According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 82.5 million families or family living arrangements exist in the U.S. The average American family size is about 3. Regardless of the size, each family needs resources to meet its goals. Each has its definition of wants and goals.
Factors such as politics and educational level can determine how much access a family has to the necessary resources. However, that doesn’t mean a family can survive without these resources. For example, families require money to substitute for other goods such as food and clothes, but some families have a lot of money, and others don’t.
If you want to understand more about family, this article will help shed light on examples of family resources and specific situations in which families use them. You’ll learn to differentiate different examples of family resources and their features.
There’re multiple ways of categorizing family resources. One of them is differentiating human resources from non-human resources. Such differentiation is helpful when finding examples of family resources.
According to Brain Kart, human resources are individual capabilities and characteristics. Examples of family resources individuals may have include knowledge, skill, time, and energy. For example, if a woman is a trained sound engineer, they have the knowledge to fix sound problems. One can use human resources to earn an income for their family.
On the other hand, a family needs outsourced human resources. Since no one can have knowledge or skills about everything, families need human resource providers such as doctors, teachers, spiritual leaders, and dentists. Human resources are not always available, and knowledge transfer takes a long time. Others, such as time, are similar for everyone, so it depends on how each family uses theirs.
Families also need non-human resources to meet their needs. According to Brain Kart, non-human resources are tools and assets available for any family to meet their needs. Examples of non-human resources include money, material goods, and community resources. Material goods are both perishable and non-perishable goods, such as land, furniture, and groceries.
Some resources fall under community resources available for use by all unless restricted by specific regulations. Examples of family resources available for any family include roads, railways, grocery markets, hospitals, and schools. Families need shared resources to meet their needs without paying the entire cost.
Although all family resources vary, they’re all essential for satisfying a family’s wants and needs. However, they have some similar features. Here are five common characteristics of family resources. Family resources are limited to everyone. No one has all the knowledge, skills, time, and energy. Even though some families may have great wealth or skill in a particular area, these resources are still limited. Others families don’t have enough resources to meet their needs.
No one resource can be used in isolation. For example, a skilled physician will need a vehicle and a highway to get to work. Resources are also interconnected in that families need to work with others to meet their individual needs. People with one skill need the knowledge and time of other people. One resource can be exchanged with another. The current monetary system allows for the exchange of almost any resource for money. For example, if you need a dentist, you’ll have to use the money to pay. On the other hand, the dentist’s time, knowledge, and skills are compensated for using money.
A resource is only useful if it helps meet family goals. For example, if a family needs an income, someone must invest their time and energy in productive activity so that they can earn. However, if they waste all their time and energy on trivial pursuits, the resources can’t help the family. Similarly, a vacant house is not useful until the family moves in. Since all resources are limited, they need proper management. Only a small percentage of families in the U.S. and the world are extremely wealthy; even for such families, resource management is still essential. Families need to account for how they use their knowledge, skills, time, energy, and food to meet their needs sustainably.
1. Safe Drinking Water
Access to safe drinking water is one of the best examples of family resources. According to the Environment Protection Agency, 92% of the American population served by community water systems receives water that meets all the health standards of safe drinking water. Safe drinking water is a top priority in the resources a family needs. Some families invest in a quality water purifier to ensure their drinking water’s quality and safety. International organizations such as the U.N. promote the consumption of safe drinking water for hydration and cooking. Other benefits of purifying water include:
- Preventing infectious diseases such as cholera and typhoid.
- Production of safe agricultural produce.
- Improving health and sanitation.
2. Oral Hygiene
Hygiene as a whole is quite critical for families, especially those with children. According to the CDC, enhancing hygiene is the single most cost-effective strategy for reducing disease. However, oral hygiene is often forgotten in favor of more visible and public forms of hygiene, such as hand washing. Yet oral hygiene is essential for preventing painful oral illnesses such as cavities.
Therefore, each family needs access to qualified family dentists for preventive and reactive dentistry. Access is much easier for families with a good source of income. However, insurance programs such as Medicaid assist in improving access to middle and low-income families.
3. Advanced Care
Family resources meet basic needs such as food and shelter and higher needs such as advanced care. Most insurance companies rarely cover advanced care costs, although they’re often necessary. For example, cosmetic dentistry helps restore smiles and may even boost esteem. One survey by Invisalign Teens found that 47% who used invisible braces experienced a boost in self-esteem.
