Parenting and Family Life

Researchers and faculty in this core examine healthy parenting and family life as a strong foundation for child and youth development, and healthy communities as a strong foundation for families.

Core Leadership

Current project summaries from within the core


Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative

PI: Shauna Tominey, Ph.D.
Funding: Oregon Community Foundation, The Ford Family Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, The Collins Foundation, Oregon Department of Human Services

The Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative (OPEC) is a partnership between four philanthropic foundations and Oregon State University. OPEC strives to increase access to and normalize participation in parenting education programs for families with children of all ages across the state of Oregon and in Siskiyou County, California. OPEC provides an infrastructure for a network of parenting education "Hubs" that coordinate local and regional parenting education services. Faculty and staff at Oregon State University support OPEC through technical assistance and strategic planning; professional development, including the annual Oregon Parenting Educators Conference; and research and evaluation.


News articles on core research

Healthy Parenting and Family Life

  • Early Years Resource Guide for Parents
    The Albany Democrat Herald's latest resource guide for parents highlights the expertise of several of the Hallie Ford staff. Megan MacDonald gives suggestions for adaptive activities for children with special needs as well as insight on how to cope with autism (pages 6-7). Denise Rennekamp comments on ways to be a positive influence on your children (page 9), and Kathy Gunter points out the importance of a healthy diet and proper exercise (page 19).
  • Worry More About Under-Involved Parents
    Before we start lots of handwringing about parents and children today, let’s get a grip: If the 20th century American family were displayed in an animated flipbook, the first pages whizzing by would show large families with many children clustered on the margins, evolving to the present with just a few children situated at the center.
  • Appreciating nutrition education statewide
    Now each year through a special program, more than 70,000 Oregonians of all ages - in all 36 counties and in 3 tribal lands – are educated to make nutritious food choices, engage in physical activity, handle food safely, and manage their resources so they have food at the end of the month.
  • Being a parent can be tough, this group aims to help
    Seaside single mother Darcie Shirk faced the challenges of raising her 2-year old son and wasn't sure just what steps to take to be successful.  That's when she discovered parenting classes established in Clatsop County by the North Coast Parenting group. 
  • A unique public/private partnership strengthens parenting education
    “Oregon’s pioneering spirit is putting us on the map once again,” says Denise Rennekamp proudly. “Our contract from the Oregon Community Foundation enables us to create an infrastructure for parenting education programs in Oregon that addresses research, evaluation, coordination, technical assistance, professional development, and methods to share best practices.”


Stories on core research and programs