The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) created the Certified Family Life Educator credential in 1985 by portfolio review to distinguish individuals who excel in facilitating strong familial relationships. Family life education is a human services specialty using a primarily preventive approach to teach adults and children the ways to function optimally within their family unit. Through skills-based education, CFLEs are able to minimize the risk for problems like child neglect, domestic violence, addiction, divorce, and tension. Family life educators fall into a BLS category that's poised for 10 percent job growth through 2024. Here's a brief job profile for Certified Family Life Educators to determine whether the expanding field is for you.
What Certified Family Life Educators Do
Family life educators are responsible for using diverse teaching strategies to model how families can forge closer, happier, and healthier relationships. CFLEs are trusted experts who advance family life by conducting workshops, providing group counseling, writing self-help books, starting public service campaigns, lobbying for family-centered policies, and more. Unlike family therapists, they'll intervene before problems start to prevent tension later. If difficulties already exist, CFLEs maintain community contacts to refer multicultural families to suitable services. Their daily duties could include developing appropriate growth plans, keeping case records, drafting curriculum, adhering to confidentiality laws, and carrying out home visitations. It's important for Certified Family Life Educators to have excellent communication skills, preferably in English and Spanish.
Where Certified Family Life Educators Work
More than 8,000 human services professionals have become Certified Family Life Educators to practice in myriad settings. The majority work in community-based family intervention at adoption agencies, foster care programs, divorce mediation centers, addiction treatment facilities, and abuse prevention initiatives. Some are employed by hospitals for holistic, long-term family support. Others could work for international NGOs, church ministry, colleges, daycare centers, employee assistance programs, and government HHS departments. Getting the CFLE designation could also add credibility in family media jobs with newspapers or magazines. Most career opportunities for Certified Family Life Educators are full-time, but the job generally has irregular evening and weekend hours to meet clients' schedules.
How to Become a Certified Family Life Educator
Earning the CFLE certification from the National Council on Family Relations will involve finishing at least a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. There are currently 130 CFLE-approved programs across the United States and Canada for aligning to the 10 family life education competency areas. Course prerequisites include family communication, parenting, family resources management, and human sexuality. Those with a bachelor's must also 3,200 hours of work experience, while master's or Ph.D. graduates need 1,600 hours. The application process leads to a 150-question exam at computer testing centers each March, July, and November. CFLE exam study groups are available for helping you achieve a minimum passing score of 700.
Maintaining the certification isn't effortless because there is a $74 annual fee for members and recertification requirement for 100 CEU hours every five years. However, enriching your resume with CFLE credentialing will validate your coaching expertise, give you access to the NCFR Resource Library, spark industry networking, and increase your pay. According to PayScale, Certified Family Life Educators report salaries from $30,410 to $60,955 in America and high satisfaction. Consider taking the steps to become a Certified Family Life Educator and use your proven background to make family systems healthy.