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About Us

Our Mission

Bridging relationships in community and university to create






answers for pressing challenges facing children, youth, and families.

Our Mantra: Be the Bridge

We believe it is essential to not only build bridges, but at times to serve as bridges between diverse communities of practice, research, policy.

See who is on the CYFC Advisory Board.

Our History

The University of Minnesota established the Children, Youth & Family Consortium (CYFC) in 1992 to serve as a catalyst for creating authentic partnerships among community practitioners and University faculty and staff. CYFC is intentionally interdisciplinary, and its primary purpose is to create discussions and engage communities in identifying and finding solutions to issues facing children and families.

Did you know?

The Children, Youth and Family Consortium has been serving the research, practice and policy community for over 20 years.

The University president charged CYFC founders with ensuring that the knowledge and resources of the University not remain on library shelves, but actively benefit Minnesota's children, youth, and families. For over twenty years, and with the support of University administrators, faculty, and staff, CYFC has promoted the full use of research and education. CYFC works through partnerships with communities and organizations to raise the profile of salient issues that children, youth, and families face. During this time, a sense of urgency has grown around children’s mental health, trauma and stress, health and education disparities, and healthy school environments. These have become areas of particular focus for CYFC.

With its capacity to build bridges between campus units, faculty, community practitioners, and policy professionals, CYFC joined University of Minnesota Extension as part of the Extension Center for Family Development in July, 2010. The CYFC purpose continues as we work closely with our Extension partners in Minnesota and nationally to carry out our mission.

Our Priorities

Our Process

CYFC grapples with complex, developmental challenges that influence families and communities.

We Listen

chartWe believe the first step in any partnership is listening to each other.

Through hearing one others’ perspectives, we begin to understand the strengths and needs of our communities. Listening allows for co-creation.

We Co-Create

We partner in reciprocal and respectful relationships to co-create meaningful initiatives that promote families’ health and wellbeing.

Relationship building requires time and patience to develop trust and mutual visioning. Co-creation takes time, but the process is invaluable in building trust and deepening partnerships. Once we have co-created something, we share these outcomes widely with others.

We Share

We believe through sharing our work, others learn and can adapt our process and outcomes to inform their work with communities.

Listening to feedback about our work continues the process of co-creating and sharing.

Our Perspectives

Development occurs at every stage of life.

All individuals go through processes of change throughout their lives that have lasting effects on their well-being. Over time, the interaction of biological and environmental factors shape an individual's life course.

The challenges faced by families and children are complex.

Contexts in which families live have profound influence on their health and well-being. As our Circles of Influence model (465 K PDF) illustrates, diverse factors and environments affect children and families daily. The push and pull of these factors makes the challenges that families face complex. Addressing complex problems requires flexible, strengths-based solutions across all environments.

Addressing challenges requires interdisciplinary perspectives.

Because challenges families face are complex, diverse and interdisciplinary perspectives are required to address them. Complex problems require solutions that integrate the promising practices and diverse ways of knowing from multiple disciplines in order to be successful.

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