International family public policy takes center stage at BYU

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    By Daniel Davis

    Guests from foreign countries will address issues of family public policy May 9.

    The BYU School of Family Life is hosting guests from Australia and New Zealand to build awareness of several transferable cross-cultural parenting skills, said Terry Olson, professor in the School of Family Life.

    “Research has found that parenting across cultures doesn’t change much,” he said. “Principles and policies are more similar than we realize.”

    These meetings affect BYU students in two ways, Olson said.

    First, future families is a big concern for many students, and second, government involvement the can greatly influence new families.

    “They (governments) can no longer say the family will take care of itself,” Olson said.

    Dale West and the Honorable Roger McClay will be speaking at today’s event.

    West is the director of Centacare Catholic Family Services and a member of the National Initiative for the Early Years program.

    He is also a founding member of the Association of Major Community Organizations and is a member of the Australian Catholic Social Welfare Commission.

    West will speak on issues in international, cross-cultural family public policy.

    According to their Web site, the mission of the Centacare Catholic Family Services is to provide a wide range of services to individuals, couples and families world-wide.

    While particular programs are designed for specific groups, according to the Web site, Centacare’s services are available to all, regardless of race, religion or economic status.

    McClay, the director of New Zealand’s Commission for Children, will speak on the criteria for welfare in child welfare policies.

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