interest-based groups); and perceived identity (e.g., ethnic, racial, professional groups).  Community can also refer to the quality of interpersonal relationships in these contexts (e.g. co-worker support, family-friendly corporate climate).

Families refer to enduring close social networks characterized by caring commitments that are met without regard for compensation.

Work refers to productive activities that can be defined by their content, locale, and schedule.