Families are who you love. Our families all “look” different and it's always been so. A family caregiving unit might consist of a couple; a mother, father and children; a single parent and child; grandparent and grandchildren; a sibling group; a circle of friends; or however that family defines itself.
Families are the foundation of society. It's where we come into the world, are nurtured and given the tools to go out into the world, capable and healthy—or we aren't. While families have the greatest potential for raising healthy individuals, they can also wound their members in places that will never heal. When families break down and fail to provide the healthy nurturing we need, the effects impact not only our own lives, but also our communities.
In other words, we all pay for unhealthy families. If we ignore the suffering, we suffer the consequences, including:
* alienation and fear, as our neighbourhoods turn into places where we no longer feel safe
* violence and crime
* lost productivity
* the costs of medical care for victims, policing, courts and prisons
* the costs of a social support system to deal with the fallout from dysfunctional family relationships.