Cooke and Palm Receive CFLE Special Recognition Award

Dawn Cassidy, M.Ed., CFLE, Director of Family Life Education

Betty and Glen
Glen and Betty

Each year NCFR recognizes one or more Certified Family Life Educators (CFLEs) who have made an impact on the CFLE program, whether through ongoing efforts or through involvement in a specific event or activity that has helped increase awareness and understanding of the CFLE designation and the practice of Family Life Education. This year the CFLE Advisory Board chose to recognize two CFLEs, Dr. Betty Cooke and Dr. Glen Palm, for their work in the development and promotion of ethical guidelines for the practice of parent and Family Life Education. 

Both Betty and Glen were active members of the Minnesota state affiliate chapter of NCFR (known as MCFR and later MNCFR) for many years. In 1992, MCFR, began exploring ethical thinking and practice for parent and family educators. This included gathering information through meetings, consultations, study, and discussion with ethics experts and family practitioners as well as the development of a case study process. The first booklet on ethical thinking and practice was published in 1998 and outlined a framework that incorporated principles, relational, and virtues ethics. The practice of ethics was approached using a group process that was developed through workshops with practitioners. One of the mantras of this work was that ethics is an active and evolving process which has proven to be true. The MCFR and NCFR booklets documenting this work have been revised and updated several times. Most recently the framework and process have been reviewed to provide a social and racial justice lens. 

The ethical guidelines process has proven to be an invaluable tool and resource for Family Life Educators. The CFLE Code of Ethics is based on the principles within these guidelines. The Tools for Ethical Thinking and Practice booklet has been used by thousands of students and practitioners to guide them in considering and acting on ethical situations and dilemmas. Glen has contributed multiple articles to NCFR publications. Additionally, both Betty and Glen have worked as mentors to provide opportunities to consider ethical issues through a case study process for articles in the CFLE Network

We are grateful to Betty and Glen, and all the people involved in the development of the ethical guidelines process for the invaluable contribution it has made to the practice of Family Life Education. It was a pleasure to recognize them with this award at the CFLE reception.