National Family Week

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National Family Week originated in Canada and takes place the week before Thanksgiving every year. It was proclaimed an official week by the government of Canada in 1985.[1] National Family Week is celebrated throughout the country with special events put on by community organizations. National Family Week also exists in The United Kingdom, The United States and Australia.

It is a distinct event from Family Day which is a statutory holiday created by the provincial governments of Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan.


National Family Week is largely a public awareness campaign, the purpose of which is to celebrate families. Each year FRP Canada, in partnership with other national organizations, creates downloadable resources for families and those who work with families to access when planning an event in their community. With a different theme each year, National Family week highlights various important aspects of family life. The free downloadable Family Week Kit available at FRP Canada’s website ( influences families across Canada to appreciate and celebrate one another, while encouraging them to participate in activities featured within the kit, as well as those run by their community.


The Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs (FRP Canada) is a non-profit organization that aims to help families by providing resources, national leadership and consultation to those who care for and support them. Their vision is "to build a Canada that cares for its children, its families and its communities." [2] There are over 2000 family resource programs in Canada serving approximately 500,000 families.

For more than 20 years, Family Service Canada coordinated National Family Week activities. At the invitation of Family Service Canada, FRP Canada took on the lead role in 2007.

Government Perspective[edit]

National Family Week offers an opportunity for the federal government to honour families and to introduce new legislation or modify existing laws in ways that it deems will help families.

In 2007, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, Monte Solberg, stated that "Canada's New Government is proud to celebrate National Family Week and to recognize the important role that families play in this country. Families are the building blocks of our society, and we will continue delivering on our commitment to support and strengthen them.”[3]

National Family Week UK[edit]

National Family Week takes place during the Summer half term holiday and is backed by over 180 not-for-profit organisations [4] and has broad political support. It is organized by Family Week Ltd, part of the Henley Media Group. Although it received Lottery funding in its inaugural year it receives no government funding and operates through commercial sponsorship and support by not-for-profit partners.[5]

National Family Week United States[edit]

National Family Week in the United States takes place the week of American Thanksgiving. It was first proclaimed by Ronald Reagan on November 19, 1987.[6] It is organized by the Alliance for Children and Families.

National Families Week Australia[edit]

The Australian Government, through the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, sponsors National Families Week with Families Australia. Centrelink also promotes National Families Week and provides support through its national network.



1.Barry Devolin M.P. Retrieved June 3, 2008 Magazine Retrieved June 3, 2008
3.Family Service Canada
4.FRP Canada
5.National Family Week UK
6.National Family Week USA
7.Public Law 100-166; Joint Resolution to Create National Family Week
8.Parents Matter