Family policy involves a combination of policies enacted to address various family problems and improve the sustainable development of families. Evaluating family policy by considering policy instruments is conducive to optimizing policy allocation and promoting this sustainable development. This study constructs a two-dimensional analysis framework of policy instruments and policy themes and employs content analysis to conduct a quantitative analysis of 112 family policy texts issued by the Chinese government. The results show that the policy instruments used in China are not effective. The study also shows that environmental policy instruments are most frequently used, but the internal structure is unbalanced; supply-side policy instruments are moderately used; and the use of demand-side policy instruments is obviously limited. Policy themes focus excessively on “safeguard measures” and pay less attention to “parental welfare and protection”. Overall, China’s family policy is still in its infancy, as it focuses mainly on assistance and remains incomplete. Therefore, the parties responsible for the formulation of family policy should adjust and optimize the combinations of policy instruments that are employed are required to consider “general welfare”, and promote the two-dimensional integration of policy instruments and policy themes.
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