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CYFC Monthly

CYFC Monthly — September 2015

A note from Mary S. Marczak, Ph.D., recently appointed the director of the Extension Children, Youth & Family Consortium. She also serves as director of Urban Family Development & Evaluation.

I have to begin by saying that I am a huge fan of CYFC and have been since I joined the consortium as an advisory committee member in 2000. I stayed in that role for more than a decade across two directors, and acted as a co-chair of the advisory committee for three years. Given this history, I think you can officially call me a CYFC groupie! I am hoping to have lots of opportunities to connect with CYFC supporters, partners and friends in the future, but till then, here are some quick thoughts on CYFC’s role in the Extension Center for Family Development and some notes on my background.

At the core of Extension Center for Family Development work is a vision for all Minnesota families, no matter their makeup, structure or life stage, to possess the knowledge, skills and resources to create resilient, healthy and secure futures. While the Center for Family Development, and CYFC as an integral part of the center, will continue to have a strong statewide presence, we are expanding and enhancing efforts in urban areas.

The 100-year Extension mission to connect people and communities to University resources continues to validate our reach to places where a majority of Minnesota citizens live, work and play. According to the latest U.S. Census data, nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of Minnesota’s population now live in an urban area, (Census Bureau, 2010). This demographic shift and resulting economic, social and environmental change has opened doors for new opportunities for Extension Center for Family Development.

The National Urban Extension Task Force calls for use of an Extension engagement model rather than an outreach model, and a dynamic and adaptable portfolio of actions and responses to meet the fast pace of urban life. CYFC has historically done this urban-focused work by developing an engaged and interdisciplinary approach to working with both community practitioners and University faculty and staff. CYFC’s leadership in this work is critical to our center’s expanded efforts in urban settings.

A Bit About My Background

Now a little bit about me: I received my Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Science at the University of Arizona. I also honed my skills in naturalistic inquiry and increased my understanding of various cultures through a minor in Cultural Anthropology where I studied under Alice Schlegel, Ph.D., who is renowned for her work with the Hopi nation in Arizona.

Professionally, I have spent nearly 20 years as an evaluation specialist seeking to understand the quality and effectiveness of community-based youth and family programs and initiatives. This work has included past roles as an evaluator and co-PI of a national evaluation project funded by the USDA Children, Youth and Families at Risk (CYFAR) initiative to strengthen Extension’s ability to work with highly under-served communities.

I also spent over six years as a federal liaison to nine states receiving CYFAR New Communities Initiatives grants with a mission of bringing Extension programming to “new” communities, such as communities of recent immigrants. Most recently at the Center for Family Development, I led an applied research and evaluation unit with a very diverse team, whose members hail from Bolivia, Ethiopia, South Korea, India, Mexico, as well as U.S. African American and American Indian communities.

As the director of both CYFC and Urban Family Development, I am excited about the opportunity to more closely integrate the work of CYFC with the Extension Center for Family Development. Please visit the CYFC website to learn more about what we’re doing. I look forward to meeting our CYFC partners (both old and new) and thank you for your important work to strengthen children, youth and families. Feel free to contact me at if you have questions or interest in our work.

Consortium News

New Collaborative Report on Data Sharing for Child Welfare and Education Systems Issued
Editor: University of Minnesota Extension Center for Family Development Children, Youth & Family Consortium
The Child Welfare and Education Learning Community is a collaboration among researchers, practitioners and policymakers working to address issues in child welfare and education systems across three states: Illinois, Minnesota, and North Carolina. This report is a summary of the group’s efforts to share research and practice knowledge about issues of gathering, sharing and using data across systems. The report also makes recommendations for enhancing data sharing and use across child welfare and education systems.

Taylor Johnson Joins CYFC Team as Communications Intern
Taylor is a junior majoring in strategic communications who will be working with CYFC on our partnership with Bruce Vento Elementary School. She recently received the CLA Alumni Award Undergraduate Internship Scholarship for her work with us. She enjoys helping CYFC create communication materials so that others can learn about the great work being done at Bruce Vento.

CYFC’s New Video Explores Partnership with Bruce Vento Elementary School
In this first of a series of videos about this partnership, see the many strengths of the Bruce Vento staff, students, and community, and the ongoing work to enhance trauma-sensitive practices in the school. Watch the video here.

