"We wanted him home because we thought he needed family," Bruce said. "He was not ready for the real world. ... We didn't know how to handle him."
Background: Bruce was talking about his son who had return home after a year Middle-East deployment. Suffering from post war symptoms, his son was asked by his father to move in with him.
Is family here too obvious that it doesn't need an article (his/the)? If it is spoken by his friend or somebody else other than his family members, it needs an article?