Strands and Objectives


The 109th Annual Conference and Expo is designed to:

  • Goal 1:  Create opportunities for professionals to expand their knowledge needed to address current and emerging social and emotional issues related to all family and consumer sciences content areas and practice settings.
  • Goal 2:  Communicate how family and consumer sciences professionals and programs help individuals and families make informed decisions about their relationships and social and emotional health.
  • Goal 3:  Consider best practices, research-based strategies, and effective tools and resources used to build social and emotional skills that contribute to healthy relationships.
  • Goal 4:  Connect professionals across multiple content areas and practice settings to share and provide appropriate services, resources, and support to individuals, families, and communities.


Participants in the AAFCS 109th Annual Conference will be able to:

  • Describe how the family and consumer sciences field focuses on and contributes to meeting basic human needs (physiological needs plus safety, love and belonging, self-esteem, and self-actualization). 
  • Examine the relationship between mental, emotional, and social health and its impact on the decisions and behaviors of individuals, families, and communities.
  • Support the development of essential skills needed to help individuals and families build character, improve communication, strengthen collaboration, promote resiliency, and maintain healthy relationships throughout the lifespan.
  • Utilize research-based information, skills, and strategies for developing and enhancing the social and emotional competence of children, youth, and adults. 
  • Design educational programs that address and support the social, emotional, and relationship needs of diverse audiences.  
  • Provide effective tools and resources that help individuals and families manage physical, social, mental, emotional, environmental, or financial relationships and challenges at major life stages.
  • Validate the critical role of FCS professionals and programs providing high-quality and effective social and emotional learning opportunities and relationship education.
  • Discuss the psychosocial aspects of food and nutrition choices and behaviors, financial practices, and apparel, textile, and interior design decisions. 
  • Assess the psychosocial effect of the near environment (clothing and shelter) on individual and family well-being and decision-making.
  • Articulate the relevance and uniqueness of the integrative, synergistic approach that family and consumer sciences professionals use to address complex societal issues associated with relationships among individuals, families, consumers, communities, and the environments in which they function.  
  • Engage in professional networks that cultivate collaborative relationships and advance the mission and body of knowledge of family and consumer sciences. 
  • Showcase best practices, award-winning scholarship and relevant research, and association programs and initiatives.  


This year, all Concurrent Sessions (formerly Peer-Reviewed Sessions and Sessions of Special Interest) and Meal Functions should fit one of the following five strands (formerly tracks), regardless of primary content area. Bullet points below each strand are potential session topic suggestions ONLY--please feel free to get creative! We encourage you to bring new and innovative ideas to conference--get excited and create excitement for others!

Helping Build Healthy Relationships
Potential Session Topics:

  • Communication Skill Development
  • Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
  • Identification and Management of Toxic Relationships
  • Trends and Emerging issues in Marriage and Divorce
  • Effective Parenting Programs and Models
  • Dating Violence
  • Ways to Reduce Child Neglect and Abuse
  • Caregiver Roles and Relationships
  • Victim Advocacy and Prevention
  • Family Violence
  • Multi-Generational Relationships
  • Healthy School/Campus/Workplace Relationships
  • Impact of Finances on Relationships
  • Relationship Between Eating Disorders and Emotions

Elevating Research and Scholarship
Potential Session Topics:

  • Awards Presentations
  • Best Practices for Conducting and Publishing Research
  • How to Apply for Awards, Grants, Fellowships, and Scholarships
  • Research Grant Funding
  • Oral Research Presentations
  • Highlights of Current and Relevant Research Studies 

Activating Engagement and Leadership
Potential Session Topics:

  • Public Policy and the Future of FCS
  • Service Learning
  • Volunteerism
  • Mentoring
  • Governance Sessions 
  • Board and Business Meetings
  • AAFCS Community Events

Rejuvenating Programs with Effective Tools and Resources
Potential Session Topics:

  • First-Year Teacher Support
  • Educator Recruitment and Retention
  • Best Practices for Instruction and Assessment
  • Effective Strategies for Teaching FCS Core Courses
  • Uses of Google Classroom
  • Program Funding
  • Integration and Use of Educational Apps and Technology
  • Application and Emphasis on STEAM Concepts
  • Student Organizations/Youth Development

Tackling Social and Emotional Wellness
Potential Session Topics:

  • Social and Emotional Learning
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Bullying
  • Social Psychology of Clothing
  • Mindfulness
  • Character Education
  • Importance of Self-Care
  • Stress Management and Creation of a Healthy Work/Life Balance
  • Resiliency and Overcoming Obstacles
  • Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness
  • Impact of Mental Illness on Individuals, Families, and Communities
  • Impact of Body Image on Social and Emotional Health
  • Improvement and Maintenance of Social and Emotional Healthy Among Aging Populations
  • Design of Personal Living Spaces to Promote Social and Emotional Well-Being
  • Effect of Color on Mind and Mood
  • Emotionally Healthy Homes
  • Financial Implications of Maintaining Mental Health or Managing Mental Illness
  • Financial Stress