Annual Report

Letter From the Director

Dr. Barbara Fiese

Identifying ways to strengthen families during challenging times so that they may thrive is a guiding principle for much of the work at the Family Resiliency Center (FRC).

2017 presented many challenges to families across the United States and the globe- ranging from natural disasters to increased stress in daily life. The 2017 Stress in America report released by the American Psychological Association revealed that nearly two-thirds of Americans reported significant amounts of stress in the past year. Researchers at FRC report back to me that they too have heard firsthand how the families that they talk with are experiencing increased levels of stress on a daily basis. The Abriendo Caminos Program includes sites in Houston and Puerto Rico. While our colleagues in Houston are up and running and families are putting their lives back together, our thoughts and prayers are still with the families in Puerto Rico who have yet to find some semblance of order in their daily lives. Resiliency is often defined as the ability to “bounce back” after a challenge. We aim to develop and disseminate programs that assist families to find order and reduce stress even when faced with some of life’s grandest challenges.

In this annual report you will see evidence for hope. As previously mentioned, the Abriendo Caminos program is operating in five sites across the country to promote healthy habits for Hispanic families. This community-based program has already demonstrated effectiveness in decreasing the consumption of unhealthy foods. The JUS? Media Programme in Jamaica is promoting food-focused media literacy to teens and their mothers. I was fortunate to attend the first community stakeholders meeting in November. The enthusiasm to affect the health and wellbeing of teens across the country – and perhaps the entire Caribbean- was palpable. STRONG Kids is growing strong as well. With over 450 families enrolled in the project we are beginning to see how dietary habits are established at birth and may have long lasting effects into the preschool years.

These are but a few examples of the exciting research and outreach programs at FRC. I invite you to peruse the 2017 Annual Report and see that families are indeed resilient- with support and an appreciation of their daily challenges.

— Dr. Barbara Fiese

Past Annual Reports