Promoting Extension, FCS and Family Science

Thank you Dr. Rachel Arocho for the invitation to speak with Utah Valley University Students. If you have any questions, please email Patrice Powers-Barker

Today’s session was an example of County Extension Educator with Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS). I hope you will continue to consider:

  • ways to utilize Extension as a community partner, possible employer, and/or personal resource
  • the role of Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) within Extension and our local communities
  • how to best use your professional organizations and resources

Cooperative Extension Services (National Institute of Food and Agriculture)

A few links and resources we talked about:

Q&A and links:

Question: Some of the work and topics of Family Life Education sound similar to Social work but there’s definitely an emphasis on education, how do they work together?

Answer: One of my favorite articles to help understand the value and role of different fields of family study and different careers is Reconceptualizing the Domain and Boundaries of Family Life Education. They do not specifically list Social Work, but they compare and contrast FLE (Family Life Education), FT (Family Therapy), and FCM (Family Case Management). Depending on your line of work and your local partners, this article and their concepts could be used to help discuss roles that different organizations and professionals can provide in the community.

It is not unusual for Extension to partner with community sites that are offering additional services and resources to participants. While we focus on education, some families have immediate needs  (like food or transportation, etc.). It makes sense to partner with organizations that can also help with those immediate needs and those sites might have Social Works on staff.

Even for partners who do not have emergency needs, partners are often offering something different than Extension Education. Some typical community partners might include parks, libraries, places of worship, schools, community centers, senior centers, etc. These sites have additional resources and programs for participants that are complemented by Extension Education.

Question: Does Extension do it’s own research, use established research by others, or both?

Answer: Yes, both. There are many opportunities for Extension professionals to do research. This will look different in different program areas and for different job roles. The example I gave in class was about Agriculture and Natural Resources where county Educators are working with local farmers who are all part of a larger research project in partnership with state specialists. In Family and Consumer Sciences I might be working with state and/or field specialists and the research is based on behavior changes. This most often is self-reported by class participants. I might also be evaluating the educational methods. Those are some examples for County Educators. At the regional or state level, especially for roles like field specialist or state specialist, there are often more examples and opportunities for research.

There are often opportunities to partner with others. This might be other state Extension programs, or multi-state teams. Some of my colleagues are part of Dining with Diabetes.  Other times, when educational programming is needed in the community and we don’t have a specific program or curriculum in Ohio Extension, we will look at what other state Extension’s use and other educational resources that are available. The example I shared in class was PAX Tools. They have done the research and offer training to professionals in different fields of work. It is not our Extension research but it is a recognized and valued program.

It was great to hear examples of relatives who currently work with Extension or had in the past!

The emphasis of our education is preventative and therefore future facing, but the history of Family and Consumer Sciences (previously Home Economics) is intriguing. Although sewing and cooking are important skills to have, that isn’t necessarily the entire history or goal of Home Economics. Here’s a short highlight about the science contributions from one of the founders of the field, Ellen Swallow Richards.

This 2021 book is very detailed but has given me a much better understanding and appreciation for the dedication and work of the women who came before me in this field, The Secret History of Home Economics: How Trailblazing Women Harnessed the Power of Home and Changed the Way We Live, by Danielle Dreilinger and lists examples of great work by many, many individuals over many decades in the US.





Navigating an Ocean of Opportunities and a Call to Action: Using National Resources for Local Benefits

The 2023 NEAFCS (National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences) Annual Session, “Exploring Oceans of Opportunities” is September 11-14, 2023 in Providence, RI.







A team of OSU Extension, FCS colleagues are pleased to present “Navigating an Ocean of Opportunities and a Call to Action: Using National Resources for Local Benefits”.

This list serves as a virtual handout for participants:

Thank you participants for sharing information on What national resources do you use to inform your work?


Names and Emails for Presenters – OSU Extension Educators, Family and Consumer Sciences (in order of photo)


March is Living Well Month (2023). National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. 

McGregor, S. L. T. (2022). Justifying Home Economics: Fight the right war. International Journal of Home Economics, 15(2), 33-45.

