The Evolution of the “Home Economist”

Carol Bralich, Human Development & Relationship Educator

The role of the Home Economist has evolved forward from its original public image of only being concerned with cooking, sewing and farm ledgers. The modern Home Economist, Human Development and Relationships Educator, is concerned with everything that affects the family. Carol’s’s area of focus and expertise includes financial capability programming, professional development for childcare professionals and programs for end-of-life planning in partnership with local, family-serving agencies.

As a result of these newly established family-centered needs in Washington County the following are some initiatives that have been implemented under Extension’s Human Development and Relationships program:

Planning AHEAD is a 7-session course that helps adults of all ages to make end-of-life financial, healthcare, and final wishes decisions in order to reduce the stress experienced by survivors and to ensure that their wishes are honored.

Money Matters is an online self-study program, where participants learned about spending plans, credit, and paying bills on time. This effort is designed to improve the success of Work ‘N Wheels program participants in maintaining timely payments so they have transportation to access employment and improve their credit score.

The Washington County Spring Childcare Conference is a Registry approved four hour professional development program for early childhood professionals where they learned to understand and address challenging behaviors of children.

Encouraging Financial Conversations is a series of sessions for social workers, home visitors and community agency staff where they learn about financial competency skills. The goal of this effort is to build their knowledge and confidence when engaging clients in financial conversations.

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