Policy Activities at NCFR, Highlighting the 2018 NCFR Annual Conference

Jennifer Crosswhite, Ph.D., CFLE, Director of Research and Policy Education
/ Fall 2018 NCFR Report

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It’s that time of the year again—preparing for the NCFR Annual Conference. The Conference Program Chair, Bahira Sherif Trask, Ph.D., and the Conference Program Planning Committee have pulled together another excellent conference with many high-quality sessions, including plenaries, special sessions, invited presenter symposia, and more. The theme for this year’s conference, “Families and Cultural Intersections in a Global Context: Innovations in Research, Practice, and Policies” will focus on innovative approaches, theories, research, policies, and programs that support and strengthen families in all types of Western and non-Western settings. The specific conference goals are as follows:

  • Highlight research on families in Western and non-Western contexts, culturally and socially marginalized families, and families that live at or embody cultural intersections.
  • Feature innovative evidence-based best practices, programs, and pedagogies that promote family resiliency and well-being in varying settings.
  • Draw attention to and critically analyze policies that support and strengthen all types of families, including the most vulnerable.

I want to take this time to call your attention to some of the many policy sessions that will occur during this year’s conference. Be sure to check out the conference program (ncfr.org/2018-schedule) for a full list of policy and policy-related posters and sessions not listed here—and all of the other sessions too.

Wednesday, Nov. 7

  • Navigating Disruption and Change in Diverse Families, a Family Policy Section lightning paper session

Thursday, Nov. 8

  • Child Well-Being, Poverty, and Family Policy Across the Life Course: Lessons From High-Income Countries, the Thursday plenary with Dominic Richardson, Ph.D., organized by Conference Program Chair Bahira Sherif Trask, Ph.D.
  • Family First Prevention and Services Act: Enabling Federal Child Welfare Reform Through Research and Evidence Use, an invited presenter symposium organized by the Family Policy Section
  • International Organizations and Agencies That Focus on Family Research and Its Application to Family Policies, a special session organized by Conference Program Chair Bahira Sherif Trask, Ph.D.  
  • The Family: The Forgotten Link in Public Health, an invited presenter symposium organized by the Families and Health Section

Friday, Nov. 9

  • “A Conscious Policy of Cultural Genocide:” Indian Boarding Schools and Implications for Family, a special session
  • Child Custody and Coparenting Arrangements in the Context of Intimate Partner Violence, an invited presenter symposium organized by the Family Policy Section

Saturday, Nov. 10

  • The Intersection of Gun Violence and Mental Health: Reframing the Policy Dialogue, a special session organized by the Family Policy Section
  • Migration to Deportation and the Stress In Between, a concurrent paper session organized by the Ethnic Minorities Section

In addition to the Thursday plenary with Dominic Richardson, the three other scheduled plenaries are sure to inspire us to think critically about family policy implications and how the research can and should impact policies at the federal, state, and local levels. See page 6 for details on the plenary sessions.

One final session to highlight is the Inclusion and Diversity Committee’s special session, Conversations on Social Justice: How Our Social Locations Shape Our Work, on Wednesday, Nov. 7.

Be sure to check out all of the excellent sessions offered throughout the conference related to policy, advocacy, social justice, and more. You can find a full list of these sessions and more in the annual conference program. The 2018 NCFR Annual Conference is sure to generate multiple ideas, connections with new and familiar colleagues, and future conference proposals!

An Update on NCFR's Research and Policy Brief Editor

By now, I hope you have heard that Elaine Anderson, Ph.D., is NCFR’s new research and policy brief editor. The purpose of the research and policy briefs is to provide policymakers and others with research on families to help inform decisions that affect families at the federal, state, and local levels. Dr. Anderson is a nationally recognized leader and scholar in family policy, as well as the founder and codirector of the Maryland Family Policy Impact Seminar, and she is passionate about understanding the impact policies have on families.

Dr. Anderson began her role as the new editor in June 2018 and immediately started working on developing a queue of briefs to reach the goal of publishing four research or policy briefs per year. Two briefs were published in 2018, which can be viewed at bit.ly/NCFRbriefs:

  • How Parental Incarceration Harms Children and What to Do About It by Sara Wakefield and Christopher Wildeman in January 2018
  • Parent and Family Life Education: A Critical Link in Early Children Education Policy by Glen Palm and Betty Cooke in July 2018

We look forward to the continued advancement of the research and policy briefs under Dr. Anderson’s leadership.