Family and Community Leadership

What is FCL?

FCL is an educational program jointly sponsored by the Tennessee Association for Family and Community Education (TAFCE) and the University of Tennessee Extension. This program, initially funded in part by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, offers leadership workshops to prepare participants for involvement in public policy decision-making affecting families and communities.

Who can participate? 

Anyone who will make a commitment to work in the FCL program 12 – 24 days for a year may participate. The program’s primary audience is women.

Why is FCL special? 

FCL teaches skills with the purpose to increase leadership and involvement of women in community affairs. FCL’s teamwork approach uses volunteers and Extension educators in all parts of the program, which includes decision-making, planning and management, teaching and evaluation.

How does it work? 

Participants in FCL are taught by peers. They practice skills related to citizen participation and learn to become teachers themselves. In this way, the effect of the program is multiplied.

What is taught? 

The basic FLC training program includes 30 hours of instruction in six areas:

  • Leadership and Communication
  • Working with Groups
  • Issue Analysis and Resolution
  • Community Affairs and Public Policy
  • Volunteerism
  • Teaching Methods

What are the goals of FCL?

  • Education: To understand the complexities of public issues and how to solve public problems; to become competent in management and decision-making skills.
  • Participation: To involve women who have learned to lead effectively in public affairs on family-related issues.
  • Organization: To develop resources with TAFCE, UT Extension and others that support leaders and groups.

How is FCL funded? 

The W. K. Kellogg Foundation provided initial capital which supplemented TAFCE and UT Extension to establish the Tennessee FCL program. TAFCE and UT Extension provide funding and in-kind support for the current training sessions. There is also a nominal participant fee.

What are the main elements of FCL?

  • A team approach that links volunteers, TAFCE members and UT Extension educators in the management of project policy, implementation, teaching and evaluation.
  • A curriculum developed from disciplines currently incorporated in Family and Consumer Sciences and Community Resource Development programs.
  • A process of public policy involvement and training on family issues for family members, targeting women as the primary audience.
  • A process based on sharing resource materials and expertise across county lines to strengthen the program.
  • A curriculum based on leadership to increase involvement in community affairs.
  • A process that teaches participants to become teachers and mentors of adults as they gain skill and experience.
  • A negotiated time commitment by training recipients to work in the FCL program as a trainer, organizer or FCE board member in return for the training received.