FDC is an interagency, locally based professional development program by which human service workers can become more empowered themselves while simultaneously learning knowledge, skills and values associated with the key tenets of empowerment practice.

The current FDC curriculum, Empowerment Skills for Workers (Forest, 2003), which addresses empowerment of human service workers as a step in empowerment of families is largely based on foundational research carried out at Cornell University by Urie Bronfenbrenner and others, referred to as Family Matters (Cochran, 1988).

FDC research efforts to date have been highly varied in scope, focus, theory and methodology. Research conducted on the outcomes of FDC training revealed that workers use family development skills in both their professional and personal lives, gained enhanced skills in helping families develop their own goals of self-reliance and ability to meet those goals; agency supervisors reported an increased effectiveness in helping workers relate to families and improved communication among workers and families.

The following is a sampling of the more recent and relevant research.

  • Crane Empowerment Skills for Family Workers
    In this paper, Dr. Betsy Crane, a co-founder of FDC, discusses the New York State Family Development Training and Credentialing Program.

  • FDC Outcomes Report-9/1999
    A report written by Dr. Betsy Crane which presents early results/outcomes of the NYS-FDC Program.

  • FDC Program Theory-Outcomes-5/2000
    This Crane article discusses the process of developing a logic model for the NY State FDC program.

  • FDC- How and why training works-5/2000
    In this follow-up article to the FDC program theory outcomes, Crane presents a narrative description of key elements of the change process and the connections between program activities and outcomes.

  • Roots and Branches of family support-5/2000
    In this article, Crane provides an overview of the "roots and branches" of family support. The roots including the defining principles of family support, the historical influences from the perspective of formal and informal systems, research and academic contributions, legislation and international ties and the branches to include the programs and systems that incorporate family support principles and practices.

  • Changes in front line family workers-results from Missouri FDC-4/2007
    This report reviews the literature on factors related to job satisfaction and feelings of burnout among family workers and how participation in the Missouri FDC program helped participants acquire an increase in self-esteem, mastery and job confidence and to decrease feelings of burnout.

  • Teaching Resistance with On the Job Training-10/2009
    Smith and Day present the results of the Missouri FDC program showing that the program let its graduates to claim power of their work environment, shifting the balance of power so that it was not held exclusively by supervisors.

  • Using Qualitative Data to refine a logic model for Cornell FDC Program-7/2010
    Dr. Crane's article provides an example of how qualitative data were used to refine a logic model for the Cornell FDC program.

  • Using empowering processes to create empowered outcomes through FDC: An Empirical study of change in human service workers-8/2012
    Hewitt's research sought to understand how psychological empowerment is related to environmental conditions in human service agencies and individual level characteristics through employing a quasi-experimental control group posttest design.

  • FDC-a synthesis of outcome research
    This article written by Hewitt, Crane and Mooney provides: (a) an in-depth description of the programmatic model, (b) analysis of 11 known FDC evaluations studies, (c) synthesis of research findings in four outcome areas, and (d) elucidation of future research agenda for the program including promising theoretical lenses.