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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Illinois Sesquicentennial College of ACES
Department of Human Development and Family Studies
Give to Human Development and Family Studies

Our Outreach Efforts

Serving the citizens of Champaign-Urbana and the state of Illinois at large, our faculty are dedicated to applied research and educational outreach in the areas of parenting, child care, relationships, health promotion, and youth services to name a few.  Our outreach efforts often extend to individuals and families in states across the nation and internationally (e.g., Mexico).

We have a long tradition of creating unique educational resources and programs for helping families and working with children including our Child Development Laboratory and Child Care Resource Service. One of our latest developments is a resource center that provides services to families dealing with autism.

Although most of our educational programs are delivered through traditional, face to face workshops, we have utilized the Internet to expand our reach by creating online delivery systems for many of our programs. Parenting 24/7, for example, is web-based resource for parents created by Dr. Aaron Ebata. The program has an online delivery system, provides research-based information that is accessible to parents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and has won National Awards for outstanding Extension programming.

Parents who are interested in managing work and life issues more effectively can gain information from Intentional Harmony.

Our Department was one of the pioneers in providing information and resources to parents about child care. From the humble beginnings of a telephone and desk in the hallway staffed by a part-time person, the Child Care Resource Service today is one of the national leaders in innovative methods of providing resource and referral services to families. Child Care Resource Service provides child care referrals, information on evaluating quality child care, resources on various parenting issues, and assistance in paying for child care for income eligible families in east central Illinois (Champaign, Douglas, Iroquois, Macon, Piatt, and Vermilion counties).

Selected Efforts from the Family Resiliency Center

Sprouts - Growing Healthy Habits

Eating a balanced diet, getting a good night’s sleep, limiting screen time, and choosing healthy foods at the grocery store during part of family shopping trips are all part of healthy habits established early in life. The Sprouts program is an interactive curriculum administered in kindergarten classrooms in a primarily low-income school in Champaign, Illinois. Learn more about the Sprouts curriculum

Mealtime Minutes Public Service Announcements

Research suggests that sharing meals as a family may reduce risk for obesity and eating disorders, and increase the likelihood that children eat healthy foods. The barriers to sharing meals are commonly behavioral including managing sibling conflict, temper tantrums, picky eating, work-life stress, shopping, planning meals, and learning how to cook as a family. The Mealtime Minutes initiative offers simple solutions to common mealtime challenges. A complete offering of PSAs is available.

Extension Programming

HDFS faculty work with Extension educators across Illinois who provide community educational programs to individuals and families. Serving rural and urban areas, Extension faculty and educators work together to provide research-based programming. Some of the programs they have focused on in recent years include, but are not limited to: