Schedule & Sessions: 2021 FLE Summit

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The 2021 Family Life Education Summit was held on Friday, June 25, 2021. This was NCFR’s first virtual event to focus solely on family practitioners at all experience levels working with and for families.

The summit is approved for up to 12.5 CFLE contact hours of continuing education credit.

Schedule & Sessions

All sessions will be recorded and available for viewing by registrants after the event. All times listed are in Central Daylight Time (CT).

Opening Plenary: 10:00 – 11:15 a.m. CT

Collaboration as the Key to Unlocking Family Well-Being

Cynthia B. Wilson, Ph.D., CFLE

Cynthia Wilson

The ultimate goal of Family Life Education (FLE) is to optimize family well-being.  FLE’s share this goal of strengthening families with other related fields such as Family Therapy and Family Case Management. Each of these fields brings a unique contribution to building strong families. Each field steps into the lives of families at different points in time, in different ways, and based on different needs. Although each field is unique, there is also an interdependence between these fields that is necessary if we are going to succeed at reaching this goal. In this opening plenary session to the FLE Summit, Dr. Cynthia Wilson will discuss how collaboration is truly the key to unlocking family well-being. If we are going to succeed at strengthening families, we must do it together.

Morning Break: 11:15 – 11:30 a.m. CT

Concurrent Sessions: 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. CT

201A - Narrative Tools for Helping Families Cope with Grief

Alexander Chan

The stage-based model of grieving is covered in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The five stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance will be briefly described. The crux of the presentation will involve exploring a more recent version of the model that includes a sixth stage - meaning making. Participants will get the chance to practice narrative strategies that promote psychological meaning-making. This practice will involve responding to narrative prompts that promote the psychological resolution of loss, including ambiguous losses. Handouts and examples of participant feedback will be shared with presentation attendees.

  1. List the SIX stages of grief according to recent clinical theory and research
  2. Describe three strategies for encouraging the post-loss meaning-making process
  3. Practice the implementation of narrative strategies for resolving pandemic-related grief


201B - Connecting Corporal Punishment to ACEs

Jim R. Rogers

This presentation is based on a 2013 workshop for the SECFR conference covering the negatives and positives of corporal punishment, the plan is to connect those practices in our families to the current studies and realities of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).

  1. To raise awareness that using corporal punishment with children is directly connected to ACE's
  2. To help the participants see and understand the dangers of corporal punishment
  3. To pass along the knowledge of the connections and how much more critical childhood treatment is to the life span of the child.


202 - Trauma-Informed Practices and Family Life Education

Debra Berke, Nichol Killian, and Kelly DaCunha

Trauma-informed practices have been most commonly used in social work (e.g., Carello & Butler, 2015) and clinical counseling/family therapy programs (e.g., Baker, 2012; Bowman, & Roysircar, 2011), but are relatively new to the field of Family Science and Family Life Education. This presentation will use an ecological model (Hoffman & Kruczek, 2011) to explore how individuals and families, many of whom have experienced trauma, can be affected by the material we teach. In addition, we will examine the impact of the stories of children and families with whom we work and the impact of the content we share, on the family life educators, themselves.

  1. Participants will be able to describe the impact of trauma and toxic stress on self and others.
  2. Participants will be able to explain how to use trauma-informed educational practices in their work.
  3. Participants will be able to identify how to build resilience in self and others as well as describe ways to practice self-care.


RESCHEDULED 203 -  The 6-Step System for Starting & Growing YOUR Family Life Education Practice

Jody Johnston Pawel

This session has been rescheduled to July 1, 2021 at 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Central Time.
(Start time: 12 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. CT / 10 a.m. MT / 9 a.m. PT). The session will last 90 minutes and end at 12:30 p.m. Central Time.

You will be able to join this session as a part of your registration. You will receive a notification once this session has been officially rescheduled. 

Family Life professionals don't usually receive business or marketing training in their traditional education and often feel uncomfortable or ill-prepared for it. This webinar is an overview of a 6-step system for using relationship-based practices to start or grow a family life practice, including:
Step 1: WHY do you want to serve? (Mindset)
Step 2: WHO do you want to serve? (Business Planning)
Step 3: WHAT do you want to serve? (Content Organization & Creation)
Step 4: WHERE do you want to serve? (Website & Internet Presence)
Step 5: HOW will they find you? (Marketing Strategies)
Step 6: WHEN will you grow or end? (Expansion and Legacy Planning)

  1. Participants will know which 6 steps are involved in starting and growing a private FLE practice and why each step is important.
  2. Participants will understand at least one core concept that's critical to understand and follow at each step.
  3. Participants will know at least one action step they can take for each step.

