Home & Family
Human Sciences Extension provides research-based family and child development programs to promote healthy people, strong families, and elevated communities.
Background: Bullying is a public health concern for school-age children. The Alabama Student Harassment Prevention Act has mandated that public schools have antiharassment/antibullying activities every year. Alabama Extension’s Be SAFE: Safe, Affirming, and Fair Environments program helps fulfill this requirement for schools in our state.
Human Sciences Response: Seven Family and Child Development regional Extension agents led by Human Development and Family Studies faculty and Extension specialists in the College of Human Sciences partnered with 13 middle schools across Alabama to address bullying. Youth engaged in antiharassment/antibullying activities designed to increase prosocial behaviors in adolescents to reduce bullying behaviors. Be SAFE is a five-lesson initiative that promotes knowledge about harassment and bullying, skills to regulate emotions, and behavioral strategies to help young people and others who are experiencing harassment.
In 2017, Be SAFE was implemented in 13 schools as a five-part series for ages 11 to 15.
Number of Participants: 1,174 Human Sciences Results:
- 832 youth increased their knowledge of strategies to help someone who is being bullied.
- 1,100 youth created strategies to implement when they do not feel safe at school.
- Bullying behaviors decreased 2% in classrooms after the curriculum was presented.
Extension Outreach through National Association for Family Child Care Providers (NAFCCP)
Background: One of the goals of Alabama Extension’s early childhood support programs is distribution of educational information to parents. Major stakeholders in this effort are the family childcare providers.
Human Sciences Response: In 2017, Alabama Extension initiated a transition to e-services. To test the desire and need for this information, Extension educators set up a booth at the National Association for Family Child Care Providers conference in Mobile, Alabama, and collected feedback including the number of brochures distributed during the two days of the conference.
- 2,500 brochures distributed to more than 700 delegates
- The most popular publication was the two-fold “Ages and Stages” series for lower reading level audiences.
- Feedback from family child care providers indicated that this was an appropriate type of information for their needs.
Number of Participants: 760 registered attendees from across the United States. 50% of attendees were from the Southeast.
Background: Almost 70 percent of the residents of Marengo County, which has a poverty rate of 26 percent, are eligible for free and reduced-price lunches. The food insecurity rate is 22 percent while 21.7 percent of the population is in tracts with no health food outlets. According to the US Census Bureau, 62.9 percent of the population under 18 is at or below the poverty level. Marengo County families who are in need and who qualify for the Summer Feeding Program, the Free/Reduced Lunch Program, and the Free/Reduced Breakfast Program are not using available healthy food assistance.
Human Sciences Response: Human Sciences Extension’s Family and Child Development team was instrumental in bringing together local agencies, community members, and schools in an effort to continue the Summer Feeding Program when it was forfeited. With Extension’s offer of services and materials, the county commission agreed to continue a portion of the program with a new sponsor, the Theo Ratliff Activity Center, sponsoring the other portion. Human Sciences Extension purchased tables, coolers, outdoor tents, and cleaning supplies to provide a safe place for children to gather and to eat.
Number of Participants: 689 children
Human Sciences Results
- 689 more families and children have access to meals during the school day and in the summer
- 689 children are less food insecure
- 20,698 meals served to food-insecure children
FAMILY AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH, AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS, AND PUBLICATIONS
Number of Research Awards: 4
Number of Research Presentations: 15
Trainings for School and Community Professionals: 6
Funded Research: $ 3,579,124
Number of Child Development and Family Life Education Classes: 168
Number of Families Participating in Child Development and Family Life Education: 2,623
* Audience diversity indicates those self-reporting demographics.