Document Type


Publication Date



Parent and family life educators face difficult ethical issues on a daily basis. These issues may include observing parenting practices that may be harmful to children, responding to parent remarks about their partners, or sharing information about a family with a professional in another agency. Some of these situations may be resolved by reviewing general principles of good practice with a colleague, while others may reveal a true ethical dilemma.

Parent and family life educators are working with complex family systems, diverse belief and value systems, and a variety of social institutions and agencies. Many face these issues in relative isolation and with limited guidance from an emerging field. This document was developed to offer a thoughtful and balanced approach to understanding ethical principles and a concrete process for using them to address difficult ethical issues and dilemmas.

Ethics Committee Members:

Ada Alden, Dawn Cassidy, Betty Cooke, Beth Gausman, Glen Palm, Marietta Rice, Joyce Schultenover, Anne Stokes, Sue Stoner, and Kathy Zanner.


NOTE: This document is copyright © 2009 by the Minnesota Council on Family Relations (MCFR) and is republished here with their generous permission. MCFR provides access to the original at



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.