Advanced care may also include alternative medicine and therapies. If conventional treatments fail to alleviate pain, you may need to seek alternative approaches such as acupuncture or art therapy. Such families may need non-human resources such as money to afford such treatments.
4. General Health Concerns
Sometimes, families need resources to respond to general health concerns. Most of these resources are available, including well-equipped hospitals and laboratories. However, they need money to access consultation and medication services. In most cases, a visit to the doctors office will require either money or insurance coverage.
One Gallop Poll conducted in November 2015 found the following to be the top health concerns for respondents in order of frequency.
- Substance Abuse
- Heart disease
While these may be the major concerns for most Americans, the leading causes of death are lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and accidents. The ability to address these concerns is critical for families.
5. Covering Insurance Costs
Enough resources to pay for medical insurance is vital for families. Insurance needs may vary from a motor vehicle life and health insurance. Motor vehicle insurance is mandatory for all vehicle users. However, health insurance is not mandatory or accessible to all. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 8.6% or 20.8 million people in America didn’t have health insurance in 2020. Most insurance providers will require families to make a regular contribution, failure to which they can lose their coverage. However, not all families can afford these contributions.
6. Emergency Situations
Families face emergencies once in a while. That’s why they need resources to face such situations. Sometimes emergencies are caused by acts of nature such as a hurricane, flooding, or wildfires. Other emergencies that can arise at home include a family getting sick suddenly, for example, after food poisoning.
Emergency situations involve facilities and appliances that might become defective and require immediate attention. For example, a family may need cesspool pumping services to prevent clogging when the cesspool gets full. In this case, you need funds to cater for the maintenance services. However, resources don’t necessarily have to be money. Sometimes it’s emergency service providers’ contacts or an address. That said, it’s prudent to have resources set aside to cater for emergency needs. Luckily, some organizations such as the Red Cross help families prepare and respond to emergencies.
7. Emergency Resources
Apart from family resources for emergencies, families require emergency resources ready for any occurrence at home or away. For example, a family driving during winter may require snacks, tire change, portable toilet services, and warm clothing. Each situation will require different emergency resources. For example, a fire extinguisher is helpful during a fire but not a flood.
Emergency resources may also be a government responsibility. For example, if there’s a hurricane, the federal government, through FEMA, normally responds by providing necessary resources for living during an emergency. Local police departments can also be an emergency resource, for example, during burglaries.
8. Help with Expenses
One example of family resources is household expenses. They can range from paying for groceries to paying a personal injury attorney. Expenses vary with circumstances. Some are recurring, such as paying for school fees, while others are non-recurrent, such as doing tree removal. Not all families have the resources to meet their expenses. Some families depend on external assistance.
Households that can meet their expenses typically rely on one or both family members using their human resources, such as knowledge and skills, to earn an income. The government and non-governmental organizations also drive programs to help families unable to meet their expenses.
9. Bouncing Back
Bouncing back is a top priority for families with a member who unfortunately encounters difficulties such as an injury or loss of job. Therefore, a family may need resources to bounce back, such as access to a physical therapy center, medicinal therapy, or occupational therapy. They’ll need books, videos, and a strong support group.
Some family members are also returning from substance abuse or a challenging war experience. In most states, there’re resources such as V.A. meetings and Alcoholic Anonymous groups to help families with a member who’s bouncing back.
10. Pet Resources
Lastly, families that have pets may require resources such as veterinary services. According to Spots, 67% or 84.9 million American households own a pet. The most common pets in America are dogs and cats. Other pets include reptiles, sheep, and birds. Regardless of the type of pet, a household with a pet will require resources to ensure its safety and health.
In some cases, they’ll need mandatory vaccines to prevent the spread of diseases. Other resources include food, shelter, and play accessories. Most pets consume specially-made food for pets and not necessarily human food. A household may also need help taking care of the pet when they’re busy or away. For example, they may need a dog walker.
Now you know the different examples of family resources and their characteristics. For any family to successfully meet its needs requires human and non-human resources. Apart from some cases where no family member can engage in productive activity, most families have human resources on their side. They have time, energy, and skill of some type.
The only thing required is to use them to gain non-human resources such as land and groceries. The list of examples of family resources is non-exhaustive, but it’s detailed. What other examples of human resources do you know?