Impact Beyond the Profession
The Forum for Family and Consumer Issues (FFCI) gives Extension professionals an avenue for publishing refereed articles that fulfill Extension's mission of "Helping people put knowledge to work." Articles published in The Forum often have impacts that traditional professional and academic journals do not because The Forum appeals to a diverse audience that includes educators, professionals, and lay people. Some examples of impacts that have come to the attention of the editor over the years include the following.
- A mother wanted more information about The Baby Think It Over Program to help her teenaged pregnant daughter decide whether to keep the baby or give him up for adoption.
- A family who was dealing with guardianship for a family member found much needed guidance from "Assisting the guardian of an incompetent adult." A family member told The Forum editor that the article had saved her family a great deal of stress from uncertainty and confusion.
- A financial adviser contacted The Forum editor for permission to use the article "Estimating retirement savings: are ballpark estimate type worksheets accurate enough to help consumers?" to educate his clientele.
- The article, "Ethical wills: passing treasures of the heart," was reprinted in a publication of a state bar association. Several lawyers told The Forum editor that they now incorporate information about ethical wills in their consultations with estate planning clients.
- A doctoral student in gerontological nursing wrote the author to say that she was using the article, "Successful aging: what does the 'good life' look like?"in developing the conceptual framework for her planned research study.
- A parent educator wrote The Forum editor requesting more information on the article, "Family and Consumer Sciences and schools -- a perfect partnership for parent education." She was interested in assessing whether it was appropriate for use in the county school system. The article was forwarded to all school principals in the county.
- A nursing home administrator in Virginia used "Quality of life in long-term care settings: a look at some trends in humanizing nursing homes" to assist in the process of deciding whether to Edenize their long-term care facility.
- A survey taken of readers' opinions about a proposed on-line central registry for advance directives helped shape the state legislation that created the registry.
And so on. The Forum knows no geographical boundaries. It can bring an educational program originating in New Jersey to a rural county in North Carolina. An article written by a Kentucky Extension specialist can change the way lawyers in another state advise their clients. The Forum can help a nursing home in Virginia evaluate a proposed change in the way it cares for its patients. A survey taken of readers' opinions can help shape state legislation. True to its mission, The Forum publishes articles that make a difference -- that have "impact beyond the profession."