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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



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