University of Minnesota Extension Children, Youth & Family Consortium (CYFC) bridges research and practice to promote mental well-being and health in children, youth and families. We mostly work with community providers serving children and families, parents, administrators and researchers.
How we work
CYFC grapples with complex, developmental challenges that influence families and communities. We do this through:
- Interdisciplinary and ecological perspectives and approaches to well-being.
- Culturally responsive partnerships within communities and the University.
- Co-created educational events, multimedia resources and online learning tools.
- Deep and thoughtful engagement with Minnesota communities and organizations.
The University of Minnesota established the Children, Youth & Family Consortium (CYFC) in 1991. CYFC serves as a catalyst for creating authentic partnerships among community practitioners and University faculty and staff, and aims to ensure that the knowledge and resources of the University actively benefit Minnesota's children, youth, and families. CYFC is intentionally interdisciplinary. Its primary purpose is to create discussions and engage communities in identifying and finding solutions to issues facing children and families. CYFC joined University of Minnesota Extension as part of the Extension Center for Family Development in July 2010 and continues to build bridges between campus units, faculty, community practitioners and policy professionals.
- Contact a staff member. Use the Children, Youth & Family Consortium contact form.
- Donate. Make a contribution to the Children, Youth & Family Consortium Fund.
- Learn. Check out our video collection on our CYFC YouTube channel.
Scholar in Residence
The Scholar in Residence Program is a year-long partnership between the Extension Children, Youth & Family Consortium and a University faculty member. Current scholar, Dr. Sarah Beehler, focuses on rural community stress. She is part of Extension's work to help Minnesotans who are coping with rural stress.
Lessons from the field
Lessons from the Field is an educational series sponsored by Children, Youth & Family Consortium (CYFC). This series aims to:
- Build understanding about the pressing challenges children and families face, and how to address them.
- Show how research informs practice and how practice informs research related to the chosen topic.
- Provide a forum for professionals, researchers, clinicians, community leaders and caregivers to gather and learn together.
Lessons from the Field 2018 was held on October 29, 2018 at the Bunker Hills Event Center in Coon Rapids, MN and broadcasted to 12 sites across Minnesota. This Lessons from the Field event was held In collaboration with the Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health – Infant and Early Childhood (MACMH-IEC) and the University of Minnesota’s Center for Early Education and Development (CEED) as part of the two-day “Minnesota Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Multidisciplinary Conference".
Our Extension CYFC Scholar in Residence, Dr. Katie Lingras from the UMN Department of Psychiatry, served as the keynote speaker. The title of her keynote address was: Responding to Challenging Behaviors: Considering Two-Generation and Infant Mental Health Frameworks in Early Care.
A multi-disciplinary panel of service providers followed her presentation in order to provide practice strategies in varied settings and systems.
Check out the powerpoint presentation from Dr. Lingras' keynote at Lessons from the Field
- Learn ways that research supports and informs the need to attend to parent-child relationships.
- Explore strategies for addressing parent-child relationships across settings (childcare, early intervention, home visiting, child welfare, OT/PT/Speech, medical).
- Promote and apply the need for reflection in relationship-based work.
- The Center for Leadership Education in Maternal & Child Public Health
- The Minnesota Department of Human Services
- The Sauer Family Foundation
- West Central Initiative Foundation
- Southwest Initiative Foundation
During winter and spring of 2017, Children, Youth & Family Consortium (CYFC) hosted seven Lessons from the Field regional events. The topic of these events was meeting the needs of transgender youth. These events covered current research and prevailing perspectives that promote well-being among all youth.
Parents, educators, and professionals who work with families and youth were invited.
Presenters explored how gender-inclusive environments can support positive body image, healthy nutrition, and physical and mental health.
- Resident scholar Jenifer McGuire, Ph.D.
- Former Regional SNAP-Ed educator Nathan Hesse
- Extension educator Cari Michaels, MPH
- Definitions and vocabulary about transgender and gender non-conforming youth. Includes how terms show up in everyday interactions.
- How communities can support families and families can support gender development among youth.
- How food and economic security, nutrition and body image. How these things can specifically influence transgender and gender non-conforming youth.
- How promoting mental health for everyone reduces stigma and builds community.
Listed below are the presentations from these Lessons from the Field events.
- Mental health and trans youth: Why is this important? — Cari Michaels, MPH, Extension educator
- Food insecurity — Nathan Hesse, regional SNAP-Ed educator
- Binary language, gender development, ambiguous loss, and family challenges
- Health care and body image for trans youth — Jenifer K. McGuire, associate professor, Family Social Science
Read about the reach and impact of these Lessons from the Field events.
Reviewed in 2020