Monk, J. K., Bordere, T., & Benson, J., (2021). Emerging Ideas. Advancing Family Science Through Public Scholarship: Fostering Community Relationships and Engaging in Broader Impacts. Family Relations. 70:1612-1625

National Partnership to Recruit, Prepare, and Support FCS Educators. (2022). 

Nickols, S., Ralston, P., Anderson, C., Browne, L., Schroeder, G., Thomas, S., & Wild, P. (2009). The Family and Consumer Sciences Body of Knowledge and the Cultural Kaleidoscope: Research Opportunities and Challenges. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, vol. 37, No. 3: 266-283.

Scheer, S. D. (2021). Introducing the Human Development-EcoLogic Model: A Practical Approach for Outreach and Extension Education Programs. The Journal of Extension, 58(2), Article 29. 






Applying Cooperative Extension’s National Framework for Health Equity and Well Being at the County Level

NUEL’s North Central Regional Conference will be held June 7-9, 2023 on the beautiful campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Recommended reading:

June 8, 2023 Presentation:

Learning the Lingo: What ‘Social Determinants of Health’ Mean for OSU Extension

Megan Arnold ( and Patrice Powers-Barker (

Issue Briefs:


Facing the Future Together: Living and Working Well in a Complex World

2023 OAFCS, Ohio Affiliate of American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS), Elevate Family and Consumer Sciences Conference, October 19-20, Columbus, OH.

Facing the Future Together: Living and Working Well in a Complex World POSTER

Authors: Sandra Slater, Patrice Powers-Barker, Marie Economos, Margaret Jenkins, Heather REister, Katie Schlagheck, (OSU Extension Educators, Family and Consumer Sciences)

References Below


OSU Extension Annual Conference 2022   Facing the Future Together: Living and Working Well in a Complex World poster 

Poster Description We live in a complex world. Family and consumer sciences is the field of study focused on the science and art of living and working well in our complex world. We would like to share that “art and science” with our colleagues. The ESP Extension Professionals’ Creed states: “I believe that education is a lifelong process, and the greatest university is the home.” Not only is education a lifelong process for those we serve in our communities, but we are also fortunate to be lifelong learners. Using the theme of “facing the future together,” we will share real-life examples of learning across the life span and leveraging the work of the family in the home to increase Extension’s impact and empower individuals, families, and communities to thrive.


Authors: Patrice Powers-Barker – educator, family and consumer sciences; Marie Economos – educator, family and consumer sciences; Margaret Jenkins – educator, family and consumer sciences; Heather Reister – educator, family and consumer sciences; Katie Schlagheck – educator, family and consumer sciences; Sandra Slater – educator, family and consumer sciences


American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences

Heckman Equation. (2022). Quantifying the Life-cycle Benefits of a Prototypical Early Childhood Program

Lin, J. T., Bumcrot, C., Mottola, G., Valdes, O., Ganem, R., Kieffer, C., Lusardi, A., & Walsh, G. (2022). Financial Capability in the United States: Highlights from the FINRA Foundation National Financial Capability Study (5th Edition). FINRA Investor Education Foundation.

National Council on Family Relations 

Nickols, S., Ralston, P., Anderson, C., Browne, L., Schroeder, G., Thomas, S., and Wild, P. (2009). The Family and Consumer Sciences Body of Knowledge and the Cultural Kaleidoscope: Research Opportunities and Challenges. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, vol. 37, No. 3: 266-283.

Scheer, S. D. (2021). Introducing the Human Development-EcoLogic Model: A Practical Approach for Outreach and Extension Education Programs. The Journal of Extension, 58(2), Article 29.












Nurturing Environments for Positive Care

November 22, Nurturing Environments for Positive Care by Patrice Powers-Barker, CFLE, (Certified Family Life Educator). This webinar is one lesson in the Connection Cafe: Caregiving Around the Clock, 2022

All References are listed at the end but this list will help direct participants to specific resources:

Safe storage and disposal of medication:


Wellness Wheels:

All References:

Holiday Expense Planning

Starting Today:

  • Choose the best options for this year’s holiday spending
  • Ask your loved ones about their preferences
  • Create a holiday spending plan (or commit to listing your spending this year)
  • Identify your hidden holiday costs
  • Make a plan for next year’s holiday expenses (Jan. Apr. June)


To help prioritize, asked loved ones ….

