Family & Consumer Sciences
The family is the cornerstone of a healthy community. Virginia Cooperative Extension strives to improve the well-being of Virginia families through programs that help put research based knowledge to work in people’s lives. Family and Consumer Sciences educators help Virginians learn to make good choices for themselves and their families. This, in turn, strengthens their communities and the state.
A Vision for a Stronger Commonwealth
Our Extension agents teach Virginians how to improve their quality of life by giving them the skills to:
• Prevent chronic disease with a healthy diet
• Identify quality childcare
• Plan for home ownership
• Make good parenting decisions
• Handle and preserve food safely
• Be a wise grocery shopper
• Handle credit wisely
• Plan for elder care needs
• Manage finances successfully
• Prepare for and cope with disasters
• Manage home-based businesses
We work with other state and local agencies for many of our programs, and through these partnerships we maximize the impact and quality of our resources. Our staff and trained volunteers help build and strengthen these collaborations and extend our resources to more Virginians.
Developing Life Skills
We help Virginians develop wellness life skills in our three pillar program areas:
• Food, nutrition, and health
• Family financial management
• Child development and parenting
Whether preventing chronic disease with a healthy diet, purchasing a family home, or identifying quality childcare, Virginians benefit from the comprehensive education in these three areas.
Making an Impact
Our programs reach tens of thousands of families across the commonwealth each year.The Virginia Family Nutrition Program offers numerous nutrition education programs to low-income adults, youth, and families, on how to make informed, healthy food purchases on limited budgets for overall health. Every $1 spent on quality nutrition education saves as much as $10 in long-term healthcare costs. The program also uses multiple-pronged strategies to help make policy, systems, and environmental changes to promote access to safe, affordable, and nutritious foods.
The Healthy Weights for Healthy Kids curriculum promotes positive attitudes and behaviors toward diet, physical activity, and body image in youth ages 7 to 14. These programs and others like them successfully teach adults and children how to make wise nutritional choices, prevent chronic disease, and stay on a budget.
Our family financial management programs help Virginians learn how to establish spending plans and create goals. Programs on budgeting, improving credit score, planning for home ownership, reducing debt, and preventing identity theft help secure healthy financial futures for Virginia families.
Our programs for families teach helpful parenting techniques, how to strengthen parent-child relationships,and ways to encourage families to eat nutritious meals together. These skills help parents raise healthy children who are ready to succeed in school and life.