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Family Life

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Society has undergone dramatic social, demographic and economic changes in this century that have deeply affected youth and their families in this country. The data on South Carolina families’ economic status, nutrition and health, housing conditions and their children’s school readiness, school achievement, risk behaviors and physical well-being provide a troublesome picture of the conditions in this state.

Families are critical in the physical, emotional, spiritual, and social development of children. Research indicates that families are unique and individual, yet share common strengths. We must remember that:

When families falter, children suffer. Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service provides educational opportunities that build on protective factors such as social competencies, decision making, communication skills, and interpersonal relationships. These resources are designed to meet the needs of the family throughout the life cycle - prenatal to elderly.

The focus of the Extension Family Life program is two-fold.

Strengthening Family and Youth

Effective families contribute to positive individual development, a quality work place and workforce, caring communities, and a healthy nation. All families must be strengthened through programs which teach youth and adults coping skills, effective communication skills, effective decision-making and an appreciation of heritage. The Building Family Strengths program focuses on 10 characteristics for strong families. Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers the following Building Family Strengths publications **:

The ten Family Strengths listed above provide the framework for a comprehensive approach to strengthening families by focusing on the developmental stages throughout the lifecycle.

Helping Families Cope During Times of Change

Programs in this area will strengthen the capacity of families to nurture, support and guide their members throughout their lives. Coping skills are designed and taught to both youth and adults.

Program Highlights

Family Life Education empowers youth, families and communities by providing educational programs that strengthen adults and youth and help families cope during times of change.

Resources are:

The following Family Life publication is available from Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service publications.

South Carolina Association of Family & Consumer Sciences

The South Carolina Association of Family & Consumer Sciences is a state affiliate of the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS). The AAFCS is recognized as “the comprehensive and integrative source of knowledge and the primary voice focusing on family, individual and community well-being.”

Family Life Resources

A Child Abuse Statistics and Research Reference Guide For Social Workers - a good source for statistics on child abuse
Building Self Esteem Resources
- the in-depth information directory about building self-esteem keeps you informed - tips on caring for yourself while caring for an aging loved one
Children Now - features information and news about children’s advocacy issues
Children’s Defense Fund - their goal is to educate the nation about the needs of children
Child Welfare Information Gateway - information & resources to help protect children and strengthen families
Chill Skills: Anger Management & Conflict Resolution for Professionals - PowerPoint presentation
CYFERNet - Children, Youth, and Families Education and Research Network
Family Support America - the nation’s catalyst, clearinghouse, and thought leader in family support
Helping America’s Youth - a nationwide effort to benefit children and teenagers by encouraging action in family, school, and community
KIDS COUNT - a national and state-by-state effort to track the status of children in the United States
The Leader in Me - helps develop the essential life skills and characteristics students need in order to thrive in the 21st century
National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS)
National Center for Children in Poverty
- identifies and promotes strategies that prevent child poverty in the U.S. and that improve the lives of low-income children and their families
National Council on Family Relations - shares the development and dissemination of knowledge about families and family relationships
National Extension Relationship & Marriage Education Network - provides information on healthy relationship and marriage education efforts and resources
National P.T.A. - everychild. onevoice
PTA Central - a central information resource for PTA groups, PTO groups and other school related parent teacher organizations
Resources for Families in Crisis - resources to help a family during a crisis
SC AfterSchool Alliance - raise awareness, help to increase sustainability and promote the importance of quality after school programs in South Carolina
SC Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office- gathers, researches, maintains, and provides independent & professional analysis, information, and reports to state and local officials
Search Institute - a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide leadership, knowledge, and resources to promote healthy children, youth, and communities
South Carolina Department of Social Services - Statistics and services for children and families in S.C.
United Health Foundation - dedicated to helping consumers make informed health choices
United States Census Bureau - your source for social, demographic, and economic information
A World of Possibilities - a human development curriculum designed and developed by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.

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