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A multi-channeled Print, Digital, and Social Network

In 1998, the Resilient Futures Network published the first edition of the Creating Lasting Family Connections Curriculum (CLFC). Ted N. Strader had risked his family home as collateral in order to obtain a loan to publish the first edition of this multi-module, comprehensive personal and family strengthening program that included six different trainer manuals with accompanying participant notebooks, over sixty full sized posters, a portfolio case, and canvas carry case. He believed that all of these items were important for the ever flexible prevention professional who generally must be able to take their materials out into the community. He wanted prevention professionals to have a comprehensive, yet extremely flexible, training system that was still conveniently packaged and ready to roll out into their community. While first year sales were dismal, the feedback from the few customers who had actually purchased the materials was very encouraging. The 5 day CLFC Implementation Training was also met with powerful and positive feedback and reviews from customers. Ted Strader had bravely ignored the conventional wisdom that people will only respond to a maximum of three days of training for any new product. Strader was adamant that high quality training for such a comprehensive approach required a minimum of 5 full days. He risked everything he owned on the belief that high quality materials and professional training meant more than mere convenience to those who were dedicated to gaining tangible and scientifically measurable results for their communities.

By the end of the year in 2000, his intuition, experience and financial investment began to show signs of success. Strader was busy traveling across the nation leading CLFC Implementation Trainings. He literally took the program from coast to coast including New York, Texas, Florida, California and several points in between.

By mid 2001, the first edition was selling out. It was time to start re-investing in a reprint, every publisher’s dream. The curriculum was proving to be popular for those individuals and agencies searching for something comprehensive. Prevention planners found that CLFC really made an impact when the provider was willing to “work the craft” out in real communities with real youth and  parents with a wide variety of regional, ethnic and cultural representation. With a strong outcry for Spanish materials, RFN made the investment for translation of the entire CLFC collection with the assistance of Lorenza Mena who made a truly self-sacrificing contribution of time and energy in the lead. The reprint was now to be made in two languages!  

Where ever there were interested individuals, groups and agencies that had deep roots and relationships in their communities receiving the CLFC Implementation Training and using an effective mobilization strategy, amazing things were happening with CLFC. By 2005, it became clear that video support materials could help those organizations with less prevention experience and younger staffs. Ted made digital DVD’s for national distribution. This addition has met with strong appeal for the younger trainers around the nation.

Ted also successfully pioneered an early “chat site” on his COPES web page for parents hoping to take the concept nationwide. While it proved popular for his local program participants in Louisville, it seemed to diminish in strength and value for those receiving CLFC from their local prevention agencies and schools. We learned that people had “created lasting connections” with their own local CLFC trainers, and the initial national network appeal was less attractive and meaningful. Local community connections really matter. However, people also were clearly interested in larger connections. People began asking how they could contribute to others, not how could they receive more! A seed had been planted.

Resilient people also naturally seem to want to assist others in their quest for empowerment for a brighter future. So, in building the Resilient Futures Network, we wanted to incorporate an opportunity for everyone to “give back” or to “pass it on to others”.  Therefore, we created a Virtual Pipeline for each of us to reach the world. To learn more about how you can contribute to the betterment of others around the world, please get yourself and your ideas and “gifts” into the pipeline.

Another recent RFN focus has been to “team up with technology” and develop several new materials and make them available digitally rather than in print. A soon to be released collaborative book by Ted N. Strader and Ric Stuecker, Secrets of Successful Facilitation, is a comprehensive, frame by frame exposé of how even highly skilled facilitators maximize their influence in their work to help others grow in their personal, family, professional and community skills for a truly RESILIENT FUTURE.

The Resilient Futures Network includes thousands of professional and community members who strive for their own best, and to bring-out-the-best in others. As Ted points out beautifully in his book titled Building Healthy Individuals, Families and Communities (Kluer Plenum Academic Press, 2000), the more connected we can become to our inner-self, our family, and our community, the more immune to negative influences and social ills we become. There truly is a powerful CONNECT-IMMUNITY force in the universe. The more healthy each of us becomes, and the more we share our healthy thoughts, feelings and behaviors with others, the more healthy and resilient we all become. We actually can build for ourselves, for our families and for our communities a RESILIENT FUTURES NETWORK where we mutually support each other. We each can generate positive energy and combine it with the positive energy of others to create a positive force in our lives that actually improves the future for everyone. For those of us at RFN, we intend to act on this belief and achieve global influence toward healthy and happy interpersonal and community connections.

                Thank you for joining us!