Family Support Systems in the Bahamas

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The Merriam Webster describes the family as a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head or as the basic unit in society consisting of one or two parents rearing their children (Family). The purpose of a family is for a man and woman to be joined together expressing love and assisting each other when necessary. In addition to loving and supporting each other they serve to bear and rare children and by all means provide shelter, food and necessities for the children. When factors arise that prohibits families from fulfilling their functions they may fall into a family crisis. The term family crisis can be defined as a life challenge resulting from a major change in a family’s life. These can occur as a result of rapes, domestic violence and other abuses, unemployment (financial instability/ poverty), divorce (and remarriage), drug use, terminal illnesses and other diseases, death, and other social ills. Family members ultimately require some sort of help to successfully overcome the crisis. This help comes in the form of support systems that may be private organizations, or government agencies. The role of support systems is to aid in restoring persons to sound condition that society deems appropriate and to provide a sense of security to individuals and/or their families. Support can be in the form of counseling, housing, money, food, mobility aids and other such things. This paper will address reasons why families need support and the different support systems available in the Bahamas. An interview on family crisis was conducted with Ms. Anastina Wilson, a determined young woman stricken by illness but still trying hard to raise her daughter. It is Anastina’s belief that the reason families end up in crisis situations is pretty much uncontrollable, that life happens, and when a crisis comes the family must just accept it and try to bear
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