Family Life Education

What is Family Life Education?

Family life education focuses on healthy family functioning, recognizing that one member of the family impacts all members of the family.   Research is clear that the basic skills and knowledge needed for healthy functioning are:

  • strong communication skills,
  • knowledge of typical human development,
  • good decision-making skills,
  • positive self-esteem, and
  • healthy interpersonal relationships.

The goal of family life education is to teach and foster this knowledge and these skills to enable individuals and families to function optimally.

What do Family Life Educators do?

Family life educators work in a variety of settings. Often, they work in the following areas, including:

  • Practice - teaching, education, research/scholarship, program or curricula development;
  • Administration - leadership or management, organizing, coordinating; and
  • Promotion - public policy, lobbying, advocating for system change and awareness.

Family Life Education takes place in a variety of settings. There are probably numerous instances of family life education occurring in your community on any given day. There are family life educators working in health care settings - doing workshops and classes in hospitals, in community education, in faith communities, in junior and senior high schools, in colleges and universities, in social service agencies, in corporate settings, in government agencies, in corrections, in retirement communities and in the military.

How are Family Life Educators certified?

  • National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) provides certification for the profession of family life education. The Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) program encourages applications from professionals with preparation and experience in family life education including formal teaching, research/scholarship, community education, public information and education, curriculum and resource development, health care, military family support, and ministry. Certified family life educators have a minimum of a bachelor's degree; many CFLEs have advanced degrees. 

What do Family Life Educators have to know to become certified?

The Certified Family Life Educator credential requires demonstrated knowledge in the ten family life content areas. 

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