The Family Impact Seminars—a series of seminars, discussion sessions, and briefing reports—provide state policymakers with nonpartisan, solution-oriented research on family issues such as after-school programs, children’s health insurance, early childhood care and education, juvenile crime, and welfare reform. The Family Impact Seminars were created to better connect research and policy, and to promote a family impact and racial equity lens in policymaking. Twenty-five states and the District of Columbia are part of the Family Impact Institute for Family Impact Seminars network and are currently conducting or planning to conduct Family Impact Seminars in their capitals.
The Seminars target state policymakers, including legislators, legislative aides, governor’s office staff, legislative service agency staff, and agency representatives. The traditional format of the 2-hour seminars consists of three 20-minute presentations given by a panel of premier researchers, program directors, and policy analysts. For each seminar, discussion sessions are held and a background briefing report summarizes high-quality research on the issue in a succinct, easy-to-understand format.
Each state conducts one or two seminars a year, usually in the state capitol building, on an issue identified by a bipartisan group of state legislators. The Seminars are sponsored primarily by universities and Cooperative Extension.