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National College Credit Recommendation Service

Board of Regents  |  University of the State of New York

Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey | Evaluated Learning Experience

Family Development Credential Program


110 hours of classroom instruction over nine months (45 hours didactic and 65 hours preparing for and supporting the supervised field experience); in addition, a minimum of 100 hours of supervised competency-based field experience.

Various approved facilities throughout New Jersey.

January 2004 - December 2015.

Instructional delivery format: 
Traditional classroom model
Learner Outcomes: 

The Family Development Credential Program is an integrated learning experience, involving both a classroom and field service component. Many of the following learning objectives apply to both the classroom instruction and the field service component; however, they are listed under separate sections to better illustrate how the skills and knowledge acquired in Part 1 are applied in Part 2.
Part 1, Classroom Instruction: Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to: explain the core principles underlying the empowerment and family support approach to family development, as opposed to the deficit approach; name major roles played by family development workers; explain ways family systems influence family members; identify a personal vision for work, which can serve as a source of motivation and direction for setting goals; set goals for oneself, yearly, monthly, weekly and daily, to help one focus on what is most important; identify sources of stress in one’s life and design a personal stress management and wellness program; build mutually respectful relationships with families; begin positive relationships with families, build those relationships, and end the relationships in ways that avoid dependency yet support families’ future development; develop sensitivity to families; communicate effectively with families, co-workers, and people from other agencies or community organizations (e.g., listening, I messages); use verbal and non-verbal communication effectively (handling conflict, confronting people); explain what cultural competence is, why it is vital for family workers, and ways in which it is a life-long process; become aware of and sensitive to cultural competency and diversity; give examples of various kinds of oppression and how they can be internalized, creating barriers to growth and change within individuals and groups; discuss and apply seven basic principles of empowerment-based assessment in working with families; discuss an example of a culturally appropriate assessment; discuss why specialized services are often needed to help families reach their goals for healthy self-reliance; discuss what services are available in the local area and how to find and access these services; discuss the purpose of support and advocacy groups in order to encourage families to participate; become familiar with group process (advocacy, support, family groups); discuss the role of support in family work and set up and facilitate meetings; discuss the differences among coordination, cooperation, and collaboration, and choose the most appropriate method for each situation that requires working together with others.
Part 2, Field Service Component: Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to: work the family support approach into ongoing programs; assist families in reflecting on factors that have contributed to their current situation, while still focusing on present and future goals; develop a plan for working on a strengths basis with supervisors, based on an understanding of personal goals and needs and those of supervisors, sharing information, and lending support; adjust verbal and non-verbal communication, given the cultural backgrounds of families one is working with; use ongoing assessment to promote family self-reliance; conduct assessments focused on the family’s current situation and future goals with appropriate confidentiality; treat family information with respect for the family’s confidentiality; establish rapport and mutually respectful relationships with families in the families’ homes; use the Family Development Plan to focus home visits on the family’s goals, and avoid over-dependence; develop a resource guide to local services at the local and state level; support families as they use specialized services, making sure the services support the family’s self-reliance goals; work skillfully with families who have many complex problems; help families identify and strengthen their informal helping networks; help families facilitate their own family conferences; set up and facilitate meetings; collaborate effectively with individuals, including families and other workers; collaborate effectively with other agencies; help families provide their own case management.


The Family Development Credential (FDC) Program is intended to help redirect the way health, education, and human services are delivered to families. This redirection is moving systems away from crisis-oriented and fragmented services toward an empowerment and family support-based approach, emphasizing prevention, interagency collaboration, and a greater role for families in determining services. The FDC Program is an integrated learning experience, involving both a classroom and field service component, the latter under the mentorship of an FDC field advisor. Topics covered include: family development: a sustainable route to healthy self-reliance; worker self-empowerment; building mutually respectful relationships with families; communication; cultural competence; ongoing assessment; home visiting; helping families access specialized services; facilitating family conferences, support groups, and community meetings; collaboration.

NOTE: The classroom component concludes with a written examination. The field service component concludes with the student’s submission of a portfolio of competency-based activities and exercises to be used in assessing the student’s grasp of the skills and competencies required to receive the credential.

Credit recommendation: 

Part 1 only: In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, 3 semester hours (didactic) in Child and Family Development, Human Services, Human Sciences, Social Sciences, Social Work, or related disciplines. 
Part 1 and 2: In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, 7 semester hours (3 didactic and 4 field service) in Child and Family Development, Human Services, Human Sciences, Social Sciences, Social Work, or related disciplines (8/04) (2/10).
NOTE: The Family Development Credential is awarded only to those who complete Parts 1 and 2.