The Center for Families works on, or supports, various initiatives throughout the year in an effort to achieve its mission of initiating and integrating outreach, teaching, and research activities that support families. We maintain an archive of the center’s work which you can find here.

Family Impact Institute

Since 1999, the Family Impact Institute (FII) has been the national headquarters for state-focused Family Impact Seminars. It has built capacity for research-based policy decisions on family issues, by recruiting affiliates for the state seminar sites and providing training on how to build relationships with policymakers and effectively communicate research evidence to them. FII facilitates the exchange of ideas and peer mentoring on how to make the seminars more effective and efficient. To ensure seminar quality, the FII provides training, consultation on best practices for building the advisory infrastructure, writing policy briefs, fundraising, and viewing issues through the lens of family impact and racial equity.

Indiana Consortium of Family Organizations

In 1993, four Indiana organizations joined together to promote family perspective in public policy and services. Today, the joint effort is known as the Indiana Consortium of Family Organizations (COFO) and has a membership of twelve organizations, and growing. COFO’s goal is to work together with state policy makers to promote a family perspective in public policy in Indiana and support to the Indiana Family Impact Seminar. If you are interested in joining COFO, please contact the Center for Families at

Indiana Family Impact Seminars

Since 1993, the Indiana Family Impact Seminars have been helping policymakers better serve families in Indiana. Legislators need the most current research and the interpretation of data in order to write legislation that is effective and appropriate to promote family perspective in public policy and services. Supported by the Indiana Consortium of Family Organizations, the seminars provide objective information in educational sessions which summarize current research in order to analyze the consequences an issue, policy, or program, and illustrate the central role of families in addressing social problems​.

Kanter Award for Excellence in Work-Family Research

In an effort improve the quality of life of working families across the globe, in 2000, the center and the Center for Work and Family at Boston College developed the Kanter Award for Excellence in Work-Family Research, which raises the awareness of high quality work-family research among the scholar, consultant, and practitioner communities by identifying the best-of-the-best-research from that year. The integrity of the award in the community continues to drive the standards of quality for work-family research, while the actionable findings from the best studies become more commonplace in business communities to inform policy and best people practices. ​​

Military Family Research Institute

Working to extend and strengthen the ability of military and civilian organizations to help military families, the Military Family Research Institute, developed by the center in 2000, designs and implements outreach activities that assist military families and by conducting research with and for military families that generates important new knowledge about their experiences. With funding from Lilly Endowment Inc., the Department of Defense, Sesame Workshop and other partners, their efforts and leadership are helping to enhance our Indiana’s reputation in military circles, and have caused us to be sought out by local, state and national decision makers for advice and collaboration.

Affiliated Initiatives

Paths to QUALITY

Promoting Family Meals

Status of Indiana Families