The Family Development Credential Course of Florida
Welcome to the website for the Family Development Credential (FDC) Course in Florida. Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA) provides coordination and oversight of the FDC initiative throughout the state of Florida
Our communities reflect a variety of services geared towards addressing the diverse needs of families: healthcare, financial stability, developmental needs, childcare, mental health support, education, and a host of other factors related to family well-being. However, the endurance of positive outcomes depends much upon the degree to which families take ownership of their own paths. Traditionally, community workers (with best intentions) have adopted a work model in which a family's needs are diagnosed and services are provided accordingly. However, when families are not equal partners in the process of change, long-term change does not occur. Services become "band-aids" and families often present with the same challenges year after year, generation after generation. The traditional paradigm of social services (that continues to exist today), can become a part of the very oppressive factors that social services aims to eradicate.
In response, The Family Development Credential (FDC) curriculum was introduced by Cornell University's College of Human Ecology in 1996. The curriculum is designed to support workers in understanding how to build mutually respectful relationships with families and honor families' rights to determine their own goals. Based on an experiential approach, staff/students are invited to recognize and challenge cultural biases, re-examine the concept of empathy, and enhance skills for supporting positive changes in family units as well as in social service systems. The curriculum incorporates much of what we have learned from adult learning and leadership theory: changes in human behavior are based on awareness, skill development, and personal meaning. Upon successful completion of this self-reflective curriculum, staff/students earn a credential in Cornell's model of family development.
As Cornell's leadership of the FDC initiative ended in 2009, the University of Connecticut has assumed national leadership in the continued growth of family development principles throughout the United States. RCMA is pleased to receive guidance from the University of Connecticut. It is our mission to strive for social justice for families by ensuring practices that uphold the dignity and strengths of all families.