WHCF hearings sound the need to reaffirm the family unit.

Free-lance writer Nancy Barcus of Waco, Texas, attended the White House Conference on Families meeting in Los Angeles earlier this summer—the last of three national WHCF sessions. She discusses that meeting, and interprets the contribution of the WHCF to the Christian’s understanding of today’s American family.

The american family is heading into the 1980s; but what direction will it take? What are the family’s problems? And how, if at all, should the government get involved to help?

President Jimmy Carter’s White House Conference on Families has drawn perhaps the government’s most comprehensive profile of the American family. The WHCF spanned months of public testimony at local and state levels and comprised 10,000 pages of written transcript in which every type of family stress gained representation.

The final reports taken from that testimony reflect American families in need. But the testimony also reflects a commitment that the family unit remain the cornerstone of American society.

The three national conferences in Baltimore, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles this summer gained wide publicity—especially with regard to squabbles by special interest groups. However, the preceding seven regional conferences and state-wide conferences in 48 of the 50 states laid the research groundwork. For perhaps the first time, government put itself in the role of listener to family woes as family members told where they hurt and where insensitive government policies have failed them.

While these hearings consumed hours of time, with input on every conceivable topic affecting the family, they received practically no coverage in the news media. But without them, the three national conferences ...

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