Lunch and Networking: 12:45 – 1:15 p.m. CT

Concurrent Sessions: 1:15 – 2:30 p.m. CT

301 - Translating Parenting Curricula Into Effective Online Formats

Kylie Rymanowicz and Kendra Moyses

Parenting education programs can support positive parent-child interactions and can reduce parenting stress. In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, two parenting curricula were transformed into live, group webinars. The webinars were intentionally designed to create a sense of community and connection virtually with great success using multiple features in Zoom. Results from pre and post tests and feedback from participants indicated that they experienced knowledge and behavioral changes and felt connected with the class, despite attending virtually.

  1. Learn about two parenting curriculums that were translated into webinar formats by MSU Extension in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Explore the process of transforming a face-to-face curriculum into a live webinar.
  3. Discuss features and practices to build a sense of community and connection in online parenting classes.


302 - De-centering Whiteness in Engaging Racially and Ethnically Diverse Families

Ebonyse Mead

Family engagement plays a central role in helping children achieve academic success. Despite good intentions, many early childhood programs continue to struggle to successfully engage culturally, linguistically, and socioeconomically diverse families. Early childhood programs serve varying types of families across different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds, for this reason, programs must be intentional about effectively partnering with diverse families. By including the family’s culture and considering the socioeconomic backgrounds of families when developing family engagement activities families are more likely to engage and partner with teachers and schools because they feel welcomed, respected, and valued.

  1. identify barriers that impair authentic family engagement with culturally diverse families (i.e. the cultural deficient model)
  2. Apply the Relationship-Based Competencies for Family Engagement and the Diversity Informed Tenets to strengthen authentic family partnerships
  3. Learn concrete strategies that centers family voice (and de-centers Whiteness) to create diverse, inclusive (welcoming) and equitable environments to strengthen family partnership and support children’s school success.


303 - Best Practices in Outreach Program Excellence Using Program, Fidelity, and Outcome Data: A Multimillion Dollar HMRF Case Study

Victor Harris, Ginny Hinton, Nelly Nelson, Cyndi Longley, Tyler Nesbit, and Brian Viscounti

Family fragmentation costs U.S. taxpayers ~$112 billion annually in forgone tax revenues, justice system expenses, TANF, Medicaid, SCHIP, and child welfare programs (Scafidi, 2008). Social and emotional costs are generally much higher (Schramm, 2009; Raley & Sweeney, 2020). Using program, fidelity, and outcome data to improve outreach programs is critical to the future of family life education programming. This workshop chronicles the continuous quality improvement (CQI) best practices of the SMART Couples Project using three CQI metrics: Program Data (e.g., registrations, enrollments, attendance, referrals, recruitment, benchmarks); Fidelity Data (Context- venue information, accessibility, staff to client ratios; Compliance- implementation fidelity, case management follow-through; Competence- facilitator effectiveness, community engagement) and; Outcome Data (e.g., program impacts, outcomes). Each metric serves to evaluate and inform major decision-making for meeting the SMART Couples Project’s mission (see Implications, best practices, and tools for program directors, educators, practitioners, and stakeholders in outreach programming are discussed.

  1. To evaluate the effectiveness of continuous quality improvement (CQI) best practices in outreach programming using the SMART Couples Project as a case study.
  2. To analyze program, fidelity, and outcome data metrics specific to effective family life education programming;
  3. To assist workshop participants to apply CQI best practices to their own outreach programmatic contexts.

Break: 2:30 – 2:45 p.m. CT

Concurrent Sessions: 2:45 – 3:45 p.m. CT

401A - Implementing Effective Single-Session Relationship Marriage Education Programs

Naomi Brower and Elizabeth Davis

Evaluations suggest that single-session RME events have a positive impact on relationships. This workshop with will explore several event structures that have been found to be successful, including adaptations during COVID. Adaptations for both rural and urban areas will be discussed. Ideas and resources for replication will be provided.

  1. Provide an overview and explore variety of effective research-based approaches to single event RME programming that could be adapted for use by various professionals.
  2. Discover possible ways to pivot programming (online and other ideas) based on COVID experiences
  3. Participate in a planning exercise to outline a RME event that meets the participant’s clientele needs.


