doxical in itself, at least if one considers that the ideal situationrn(promoted by a family policy) is that a child has both motherrnand father. This concern, in France, led the participants of thernConference on the Family to put their finger on the dangersrnlurking in measures reserved strictly for isolated parents.rnWe are at the frontier between actions which encourage orrnassist a positive choice and the necessity of correcting failures.rnBut one must be clear that the correction is real only if the victimrnactually escapes from the circumstances of distress inrnwhich he finds himself, and not if he is permitted simply to endurernhis situation with less difficult)’.rnThe French experience helps us to see that, as family policyrnhas been transformed step by step into welfare policy, it hasrnceased to be effective, not only in the sense that the constitutionrnof the family has not been encouraged (as seen in lowerrnmarriage rates), but also the stability of marriages has deterioratedrn(higher divorce rates), while fecundity has been reducedrnat the same time that the comparative circumstances of families,rnwhatever their level of income, underwent a profound erosion.rnhi recalling these facts, we are in a position to oppose thernconclusion that a family policy would be ineffective—a conclusionrnbased, in fact, on the confusion between social policyrnand family policy.rnHere are the alternatives: either to decide to promote thernfamily as family and base support on the notion of familyrn(rather than social) policy; or to consider that this is a questionrnof a strictly individual choice and to help certain parts of thernpopulation (e.g., the poor) to make their choice, not because itrnwould be beneficial for the family, but because they are in trouble.rnIt is here that the idea of social policy comes to the fore.rnhi the first case, the familial realit)’ is a goal in itself It is alsorna bet on the future, since one is never sure that there will notrnbe failure. But the point is to put the maximum number ofrntrumps in the game by anticipating problems. This supposes,rnobviously, that the family is achially considered as somethingrnbeneficial to society.rnIn the second alternative, this conviction is not necessary:rnThe reality of the family is not a goal in itself, it ends up disappearingrncompletely in the sense that it is accorded no particularrnpreference. The sole preoccupation is to proceed, periodically,rnto observe the damages and to intervene when there isrndistress.rnAs in the case of every investment, the burden (the cost) precedesrnthe return (the revenue). To bring children into thernworld and to rear them procures, from the emotional point ofrnview, great immediate satisfactions. But in the economicrnsphere, children are from the first instant of their lives consumers,rnand it takes many years for them to become self-sufficientrnand to become productive. However, this delay is a conditionrnnecessary to economic and social development. Notrnonly reproduction but also human capital formation (acquisitionrnof technical skills, transmission of tradition, etc.) must bernassured in the best conditions. The stable and durable unionrnof a man and woman planning to have and rear a child or severalrnchildren—a definition of family on which we should bernagreed —is the mode of existence that offers the best chance ofrnobtaining successful results.rnEvery investment involves a hope for future return. The notionsrnof risk, of betting, are closely related. Only a correct understandingrnof “a retiirn on investment” can justif)’ the venture.rnIt is important that those who make the attempt and emergernvictorious (from the struggle to rear children) are not consideredrnas slackers, or penalized systematically. This appeal to responsibilityrnis a new means of grasping the importance of thernclear distinction between family policy and social policy. Ifrnparents have decided to bring children into the world and rearrnthem, and they are creating true wealth which will profit thernentire society, it is only just to recognize the contribution theyrnare making, and it is also reasonable to take steps to prevent thernspring from drying up, crnThe Recoveryrnby Alan SullivanrnBeside her bed he set to sketchingrnThe faint frown on a sleeping face.rnAlready he heard critics retching:rnStaid, insipid, commonplace.rnThe livelihood he thought to fashionrnFrom such unfashionable themesrnWas palling like an artist’s passionrnIn attics of forsaken dreams.rnHe left his work to dust and darkness.rnDoubting times or tastes would change;rnBut critics one day favor starkness.rnThe next, prefer eclectic rangernAnd under stacks of dross discoverrnThe paradigms of modem life.rnHe only meant to sketch a loverrnResting from domestic strife.rn20/CHRONICLESrnrnrn