About the Center for Family Resilience


The mission of Center for Family Resilience is to create and disseminate scientific knowledge that builds to programmatic and policy solutions that promote individual and family resilience.


The CFR's work is inspired by the key values of respect, integrity, passion, and transparency. Respect means the Center honors the rights and beliefs of academic colleagues, community partners, and the individuals and families our initiatives are intended to support. We treat others with the highest degree of dignity, equality and trust. Integrity means the Center employs the highest ethical standards, prioritizing honesty and fairness in all situations. We take responsibility for all our decisions and actions. Passion means the Center demonstrates enthusiasm for, and dedication to, achieving our mission. Transparency means the Center is committed to conducting all activities in a way that prioritizes openness, clear communication, and accountability.

CFR Programs

The CFR's mission will be implemented through three main programs: community engagement, research, translation and education.

  • The community engagement program will build bridges among community agencies, family service providers, and researchers operating through the Center for Family Resilience. The main objectives of the community engagement program are to:
    1. identify needs within the network of community agencies and social service providers that can be addressed through Center activities.
    2. serve as a conduit of ideas and issues from the community to academic investigators.
    3. create a foundation for community-based basic or applied research.
    4. serve as a broker between community needs and academic resources (e.g., linking agencies in need of program evaluation with personnel).
  • The research program emphasizes building knowledge of individual and family resilience, and the factors shaping resilience. The main objectives of the research program are to:
    1. build a portfolio of extramurally funded basic, applied, and intervention research on resilience, and related processes,
    2. enable the acquisition of preliminary or feasibility data to support competitive extramural grant applications
    3. expand the cadre of investigators from diverse disciplines engaging in risk and resilience research, and
    4. build and maintain an inventory of research-related instruments and devices to support Center affiliates in fielding their research.
  • The translation and education program emphasizes dissemination of acquired knowledge and the transfer of that knowledge to everyday professional practice. The main objectives of the translation and education program are to: 1) expand knowledge among Center affiliates of the processing and review of grant applications submitted to the National Institutes of Health and other key funders (e.g., National Science Foundation, Centers for Disease Control, Administration for Children and Families), 2) introduce Center affiliates (e.g., faculty, students) to new concepts, theories and methods for understanding risk and resilience, and 3) design and implement evidence-based service learning and continuing professional education opportunities focused on risk and resilience.

CFR Themes

Center activities focus on diverse factors that contribute to resilience or that reflect resilience. Key areas of interest:

  • Health & Well-being – at the core of the CFR is the well-being of individuals, couples, and families. The CFR is interested in research and interventions that use a resilience model to promote optimal physical health, psychological well-being, and social competence despite contextual circumstances like economic hardship, personal tragedy, or social disadvantage that frequently compromise these outcomes.
  • Everyday Contexts – the CFR believes that individual, couple, and family development occurs in everyday contexts that shape resilience. Key contexts for adults and children include vocation (employment for adults, school for children), faith communities, and social networks. Contexts created by cultural groups and time influence resilience. The CFR is interested in research that builds understanding of how everyday contexts contribute to resilience, and offers insights into strategies that make everyday contexts more beneficial to optimal functioning.
  • Policy Solutions – the CFR believes that public policy (e.g., governmental, institutional, and economic) is a powerful tool for enabling resilience for all. The CFR is interested in research and interventions that update administrators, legislators, and policy makers so that empirically based information is used in the development, assessment, and perpetuation of institutional public policy solutions to strengthen families.

2014 Annual Report