The family as the unit of care has long been one of the sacred philosophies of palliative care. How this is translated into the realities of responding to the needs of distressed families, often in crisis, is the content of this chapter. 'The family is far greater than the sum of its membership and the challenge for us is to work with the family group, focusing on its characteristics and interactions rather than on each member in turn' (Gelcer, 1983).