What is Family Life Education?
Family Life Education is the professional practice of equipping and empowering family members to develop knowledge and skills that enhance well-being and strengthen interpersonal relationships through an educational, preventive, and strengths-based approach.
The skills and knowledge needed for healthy family functioning are widely known:
- strong communication skills
- knowledge of typical human development
- good decision-making skills, positive self-esteem
- healthy interpersonal relationships
The goal of Family Life Education (abbreviated FLE) is to teach these skill and knowledge areas to family members across the lifespan, and foster positive individual and family development so families can function optimally.
Family Life Educators have knowledge based in the discipline of Family Science, and they are employed in a variety of settings and roles. They consider societal issues — economics, education, work-family issues, parenting, sexuality, gender, and more — within the context of the family. They believe that societal problems like substance abuse, domestic violence, unemployment, debt, and child abuse can be more effectively addressed from a perspective that considers individuals and families as part of larger systems.
Family Life Educators empower families themselves to apply knowledge about healthy family functioning to prevent or minimize problems.
Learn more about how Family Life Education compares to two other practice areas that apply Family Science: family therapy and family case management.
Certified Family Life Educators
Family Life Educators can obtain the Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) credential through the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR). The CFLE credential is the nationally recognized standard in Family Life Education and validates a professional's experience and knowledge as a Family Life Educator.
CFLEs have proven knowledge in the 10 Family Life Education Content Areas (PDF):
- Families and Individuals in Societal Contexts
- Internal Dynamics of Families
- Human Growth and Development Across the Lifespan
- Human Sexuality
- Interpersonal Relationships
- Family Resource Management
- Parent Education and Guidance
- Family Law and Public Policy
- Professional Ethics and Practice
- Family Life Education Methodology