401B- Using Social Media in Your FLE Business

Taliah Ayers

Not having a social media presence can kill a business at worst, or make it very hard to find clients at best. As word of mouth remains one of the highest forms of marketing, internet presence is in a close second. Learn how to find your target audience, display your work, establish yourself as an authority, and schedule content like a pro.

Session objectives:

  1. Increase social media following by 15% in one month when using the advice consistently.
  2. Understand how to schedule content for each social media platform to increase time efficiency.
  3. Understand how to recycle content for different platforms to increase time efficiency and decrease creative burnout.


402A - Building a Large-Scale, Public-Facing Family Resilience Development Program During a Pandemic

Nasreen Lalani, Cezanne Elias and Austin Toombs

COVID-19 required practitioners modify practice tools to support families. Presentation will highlight the development of, and how, Families Tacking Tough Times Together (FTTTT) program served as an opportunity to reimagine how family practitioners can help families during crisis using various evidence informed strategies and community partnerships for building resilience and engagement.

  1. Develop an understanding of the complexities of engaging families in semi-public conversations and activities to develop resilience in response to stressful situations
  2. Identify several ways to apply content knowledge and activities from the FTTTT program within their own communities or areas of work
  3. Apply lessons learned from FTTTT to appraise their own initiatives that may last beyond the pandemic


402B - Lessons Learned: Moving a Youth Mentoring Program to Virtual Delivery

 Jennifer Krafchick

When the pandemic hit and required a pivot to on line programming, we moved quickly to bring the Campus Connections: Youth Therapeutic Mentoring Program on line. Through careful weekly assessment and feedback from participants, we revised the delivery many times. We have learned many lessons that we are excited to share in hopes that the audience will find them relevant to programs they are now offering online. We also plan to continue to offer Campus Connections online as well as in person once we can return to campus safely. For many youth and their families, the on line format has significant benefits. This is particularly true for highly mobile youth and families who can access the program from anywhere virtually. Our data shows successful outcomes for our programming virtually as well as in person.

  1. Engage in innovative thinking about virtual programming for youth
  2. Learn how to use feedback and ongoing assessment to revise and change programming for better outcomes
  3. Learn about the benefits of virtual programming for the most vulnerable youth and families


403 - Using Multilevel Community Engagement Model to Develop, Implement, and Assess FLE Programs that Fosters Community Engagement and Project Sustainability

Muhammad Hassan Raza and Erin Kostina-Ritchey

We will conduct a workshop in which we will first explain the Multilevel Community Engagement Model (MCEM). We will also provide a description to the audience about how this model applies in Family Life Education (FLE) programs and can be used as a framework in designing, implementing, and assessing FLE programs. In addition, we will explore how the use of MCEM in designing, implementing, and assessing FLE programs could foster community engagement and participation, produce positive program outcomes, and encourage sustainability. The approach to this workshop will be participatory, and we will actively engage participants throughout the workshop. Participants will also have an opportunity, through guided practice to use the steps provided to evaluate/develop a FLE program on their topic of interest by using this model as they can continue to develop outside of the workshop. We will provide specific steps to develop FLE program and encourage the participants to expand on those steps to develop their FLE program.

  1. Introduce Multilevel Community Engagement Model among participants.
  2. Discuss Multilevel Community Engagement Model as a framework as it applies to FLE Programs.
  3. Guide participates through the application of MCEM to program areas that they are either currently engaged or interested in engaging. Specific emphasis will be placed on a) how to identify, b) encourage c) validate and d) apply community stakeholder


404 - Research & Reality: Helping Parents Find, Value, and Utilize Trustworthy Information

Lori Korthals and MacKenzie Johnson

The “perfect picture of research” doesn’t always align with challenges parents face day-to-day. (STATE)’s parenting team uses Research & Reality to help parents find the balance! This session being proposed focuses on (University’s) approach to helping families find, value, and utilize research-based parenting information like parenting theories, in-the-moment emotion management strategies, and sites where parents can access trustworthy information during challenging moments.

  1. Recognize three key strategies within the campaign they can emulate in their state after the workshop
  2. Describe two parenting practices using a strength-based approach
  3. Use the Stop. Breathe. Talk. emotion management technique in their own life

Closing Remarks: 3:45-4 p.m. CT
Dawn Cassidy, M.Ed., CFLE, NCFR Director of Family Life Education

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