  • If you could only choose one favorite activity for the holidays, what would it be?
  • Is there a food dish, treat, or drink that you would really miss if it weren’t on the holiday menu?
  • Do you have any ideas about simplifying our holiday schedule?
  • Do you have any ideas about reducing our costs?


Handout: My Holiday Savings and Spending Plan.


Apps (there are many options, this is just a sample of some of the apps to help organize planning and spending)

  • Giftster
  • Santa’s Bag
  • GiftPlanner
  • Gift List Diary
  • Christmas Gift List



These food ideas are not to replace favorite holiday dishes but instead to think about easy foods to add to the holiday season – from the larger get together pot-lucks to other times like hosting out-of-town guests or planning meals when the kids are off school for holiday break.


Find Your Local County Extension Office:



Rupp, M. (2021). Preparing for Holiday Expenses. Webinar. Ohio State University Extension.

Stefura, B., Scammahorn, R., and Kline, R. (2022). Give the Gift of Financial Fitness This Holiday. Live Healthy Live Well Webinar. Ohio State University Extension.







OSU Extension partnering with FCS teachers in Lucas County

In Lucas County we are fortunate to have school districts that offer Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) classes to high school students and some offer it in middle school and/or junior high school. When students are choosing their classes for the next year, it may or may not say “Family and Consumer Sciences” but some of the specific classes that fall under this field might have course titles like: Principles of Food, Nutrition and Wellness, Transitions and Careers, Personal Finance Management, Textiles and Interior Design, Personal Wellness, Human Growth and Development or Child Development. Please encourage students to consider taking these classes!

The following document has a list of classes that Patrice Powers-Baker, OSU Extension, Lucas County, FCS Educator offers to present to middle school/junior high and high school students (in Lucas County Ohio). Her email is and the document describes the following classes:

  • Feeding a Family
  • Introduction to Local Foods
  • “Outlaw” Veggies – what to do with all these vegetables?
  • Plan a Menu Garden for Health and Wellness
  • PAX Tools for Families and Caregivers
  • The Spending Game (aka Count Your Beans)
  • Food Choice and Food Insecurity
  • Mindfulness
  • Food For Young Children
  • Universal Design
  • Plastics in the Home
  • Real Money Real World

Document for Lucas County FCS teachers, Extension lessons for High School and Middle School FCS classes

In addition to classes that are specifically offered by the FCS Educator, there might be additional options for teachers like partnering with 4H Youth Development or Community Nutrition Education.

OSU Extension: Then and Now

Established over 100 years ago (1914), how does the national Cooperative Extension Service serve communities now? These resources will focus on Ohio State University Extension, with a brief history and current highlights. Emphasis will be on Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) programming for individuals and families across the lifespan.

If you attended 2022, August 1st session at OATFCS and need additional materials, please email Patrice at

CLASS PARTICIPANTS: please take a moment to complete an evaluation for the August 1st session. Click HERE    (IF promoted, for an access code, please use R-Zfd0mvuUoEngrtv  (the first 0 is a zero)

A copy of the PowerPoint can be found HERE.

Brief Timelines:

Links to Other Resources:

OSU Extension Programs and Resources:

References: (in addition to those listed above)

Clark-Robinson, M. (2021). Standing on Her Shoulders: a Celebration of Women. (L. Freeman, Illus.). Orchard Books.

Donnan, R. (1954). The Beginning of Agricultural Extension Work in Northwestern Ohio. The Historical Society of Northwestern Ohio, Toledo. Northwest Ohio Quarterly, Winter 1954, Volume XXVI – No. 1.

Dreilinger, D. (2021). The secret history of home economics: How trailblazing women harnessed the power of home and changed the way we live. W W Norton & Company.

McGregor, S. (2020). Home ecology to home economics and beyond: Ellen Swallow Richards’ disciplinary contributions. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences. Vol. 112 No. 2.

Miami University. Digital Collections. Alice Swisher Memorial:

Nickols, S., Ralston, P., Anderson, C., Browne, L., Schroeder, G., Thomas, S., and Wild, P. (2009). The family and consumer sciences body of knowledge and the cultural kaleidoscope: Research opportunities and challenges. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, vol 37:3: 266-283.

