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What Is Family Life Education?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 26 November 2016
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Family life education (FLE) is the provision of information about healthy families and households to improve public health and safety. Numerous nations promote family life education from elementary school through to adult life, and it is provided in a variety of venues. In some regions, professional organizations offer certifications to people who want to work as family life educators. These credentials require successful passage of an examination and may also necessitate continuing education to keep up with trends in the field.

This is an aspect of the social sciences. By providing education to people about how to manage household budgets, raise children, protect health, and engage in similar activities, a society can improve public health outcomes. This can lead to greater quality of life for society as a whole. It may also cut down on reliance on social services and promote independent living for all members of society.

Basic family life education in school can include topics like sexual education, lectures on personal hygiene, and discussions about budgeting and economics. Elementary school students, for example, may learn about how money works and receive instruction in balancing checkbooks and budgeting. As students grow older, they can explore more complex topics, including parenting and sexual health. Many schools consider this an important part of the training they offer to students.

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Adults can also benefit from family life education. Parenting classes are available in many communities for new parents who want to learn more about childcare, protecting the safety of their children, and managing risks in the household. Personal finance classes with topics like budgeting and debt management are also a form of family life education. Nutrition classes are another example. These programs are often free to members of the public, especially in low-income communities.

People with an interest in family life education careers can take social science courses in college, with a focus on family life. Some schools offer certification programs in this field to prepare students for licensure. This training is also part of teacher education in many regions. Some family life educators choose to go to graduate schools for degrees like a master's in public health in order to offer more services to members of the public.

Family life educators can work in schools, public health departments, colleges, and community organizations. They may lead classes, design curricula, and visit classrooms as guest lecturers. The scope of the work can be highly varied, from home economics classes in high schools to parenting classes offered through a hospital's new parent preparation program.

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