Register now for the next Lessons from the Field!
Children in Common: Ensuring the Emotional Well-Being of Children When Parenting Apart — Conference
Sponsor: University of Minnesota Extension Center for Family Development — Children, Youth & Family Consortium
Date: October 22, 2015
Cost: $25-$50
Location: Minneapolis U of M McNamara Alumni Center and live web stream
This year's Lessons from the Field conference, “Children in Common: Ensuring the Emotional Well-Being of Children When Parenting Apart,” features two nationally known research and practice professionals: Kathryn Edin, Ph.D., professor of sociology at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and James McHale, Ph.D., director of the Family Study Center at the University of South Florida-St. Petersburg. Edin’s studies on poverty have influenced research, practice, and policy; McHale is the nation's leading researcher on coparenting dynamics in diverse family systems. Joining them will be four panelists from Minnesota who will help participants:

Attend in person at the McNamara Alumni Center or watch on the web. Register here.

Attachment Matters: Raising the Bar for Child Well-Being — ConferenceSponsor: Association for Training on Trauma and Attachment in Children (ATTACh)
Dates: September 24-27, 2015
Cost: $75-$520
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Association for Training on Trauma and Attachment in Children will host a conference for parents and professionals from across North America to learn from one another and receive cutting-edge training from leading speakers in the field of trauma and attachment. University of Minnesota Extension is a co-sponsor of this conference, and CYFC staff Sara Langworthy, Cari Michaels, and Judy Myers will be presenting on CYFC's work creating trauma-sensitive contexts through community partnerships. Find more information and register here.

University & Community Announcements

Embedding Core Principles of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health into Curricula — Faculty Symposium
Sponsor: Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health
Dates: August 4-5, 2015
Cost: $375-$395
Location: Collegeville, MN
Kathleen Thomas, Ph.D. and Anne Gearity, Ph.D., LICSW, both of the University of Minnesota, will lead Minnesota-based faculty members and graduate assistants working in family sciences, public health, nursing, social work, early care and education, and more in a discussion of cutting-edge research, theory and application of core principles of infant and early childhood mental health. Participants will receive resources to add to existing courses. Find out more and register here. [no longer active]

Beyond Bullying: Respecting, Protecting and Connecting All Youth — Summer Institute
Sponsor: University of Minnesota Center for Adolescent Nursing and the School of Nursing
Dates: July 27-29, 2015
Cost: $300
Location: St. Paul, MN
Learn what contributes to bullying while exploring the negative effects of relational, physical, and cyberbullying on adolescents’ social and emotional development. Explore when and how to respond to bullying and how other professionals are working to prevent and respond to it. Author and consultant Barbara Coloroso and Justin Patchin, Ph.D., Professor of Criminal Justice at University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, will be the featured speakers during the 2015 Summer Institute. Learn more and register here [no longer active].

Ripples of Resilience: Cultivating Care for Self and Community — Workshop
Sponsor: University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development
Date: August 26, 2015
Cost: $25-$50
Location: St. Paul, MN
Join other youth-serving professionals for this workshop where you will learn basic concepts of stress and trauma and strategies to care for oneself and others. Participants will better understand their own stress triggers and receive tools to respond to the impact of stress on their own life and those around them. Learn more and register here.

Moment to Moment: Teens Growing up with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder — Movie Screening
Sponsor: Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Dates: August 5, 2015
Cost: Free
Location: St. Paul, MN
Join fellow professionals for an hour-long documentary movie that explores the lives of four adolescents with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. The film, sponsored by the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, explores the effect that prenatal alcohol exposure has had and continues to have on the four adolescents’ journeys to finding independence, fulfillment, and understanding of the world around them. The movie will be followed by a moderated panel discussion. Register here.

Prevention and the Child Protection Professionals: Implementing Effective Child Abuse Prevention Programs — Training
Sponsor: Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center
Dates: July 29-30, 2015
Location: St. Louis Park, MN
Cost: $99-$199
Alison Feigh, program manager with the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center, will give you specific tools during this training on building empathy and creating positive change. Learn to recognize factors in your community that contribute to child maltreatment, how to ensure child maltreatment is reported, and about initiatives to protect children. View details and register here.

Job Opportunities

University of Minnesota Extension Center for Family Development — SNAP-Ed Associate Program Director

University of Minnesota Extension — Multiple Openings

Headway Emotional Health Services — Multiple Openings

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