Family Life Education with Diverse Populations
Publication Year: 2012
Editors Sharon M. Ballard and Alan C. Taylor bridge the gap between research and practice by examining and presenting key strategies for working with diverse populations, including those based on race and ethnicity, family structure, geographic location, and context. By defining 11 diverse groups and presenting their strengths and unique cultural characteristics, the editors present an evidence-based practice approach with each chapter, prescribing the best practices for working with these diverse groups in regard to general family life education (FLE) needs, educator characteristics, ethical considerations, marketing and recruitment, modes of learning, and environmental considerations. This book is essential for students who are preparing to work with families, as well as professionals engaging in FLE activities with diverse populations.
- Front Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: Best Practices in Family Life Education
- Chapter 2: Family Life Education with Rural Families
- Chapter 3: Family Life Education with Prison Inmates and their Families
- Chapter 4: Family Life Education with Court-Mandated Parents and Families
- Chapter 5: Family Life Education with Military Families
- Chapter 6: Family Life Education with Grandfamilies: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
- Chapter 7: Family Life Education with American Indian Families
- Chapter 8: Family Life Education with Latino Immigrant Families
- Chapter 9: Family Life Education with Asian Immigrant Families
- Chapter 10: Family Life Education with Arab Immigrant Families
- Chapter 11: Family Life Education with Black Families
- Chapter 12: Family Life Education with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Families
- Chapter 13: Preparing Family Life Educators to Work with Diverse Populations
Copyright © 2012 by SAGE Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Printed in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Family life education with diverse populations / [edited by] Sharon M. Ballard, Alan C. Taylor.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-4129-9178-0 (pbk.)
I. Family life education. 2. Families. I. Ballard, Sharon M. II. Taylor, Alan C.
This book is printed on acid-free paper.
11 12 13 14 15 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
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There is a constant need for more information and resources specific to the field of family life education. In this time of “evidence-based,” “best practices,” “outcomes,” etc., it is apparent that there is a particular need for a resource that helps family life educators identify best practices within family life education. One of the cornerstones of family life education is the importance of meeting the needs of the target audience. The challenge is to understand and then to meet the unique needs of so many diverse audiences. Thus, the idea of a book that pulled together best practices in family life education specific to various populations was born. We decided to test the idea in a symposium at the annual conference of the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR). We had a successful symposium at the conference in 2009 and had much positive feedback. We immediately began soliciting chapter authors who would be able to provide valuable insights and contributions to a book on family life education with diverse populations. The result is a book that captures the essence of 11 different populations and provides practical information vital to anyone who works with families.
There are many potential audiences for this book. First, it can be used as a textbook for courses in family life education, family diversity, human services, and community practice. The book can be used in professional development or training activities with practicing family professionals. Finally, practicing family professionals within community agencies; cooperative extension services; or other local, state, or national organizations that work with diverse populations will find this book to be a valuable resource.
Judith Myers-Walls (2000) has suggested that family life education is faced with questions of family diversity from three perspectives: (1) What will an educator teach? (2) Whom will an educator teach? (3) How will an educator teach? (p. 359; please see the References in Chapter 1 for the full reference).
Our book, Family Life Education With Diverse Populations, addresses all three of these questions posed by Myers-Walls.
This book includes chapters on the following populations: rural families; prison inmates and their families; court-mandated parents and families; military families; [Page viii]grandfamilies: grandparents raising grandchildren; American Indian families; Latino immigrant families; Asian immigrant families; Arab immigrant families; black families; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) families. We recognize that there are many populations omitted from this volume. However, great care was taken in selecting these 11 groups. First, we chose populations with clear parameters that might have unique needs. For example, immigrant family groups are included because of the specific issues related to language and cultural adaptation. Similarly, American Indian families are included because of the unique parameters of working on a reservation with Native families. We also make a conscious attempt to fill the gap in the literature. There are some populations for which there are more materials available or whose needs might not demand unique content or methods.
This book pulls together the best of what is known about working with these 11 populations in an effort to provide a foundation and a starting place for family life educators. The goal of this book is to provide clear information on what research has shown to work (best practices) when designing and implementing family life education programming with various populations. Each chapter is written by an author(s) who has some sort of experience with the respective population and describes this experience at the beginning of the chapter. Each chapter, other than the introductory (Chapter 1) and concluding chapters (Chapter 13), has a consistent format. Using the questions posed by Myers-Walls (2000) in thinking about serving diverse audiences, the first three sections of the chapter answer the question of “Whom will the educator teach?”: (1) defining the population, (2) unique aspects of the population, and (3) strengths and assets of the population. This section lays the foundation for work with this population. There are many in-depth resources available that cover many of these populations. Consequently, the goal was not to duplicate them but to provide an overview of unique aspects of the population that might provide a foundation for programming as well as strengths of the population on which family life educators can build.
