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Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Program Description

The University of Maryland Family & Consumer Sciences (FCS) strives to ensure that all Maryland residents are healthy and economically successful at every stage of life through education, research, and outreach programs. We accomplish this by working with youth and families to prevent and manage chronic diseases through healthy food and physical activity choices, handling food safely, having financial literacy, health insurance literacy, and safe and healthy places to live, work, play, and learn. We help people acquire knowledge, skills, and confidence necessary to make informed decisions that affect their health and economic well-being. We help them identify health risks and then make a plan to reduce those risks. We help people make choices that reduce debt, increase savings for emergencies and long-term goals, and make spending plans based on how much they earn and what their expenses are. We work with adults, young people, schools, organizations, businesses, and communities. We develop partnerships to maximize our expertise and outreach. Our work is based on the latest research from the University of Maryland and other institutions aimed to influence policy, systems, and environmental changes.

FCS Mission 

The University of Maryland Extension Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Programs strengthen and transform individuals, families, and communities by providing research-based educational programs focusing on nutrition, financial management, health insurance literacy, and food safety and preservation. FCS aspires to be the leader in providing programs in promoting the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities through education, research, and outreach.

FCS Vision 

UME FCS ensures all Maryland residents achieve healthy living and economic success across the life span.

Priority Areas

To empower Maryland residents to achieve healthy and prosperous living, FCS focuses on four priority areas. In each priority area, FCS provides high-quality educational programs that are based on or informed by research, conducts applied research, and informs policy affecting families and communities:

1. Nutrition, Health, and Wellness (NHW): To create a health-promoting environment and to reduce modifiable lifestyle risk factors by helping youth and adults develop and maintain healthy eating habits along with the physical activity

2. Financial Capability and Wellness: To help youth and adults increase wealth and achieve financial wellbeing by managing money wisely, making informed financial decisions, increasing short and long-term savings, managing credit, and setting and working toward short and long-term financial goals

3. Food Safety and Preservation: To decrease the incidence of foodborne illnesses from occurring through promoting the understanding and adoption of safe food production, handling, and preservation practices by consumers, processors, farmers, and growers

4. Health Insurance Literacy: To help consumers access and manage their health care wisely by increasing the ability to evaluate the information, choose and use their health insurance