The Florida State UniversityCollege of Human Sciences
Page supergraphic

College of Human Sciences   >   Centers & Institutes   >   Family Institute

Family Institute

The Florida State University Family Institute generates new information, trains professionals, and informs policy makers regarding families in Florida, the region, and the nation. The Institute serves as:

  • an interdisciplinary source of information about children and families, and involves recognized experts in the field who serve as resource persons.
  • a concrete reminder that the family, in all its diverse forms, is the foundation of society and that the University, through the Institute, serves as an advocate for healthy families in Florida and the nation.

Mission and Objectives

The FSU Family Institute is a multidisciplinary unit established to bring together faculty, students, government, and community resources to provide a centralized source of information, research capacity, and critical thinking related to families. The mission is carried out through the following objectives:

  • Conduct and disseminate research to advance scientific knowledge of the forces that influence the capacity of families to provide healthy environments for their children.
  • Design and deliver model educational training and other programs for professionals, children and their families.
  • Collaborate with associates from other universities, agencies and institutions serving children and their families.
  • Use research-based data to guide state policy activities which impact child and family well-being, and critically evaluate the outcomes of current policies for children and families in Florida.
  • Provide training opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students and in-service training to professionals working with children and families.
  • Secure funding for projects in keeping with the mission of the Institute.


Associates representing four state universities, two private universities, four state agencies, and many family-based organizations carry out the work of the FSU Family Institute. The university-based associates are nationally recognized experts in their fields and represent fifteen different departments. The FSU Family Institute Circle of Friends include individuals and organizations that have generously provided financial support for the future development of the Institute.

Institute Director

Institute Projects 

  • Received $2,612,104 from Administration of Children and Families to develop a national model of relationship education for young adults. For further information Click Here.
  • Established Program for Strong African American Marriages (ProSAAM) in collaboration with University of Georgia. This program was made possible by a $1,129,825 research grant from the Templeton Foundation and by a $769,935 grant from the Administration for Children and Families. For further information Click Here
  • Convened the conference, Florida Families in the 21st Century: Theory, Values and Action, and published the proceedings.
  • Initiated an internship program for students in Marriage and Family Therapy with Capitol Area Community Action Agency Head Start, funded by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT).
  • Established the Human Development and Housing Project, funded by the Bruner Foundation.
  • Participating unit in the Applied Developmental Science (ADS) Task Force which includes the American Psychological Association and the Gerontological Society of America. Co-sponsored ADS national conference, "Public Policy and Social Change: Training Human Development Professionals for the Twenty-first Century" which was held at FSU.
  • Received $100,000 appropriation from Florida Legislature to plan a long-term study of the relationship between family violence, especially child abuse, and juvenile issues such as crime, criminal behavior, and school behavioral problems.

Scientific Advisory Board

Kim Halford
Professor of Clinical Psychology and Director of Clinical Program
The University of Queensland
Lily McNair
Associate Provost of Research and Professor of Psychology
Spelman College
Shinji Nozawa
Meiji Gakuin University
Scott Stanley
Co-Director, Center for Marital and Family Studies
University of Denver