The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) is in the position to provide policymakers—and those working with them—with non-partisan research on families and educational information to help inform decisions that affect families at the federal, state, and local levels.

NCFR policy activities are guided by our global ends that state NCFR will raise the visibility of family research, theory, and practice and the impact of policies on families with policymakers and the public; advocate for family practice professions such as family life education; and to provide members information about the policymaking process.

To these ends, NCFR has increased its policy engagement. A list of full activities can be found below with respect to how NCFR advocates for families, the Family Science discipline, and family-related professions; disseminates research to policymakers and the general public; and provides policy education to its members.

Family research is important in policy decisions. See NCFR’s Statement on Policy


NCFR Research and Policy Briefs

NCFR provides research on families to policymakers in the form of research and policy briefs. The purpose of the briefs is to educate policymakers and others who have an investment in families.

Topics are timely and include a family perspective. Briefs are based on high-quality research; are educational, non-partisan, and objective; are written by experts in the field; and go through a peer-review process.


NCFR Research Summaries

NCFR has created summaries of Family Science research to inform policymakers, educators, practitioners, and community advocates on issues related to strengthening and supporting families. We encourage you to share these research summaries with your legislators and community.


NCFR Policy Advocacy Toolkit

Whether you want to advocate for families, disseminate research to policymakers and the public, support Family Science and its professions, or get involved with policy in other ways that matter to you, NCFR's Policy Advocacy Toolkit can help you get you started on policy advocacy or lobbying in your U.S. state or at the federal level.


United Nations

NCFR helps to provide research to information policies is through its involvement with the United Nations (U.N.). NCFR has been involved with the U.N. since the late 1940s, at least indirectly through the International Union of Family Organizations. NCFR currently holds a nongovernmental organization (NGO) consultative status with the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. This consultative status provides opportunities for our representatives to engage in U.N. events and present family research to help inform policy decisions.

NCFR members Mihaela Robila, Ph.D., CFLE, and Bahira Sherif Trask, Ph.D., NCFR's current U.N. representatives, participate in multiple expert group meetings and organize U.N.-related sessions at the NCFR conference.

2024 marks the 30th anniversary of the International Year of the Family (IYF), and May 15 was the International Day of Families, observed at the United Nations each year with special events to promote awareness and disseminate knowledge about societal factors that affect families.


Advocacy for Families

Advocacy for all families is provided through a number of channels:

  • NCFR Research and Policy Briefsthe briefs are emailed to policymakers to help inform their policy decisions, members, and other organizations. You are also encouraged to share the briefs with policymakers and others who have an investment in families.

  • United Nations – NCFR’s representatives, Drs. Mihaela Robila and Bahira Sherif Trask, participate in different meetings at the U.N. as well as present family research several times a year to U.N. officials. Dr. Robila works directly with the United Nations Focal Point on the Family.

  • NCFR Family Policy Section: The Family Policy Section devotes itself to promoting effective social action for individuals and families by monitoring pressing policy issues; evaluating the potential impacts of new policies; working for effective change; and creating strategies to educate and raise awareness resulting in improved quality of life for individuals, families, and society.

  • Statements of the NCFR Board of Directors: Occasionally, the NCFR Board of Directors will make statements about family-related issues. Their involvement is determined by the Criterial for Advocacy in NCFR's Global Ends Policy 2-C.

  • Bill Track 50: NCFR has an account with Bill Track 50 to track legislation for possible advocacy efforts.

  • Research Summaries: NCFR disseminates research on families through NCFR’s social media channels.

  • Letters to Legislators: NCFR sent a Report, Family Focus article on gun violence to legislators.


Advocacy for the Family Science Discipline and Professions

NCFR associates with organizations that advocate for the social sciences and professional certifications at state and federal government levels. NCFR will also engage in its own efforts to advocate for the Family Science discipline and professions.


NCFR Content With Policy Implications

NCFR provides its members with opportunities to learn about the policymaking process, how policy impacts families through various methods outlined below, and the policy implications of research.


Policy Education

NCFR provides multiple methods to learn about how to engage in policy education, advocacy, or lobbying.

  • Policymaking Guidance: Articles from NCFR Report that provide guidance about how to engage in the policymaking process

  • Webinars: Members can find webinars on how to teach policy in the classroom, how to engage in advocacy, and learning about the legislative process.

  • NCFR Discussion Groups: Discussion groups, particularly the Family Policy discussion group, allow members to discuss policy and its impact on families.

  • Zippy News: NCFR’s e-newsletter provides opportunities to learn more about policy and the policymaking process.