The Children and Families Medal honors parents. The family represents the union of people by a bond. To be a parent is to take in and hold a child by the hand. The hand—representing universality, identity, creation as well as birth—gives, uplifts, sustains, and carries. She makes, shapes and accompanies. In this illustration, the hand forms the child and, like lifelines, it unfolds to signify its growth and development and ultimately the different stages of childhood.