Message on the Florida Conference Location

The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) will hold its 2023 Annual Conference on Nov. 8-11 in Orlando, Florida at the Rosen Centre Hotel (Find registration info here and hotel room info here).

As the number of Florida legislative bills with harmful consequences for families and those working in academia increases, many have asked why we are having a conference in Florida this year. While some NCFR members have expressed their hesitancy to travel to Florida, other NCFR members have expressed the desire for the annual conference to remain in Florida to support NCFR members and colleagues who live and work there.

The decision to keep the annual conference location in Florida is based on two main factors: the need to support our Florida members, and the financial penalties of withdrawing from our hotel contract.

Looking for California travel resources? Click here.

Supporting NCFR Members in Florida

The founders of NCFR had a clear vision of taking the conference to the states in which members live and work. As such, conference locations are chosen where concentrations of NCFR members are located. This approach has served the NCFR members and the organization well. Each time we hold the conference in a given location, attendance from that state and region are significantly higher compared to other locations. The practice of offering the annual conference in different locations across the country ensures regional equity for an accessible and affordable conference.

Florida is one of NCFR’s top membership states with nearly a hundred NCFR members living and working there. The southeastern corner of the United States also provides a strong concentration of members with nearly 500 members in this region. As such, Florida and the southeast is a prime location to hold the NCFR Annual Conference.

Financial Penalties

The 2023 hotel contract was signed in March of 2019. Immediately upon signature, penalties for non-performance on the contract went into effect and increased annually. The current penalty for withdrawing from the contract is just over $363,000. This amount of loss would significantly affect the operation of NCFR and the programs it offers.

Moving Forward

The 2023 NCFR Conference Program Planning Committee is discussing ways to support the NCFR members in Florida and those who choose to attend the 2023 conference in Orlando. These discussions will continue in the weeks and months to come. As always, every attempt will be made to choose conference locations whose laws and practices support all families and Family Science teaching, research, theory, and practice. NCFR conferences are planned for Bellevue, Washington (2024), and Baltimore, Maryland (2025).

We are deeply saddened and sincerely regret that some of NCFR’s members and others in the Family Science community may not attend the conference this year. As in past years, NCFR will offer virtual access to conference sessions via the NCFR Bridge. More information on this program will be made available later in 2023.

Thank you for understanding the complexity of this situation. We appreciate everything you do to support NCFR and understand and strengthen families. Please let us know if we can answer your questions or if you have thoughts about future NCFR conference locations.

Norma Bond Burgess, Ph.D.
President, NCFR

Diane L. Cushman
NCFR Executive Director


A Note for California State Employees

We are aware that under California AB 1887, requests for California state-funded and state-sponsored travel to Florida will not be approved. This California law prohibiting state employee travel is in response to state legislation in 23 states that discriminates based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Unfortunately, on July 1, 2021, Florida was added to this list of states when Florida SB 1028 was signed into law banning transgender youth from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity. Prior to Florida’s addition, NCFR signed the contract with the Rosen Centre Hotel in March of 2019.

In support of your efforts to register for NCFR 2023, please refer to the Reimbursement Exception Request Template as a resource designed to guide your request for reimbursement exception if you choose to take this direction.

California Reimbursement Exception Request Template (PDF)