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Family Economics & Consumerism Toolkit    
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Toolkit Outline and Background Detach

Family Economics and Consumerism (FEC) Toolkit  
Compiled by 
The Family Resource Management-Area of Expertise Research Subcommittee 
Constance Costner-Campus

Terry Jones-MSUE/Washtenaw County
Brenda Long-MSUE/Ionia County
Sienna Suszek- Alpena and Alcona Counties
Sharon Jeffery - Clare County


Fiscal Year 2008-2009

Background Information:

The information contain within the Family Economics and Consumerism (FEC) Toolkit is designed ensure that the point of entry of financial educational opportunities is relevant to the consumers need and readiness to implement financial tools and skills offered by an Extension Educator. Thus, Prochaska and DiClemente Stages of Change Theory (SCT) will provide a model by which to examine and employ timely financial educational opportunities which address consumer need. Initially the (SCT) processed the following four stages and was thought to be linear in nature,

  • PRE-CONTEMPLATION or Unaware of the problem, hasn't thought about change educational need includes, increase awareness of need for change, personalize information on risks and benefits
  • CONTEMPLATION or thinking about change, in the near future educational need includes, motivate, encourage to make specific plans
  • DECISION/DETERMINATION or making a plan to change plans, setting gradual goals educational need includes, assist in developing concrete action
  • ACTION or implementation of specific action plans educational needs includes, assist with feedback, problem solving, social support, reinforcement
  • MAINTENANCE Continuation of desirable actions, or repeating periodic educational need includes, assist in coping, reminders, finding alternatives, avoiding slips/relapses
Overtime two additional steps were added to the SCT in an effort to illustrate the complexity of change behavior of individuals. Equally, the phases are not linear but rather a set of dynamically interacting components through which the individual will likely cycle a number of times before achieving sustained behavior change. Listed below is a diagram which depicts the ebb and flow of the Stages of Change Model.
Prochaska and DiClemente’s Stages of Change Model
Stage of Change
Not currently considering change: "Ignorance is bliss"
Validate lack of readiness
Clarify: decision is theirs
Encourage re-evaluation of current behavior
Encourage self-exploration, not action
Explain and personalize the risk
Ambivalent about change: "Sitting on the fence"
Not considering change within the next month
Validate lack of readiness
Clarify: decision is theirs
Encourage evaluation of pros and cons of behavior change
Identify and promote new, positive outcome expectations
Some experience with change and are trying to change: "Testing the waters"
Planning to act within 1month
Identify and assist in problem solving re: obstacles
Help patient identify social support
Verify that patient has underlying skills for behavior change
Encourage small initial steps
Practicing new behavior for
3-6 months
Focus on restructuring cues and social support
Bolster self-efficacy for dealing with obstacles
Combat feelings of loss and reiterate long-term benefits
Continued commitment to sustaining new behavior
Post-6 months to 5 years
Plan for follow-up support
Reinforce internal rewards
Discuss coping with relapse
Resumption of old behaviors: "Fall from grace"
Reassess motivation and barriers
Plan stronger coping strategies
In summation the above outlined offers a window by which to design and implement financial educational programming which address consumers’ financial educational need at the point of entry or contact with an Extension Educator. The Family Economics and Consumerism Toolkit is purpose is to facilitate stages of change financial educational programming at the local level. An initial assessment of the consumer ensures that the information provided is tailored to the consumers’ unique educational needs. Of equal importance an evaluation tool is and integral part of the functionality of the FEC toolkit.
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