The International Observatory on the Family begins its activities: the criteria of Dr. Francesco Belletti for the permanent communication activities of the Observatory.

Francesco Belletti, Director Cisf (Centro Internazionale Studi Famiglia), Scientific Director FIM


The processes of knowledge and description of the family reality that will begin with the project of the Family International Monitor (FIM) are characterised by two main qualities: the multidimensional nature of the overviews and the circularity of the communicative processes.

1. A multidimensional overview: The well-being of family depends on a heterogeneous mixture of factors, both internal and external to its daily life; quality of the relations, living condition, availability of economic resources, cultural capital of its members, territorial stability... all these elements interact, positively or negatively, thus becoming valuable resources or sometimes insuperable challenges. Other factors that are decisive, for the life and well-being of the family and of its members are the social cohesion of the territory, the presence of conflicts, the legal certainty of the right of persons, the protection of human dignity, the quality of the environment, the richness of the territory, the presence and quality of the educative services, health care services and of the social protection. Therefore, a multidimensional overview is needed, in order to understand how all these factors, in their constant interaction, can offer to the families positive conditions for their development, or expose them to increasing factors of vulnerability and weakness. For this reason, the work of the Monitor won’t prioritise specific knowledge, or individual existential or social dimensions, but it seeks, instead, to preserve a “symphonic” overview, a quality that the great theologian Balthasar attributed to the truth, which can also be defined as “polyhedral”, as Pope Francis suggested in the Evangelii Gaudium (n. 236)

2. To promote the circularity of the information: the value of the information gathered depends not only on its quality (which must always be reliable and not “ideological”), but most on how much it circulates between the different actors and generates new points of view, thus inspiring also new judgements and action criteria. Only in this way the information is able to generate a change, instead of just favouring a generic wider knowledge, that risks to remain an end in itself. In particular, in the model of Monitor that we are hypothesizing, the circularity of information concerns also the different territorial contexts (nations of every part of the world) and their ability to give to all the individual territories a new and prolific overview, able to trigger new actions and new solidarities.

Based on the interaction of the two criteria that we have briefly described, we have chosen to characterise the Newsletter of the Monitor with a single plan of monographic interventions, that can highlight, in each occasion, some keywords of the internal life of the family, or some social and economic emergencies; each of them has its own specificity and originality (and deserves some particular attention), but neither of them is able, alone, to enclose an adequate reading of the condition of life of the families. In this way, the uniform framework can be understood better by “keeping together” the analysis of the individual circumstance, without forgetting, however, that it interacts with all the others (for example the presence of elderlies in the family networks, a complex topic, that is also related to the propensity to have kids, to the welfare policies, to the economic scenarios, etc.).

The individual texts will be entrusted to the experts of the territorial network that participates in the realisation of the research activities of the Monitor, thus allowing, throughout time, the diffusion of the local specificities, thus giving value to the valuable know-how that is present in the university departments and in the research centres of each nation, and also creating a circular dialogue between all the bodies and the experts that participate in the research project.

Throughout the following months, the following topics will be analysed:

• Taking care of family is taking care of man and society

• Economic poverty and familiar relationships

• The relationships of the couples

• Single-person families/living alone: election or necessity?

• The situation of women

• The situation of minors

• Weakness of the familiar relations and psycho-relational support

• The situation of the elderlies

• The reception of unaccompanied minors

• Disabled persons and familiar reception

• Familiar relations facing the old and new media

• Family and migrations

• The family that does business

• Family and work

• The families in armed conflicts