Community Engagement

Community Engagement through Empowering Training

The National Family Development Credential™ Program (“FDC”), now celebrating its 25th anniversary, teaches concepts and skills to empower families and communities to set goals toward healthy self-reliance.  It operates in nearly every US state and is endorsed by the Federal Office of Head Start to meet its specific training requirements for new staff. Founded in 1999 by Dr. Claire Forest (now Assistant Research Professor in HDFS at UConn), the program “trains the trainers” who then work directly with workers in their home communities – front-line workers and supervisors from a variety of state and private-nonprofit agencies, including departments of child development and child welfare, Community Action Programs, and United Way, as well as Head Start and related programs.  The courses in “Empowerment Skills for Family Workers” and “Empowerment Skills for Leaders” require extensive classroom work and demonstration of accomplishment, and are completed by over 1,000 trainees every year.

The FDC™ is housed in the CHHD, where its staff are centrally involved. The national program is co-directed by Dr. Forest and Prof. Charles Super, and Amy Knight is the Program Manager. Dr. Caroline Mavridis, Associate Director of CHHD, collaborates with colleagues at Connecticut’s Office of Early Childhood to organize and teach FDC™ classes in the state.

For more detailed information about FDC, its history and theoretical foundations, as well as the growing research base on its effectiveness, please visit the FDC website at The site also includes information on obtaining FDC training.