A major aspect of contemporary European family policies has been substantial
developments in ‘family and parenting support services’ albeit under challenging conditions
of austerity in recent years. This article compares and reviews national reforms in family
support, child welfare and positive parenting services in England, Ireland and Spain. The
analysis critically compares national ‘system-wide’ reforms and frontline service-based
innovations; and situates these within broader national and European policy contexts.
The article examines the degrees and ways in which children’s and family services reforms
across all three countries have been shaped by family support, children’s rights and social
investment policy orientations; and deliberates national differences in the scope, timing
and longevity of reforms. It raises critical issues from rights-based perspectives and reflects
on cross-national insights.