Compassion Fatigue and Compassion Satisfaction

Virtual Handout on Compassion Fatigue and Compassion Satisfaction.

  • Define burnout, compassion fatigue, and compassion satisfaction
  • Review researched recommendations
  • Practice a few short exercises
  • Set a personal intention related to compassion satisfaction

Questions? Contact Patrice


References (including previous resources listed above):

Bergstrom, C. (2017) Three senses mindfulness activity for kids, teens, and grown ups. Blissful Kids.

Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project. (2021).

Coping with COVID: Lesson Plans to Promote Mental, Emotional and Social Health (MESH). (2020). Ohio State University. 4-H Healthy Living Design Team.

Coyne LW, Gould ER, Grimaldi M, Wilson KG, Baffuto G, Biglan A. (2020) First Things First: Parent Psychological Flexibility and Self-Compassion During COVID19

Golden, A. (2021). Supporting Yourself in Uncertain Times Webinar. Bright Horizons.

Kent, C. (2016). 10 ways to survive what you can’t control: As more stresses originate beyond our reach, being a physician is more challenging than ever. Review of Ophthalmology.

Kraynak, A. (2020). Compassion fatigue in the time of COVID. Network, 33(4), p4-5.

Kumar, A., Killingsworth, M., and Gilovich, T. (2014, August 21). Waiting for merlot: Anticipatory consumption of experiential and material purchases. Psychological Science.

Manage stress: Strengthen your support network. (2019) American Psychological Association.

Marrison, E. (2019). My future self. Live Healthy Live Well. Ohio State University.

Mayo Clinic Staff. (n.d.)  Job burnout: How to spot it and take action

Neupert, S. (2020). Knowledge is power: learning more about COVID-19 can reduce your pandemic stress. North Carolina State University.

Polk, M.G., Smith, E.L., Zhang, L.-R., & Neupert, S.D. (2020). Thinking ahead and staying in the present: Implications for reactivity to daily stressors. Personality and Individual Differences.

Powers-Barker, P., Carter, S., Worthington, T. (2019). Mindful Wellness. Ohio State University.

Powers-Barker, P. (2021). What’s wrong with positivity. Live Healthy Live Well Blog. Ohio State University.

The Importance of Having a Support System. (2020). Mental Health First Aid, News, Self-Care.

Tips for Disaster Responders: Understanding Compassion Fatigue. (2014). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). HHS Publication No. SMA-14-4869.

The November 5, 2021 Zoom session for OSU Extension colleagues also shared the following:


The Secret History of Home Economics and Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS)



Description for FCS 2021 Conference:

This break-out session will use history and future planning to find and sustain balance in the midst of current change. Whether our work and position title are more along the lines of traditional Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) programming that covers all three healthies or particular to one of the healthies or specific to community nutrition (which all fall under the broad umbrella of FCS), this session will touch upon themes among all three healthies. The need to understand, relate and promote FCS is important to all of us for this field of work. We are fortunate to learn from history as well as be able to make action plans for a successful future.

This session will use the newly published book (2021) The Secret History of Home Economics: How Trailblazing Women Harnessed the Power of Home and Changed the Way We Live by Danielle Dreilinger as a source to look at where we’ve been and where we are going. Although the presenters recommend the book as a good read, participants to this session do not have to read the book beforehand. The co-presenters will offer a short history of Home Economics through Family and Consumer Sciences in the United States, highlight some of the great successes, conflicts and changes from the mid1800s through current time.

Dreilinger lists five recommendations in the conclusion of her book. Participants will review the recommendations and share how we can promote this valuable profession.

Participants will:

  • Discover inspiring (often untold) stories from the past professionals
    in our field of work
  • Learn from the past as we create present and future healthy lifework balance
  • Use Dreilinger’s five recommendations in the conclusion to inspire a 5-step action plan
  • Be inspired to add their current professional story to the contemporary narrative of FCS


Patrice Powers-Barker, OSU FCS Educator, Lucas County

Melissa J. Rupp, OSU FCS Educator, Fulton County

Brief Timeline FCS in Extension

References from the presentation: