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Scenes from the Department of Human Development and Family Studies

Cooperative Extension at URI

Children, Youth and Family Outreach Education

An understanding of family and human developmental science, its issues, and related opportunities and challenges is critical to any government agency working to meet human needs. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and its partners build effective and widespread collaborations among federal, state, and local agencies to maximize available resources and support family life throughout the nation. NIFA and URI faculty partner to develop research and educational programs that are delivered by extension specialists. These programs enable families to make informed decisions to support their well being.

Current priorities of the Cooperative Extension Family Science and Human Development (FSHD) program include:

  • Family and interpersonal relationships
  • Parenting education
  • Child care provider training
  • Military family life

Cooperative Extension Specialists (Marilyn Martin and Phyllis Bocage) develop and implement educational outreach programs for Rhode Island agencies' staff serving children, youth and families, as well as direct service parent education programs. The goal of these educational programs is to strengthen family systems, improve structure and nurturing practices for parents of children from birth through young adults, and provide professional staff development and training classes for staff/providers who work with children, youth and families.

Cooperative Extension Specialists also secure federal grants from the USDA Children, Youth and Families at Risk program to implement special programs in the community. The current federally funded project is entitled "4-H Pathways for Success in Science and Technology" (PSST) and represents a broader University partnership, that provides Undergraduate and Graduate student mentors from the College of Environment and Life Science and the College of Human Science and Services in direct service outreach education at the community level.