The next sections answer the questions “What will the educator teach?” and “How will the educator teach?” and includes the following specific headings: (1) Current State of Family Life Education With This Population, (2) General Needs of This Population and Rationale for Family Life Education, (3) Marketing/Recruitment, (4) Barriers to Participation, (5) Environmental Considerations, (6) Modes of Learning, (7) Educator Characteristics, (8) Ethical Considerations, and (9) Best Practices in Family Life Education Programming. The chapter concludes with Future Directions. Throughout these sections, authors were asked to [Page ix]glean best practices from the literature and to present a sample of successful or promising programs. We also asked authors to use examples from their own work to illustrate these best practices.
Chapter 1 further explores issues related to evidence-based practices (EBPs) and programs and the difficulties with which family life educators are faced in negotiating the need for an evidence-base in their work. A Framework for Best Practices in Family Life Education is introduced in an effort to clarify which components of family life education are truly essential for best practice consideration. Chapter 13 concludes the book with a discussion of important components of an effective family life educator and how we can move the profession of family life education forward.How to Use this Book
Information in this book can be used to do the following:
- Improve an existing program to better reflect the needs of a specific population
- Adapt a universal program to fit a specific population
- Develop a new program for a particular population
- Assess current programming efforts to see if it is adequate for the target audience
- Increase understanding of various populations, the importance of knowing your audience, and knowing which questions to ask and what program components should be considered when thinking of cultural relevance
- Increase capacity to adequately meet needs of particular participants within a mixed population (e.g., a parent education class with gay/lesbian parents, Latino immigrant parents, and grandparents raising grandchildren in the audience)
- Identify evidence-based programs that are available for a given population
Readers will benefit from the experienced eye of the authors as they present a balance of information and pull it together in a way that has, to date, not been done before. This volume is one that all family life educators will want on their shelf and that they will refer to often. It is our hope that this volume will assist family life educators to better meet the needs of diverse families, thereby strengthening and enriching families.[Page x]Acknowledgments
As we finished this book, we recognized that we had been involved in this project for nearly 3 years. It was an e-mail exchange on September 19, 2008, from Sharon to Alan with an idea for a book that would fill a needed gap in the field of family life education. We look back at this journey as one in which we've each grown significantly in our personal and professional lives as family life educators and have a stronger understanding of family life education work with diverse populations than ever before. We've come to recognize that we now have more sympathy and compassion for anyone who has taken or will take on the task of editing scholarly books! With that said, we've been fortunate to work closely with some of the brightest and most experienced family life educators. They have written such thought-provoking and interesting chapters for this book. We thank them for their great contributions.
Along with the chapter authors, there are many other people we would like to thank who have helped to make this book a reality. First, we would like to thank Kassie Graves at Sage and her production team for their assistance, support, and guidance. We would like to thank the reviewers of the initial book proposal for their insightful feedback that immediately began to shape the book into its final product. We would like to thank Sarah Miller for her attention to detail and editorial assistance. Lorraine Blackman was an early contributor on the chapter addressing family life education with black families, and we thank her for her efforts.
Finally, we would like to thank our families. Sharon would like to thank her husband, Kevin Gross, and her son, Jamie Gross, for their love and continued patience and support during this project. Alan would like to thank his wife, Kelly, for being a wonderful partner and sounding board for his thoughts and ideas associated with this book. She was helpful in her critical review and feedback during the writing and editing process. Alan would also like to thank Kelly and his five children (Bronson, Holden, Camryn, Ethan, and Lauryn) for their constant love and support, particularly associated with this book project.
About the Editors[Page xi]
Sharon M. Ballard, PhD, CFLE, CFCS, is an associate professor in the Department of Child Development and Family Relations at East Carolina University. She has been a certified family life educator (CFLE) since 1998 and is serving her seventh year on the CFLE advisory board with the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR). After teaching Family and Consumer Sciences for 6 years at the high school level, Sharon completed her graduate work in Child and Family Studies at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville and started teaching at the university level. She has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in family life education and family studies, and has conducted a variety of family life education programs in community settings. She has also authored or coauthored numerous journal articles, many of which are about family life education.
Alan C. Taylor, PhD, CFLE, is an assistant professor in the Department of Child Development and Family Relations at East Carolina University. Alan has taught family life education and family relationship curriculum at the university level for the past 14 years. He has worked within the community as a family life educator in a state prison setting and also as a court-mandated parenting instructor. Alan received his master's degree in family life education from Brigham Young University, his PhD in Family and Child Development from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and has held the credential of CFLE since 1998. He has authored or coauthored numerous journal articles and book chapters within edited books.[Page xii]
About the Contributing Authors