Garbarino takes on social toxicity

Dr Jim Garbarino has just released the title and abstract of his keynote presentation for the 2013 HFCC:

The Challenge of Parenting in a Socially Toxic Environment

HFCC 2013
February 14
James Garbarino, PhD
Loyola University Chicago

Social toxicity refers to the extent to which the social environment in which families develop and operate is poisonous, in the sense that it contains serious threats to the development of identity, competence, moral reasoning, trust, hope, and the other features of personality and ideology that make for success in school, family, work, and the community. Like physical toxicity, it can be fatal– in the forms of suicide, homicide, drug-related and other life style-related preventable deaths. But mostly it results in diminished “humanity” in the lives of children and youth by virtue of leading them to live in a state of degradation, whether they know it or not.
What are the social and cultural poisons that are psychologically equivalent to lead and smoke in the air, PCB’s in the water, and pesticides in the food chain? We can see social toxicity in the values, practices, and institutions that breed feelings of fear about the world, feelings of rejection by adults inside and outside the family, exposure to traumatic images and experiences, absence of adult supervision, and inadequate exposure to positive adult role models. These feelings and experiences arise from being embedded in a shallow materialist culture, being surrounded with negative and degrading media messages, and being deprived of relationships with sources of character in the school, the neighborhood, and the larger community. This presentation focuses on how parents can respond successfully to these challenges

Early Bird Closes 14 December

The organizing committee of the 2013 HFCC is pleased to announce a revised date of 14 December 2012 as the cut-off date for early bird registrations.

Delegates are invited to register before early bird closes in order to take advantage of significant savings.


Abstracts: Accepted

The scientific committee of the 2013 HFCC is pleased to announce that notifications have been sent to all successfull delegates who have submitted abstracts for next year’s conference.

The conference program is now being finalised and a draft will be available on the website shortly.



Registrations Now Open

***2013 Helping Families Change Conference Registrations Open***

Registrations for the 2013 Helping Families Change Conference (HFCC) are now open. The theme for the 2013 HFCC is: Every family: Enhancing outcomes for vulnerable children, families, and communities.
The HFCC is of interest to practitioners, policy makers and researchers working with families in the health, education and welfare sectors, and to graduate students with an interest in child and family issues. Supplemented by a comprehensive social program, the HFCC offers presentations, symposia, and workshops across a broad range of domains, including:
• Issues, strategies, and innovations related to parenting and family interventions
• Working with high-risk families
• Cultural diversity and the role of technology in parenting and family interventions
• The public health approach to parenting interventions
• The future of the family

Registration is available through the REGISTRATION section of this website

Abstract submissions now open

Prospective presenters for the 2013 HFCC are now welcome to submit their abstracts for consideration for inclusion in next year’s program.

To committee will consider abstracts which address the theme of the conference Every family: Enhancing outcomes for vulnerable children, families, and communities.

Applicants are invited to submit abstracts for:

Individual paper presentations

Abstracts of individual research papers for parallel sessions are being accepted for 15-20 minute oral presentations. These will be grouped together in themes and offered in the parallel sessions. Submissions for individual paper presentations should use the following structure where possible—background, objectives, method, results and conclusion. However this is not compulsory if it doesn’t fit with your abstract submission.

Organized paper symposia

Symposia should consist of 3-4 presentations around a single theme preferably with a discussant that links the papers together and facilitates group discussion. Submissions for symposia should clearly state the objective of the session, the format of the session, and the topics to be covered. Only one abstract is required per symposia.

In-conference workshops

In-conference workshops should be more interactive than paper presentations or symposia. Unlike papers and symposia, the focus is not on presenting new research findings, but rather on teaching a skill-set based on relevant research and theory. Workshops will only be included in the conference schedule if they are specifically related to the conference goals. Abstract submissions for workshops should include an overall workshop goal as well as a list of specific workshop objectives.

The closing date for abstract submissions is September 30, 2012.

Applicants are invited to visit the ABSTRACT SUBMISSION section of this website to submit their abstracts online.