About Family Development
University of Minnesota Extension's Center for Family Development helps families make informed decisions leading to better health and well-being.
Learn more about us below or read the full 2016 Annual Report.
Extension Center for Family Development, through its nimbleness, innovation, and relevance, teaches families and those who serve families to make informed decisions leading to greater health, resilience and well-being. As a result of our programs, Minnesota families — no matter their makeup, structure, or place in life — possess the knowledge and skills to create resilient, healthy, and secure futures.
We accomplish our mission by:
- Delivering trustworthy, relevant, and research-based education.
- Working closely with communities and organizations to build the strengths of individuals and families of all types and backgrounds.
- Capitalizing on University research and faculty.
- Building a faculty and staff team.
- Showing key stakeholders the value of our work.
- Securing resources to sustain and grow programs.
Here's a snapshot of what we accomplished in 2016:
- Nearly 95 percent of professionals who work with parents and families improved their skills.
- Parents reported significant improvement across seven categories of parenting skills.
- After taking a Parents Forever™ class, 98 percent of parents said they were likely to adjust their parenting practices to better meet their children’s needs.
- Divorcing and unmarried parents improved their coparenting relationships in ways that are known to be effective in supporting positive child outcomes.
- 484 health and nutrition professionals, organizations, and policy makers took action to promote food literacy, active living, and healthy food access. Actions included organizational culture changes and adoption of practices and policies.
- Almost 60 percent of program participants used research-based information from Extension to improve their intake of healthy foods and engagement in physical activity.
- 10 ongoing research projects continued to support families, children, and youth in increasing their understanding of healthy food choices.
You can help Family Development staff and programs have a greater impact on Minnesota families by giving to one of these funds.
Qualey-Skjervold Scholarship and Professional Development Fund — Support professional development and scholarships for University of Minnesota Extension professionals in family development.
Jean W. Bauer Fund in Family Financial Management — Support University of Minnesota Extension program initiatives in family economics, and may assist with basic financial literacy programming, public policy education regarding families struggling with limited incomes, online resources, and professional development.
Jean Illsley Clarke and Richard Clarke Fund for Parent Education — Provide financial support to Parent Education programs and their development at the University of Minnesota Extension’s Center for Family Development. This includes, but is not limited to, the creation of online, independent learning activities and books, and to contribute to the development of a template for designing online self-guided learning activities.
Cooking Matters® Minnesota — Provide support for nutrition education through the University of Minnesota Extension Cooking Matters® program.
Sharon Torbenson O'Gorman Fund in Nutrition — Support nutrition education and outreach efforts in the Center for Family Development at the University of Minnesota Extension.
Children, Youth & Family Consortium Fund — Support the diverse programs and activities of the University of Minnesota Extension’s Children, Youth, and Family Consortium.
Extension Center for Family Development — Support the programs of the Center for Family Development at University of Minnesota Extension
Connect with Us
You can get connected to the Extension Center for Family Development by:
- Participating in one of our Family Development Online Courses.
- Joining our listserv for professionals: Family Education Network (FEN).
- Getting involved with our Cooking Matters® MN program by becoming a Volunteer.
- Exploring an available staff position: Employment and Jobs: Family Development.
- Contacting the Family Development Leadership Team.
Applied Research and Evaluation — See more of our applied research and program evaluation projects.
Who We Are (322 K PDF) — Download this handout about our promise to Minnesota families and how we accomplish our mission.
2016 Annual Report — See highlights from the Extension Center for Family Development.
Cooperative Extension: Extending Knowledge, Changing Lives — Get an overview of what Extension is on a national level, including what it does, why it is valued, how it is organized, and more.