University of Prince Edward Island Satellite Event

McMillan Hall, W. A. Murphy Student Centre

University of Prince Edward Island
550 University Avenue
Charlottetown, PE  C1A 4P3

On March 27 and 28, 2019, the University of Prince Edward Island will be hosting a satellite event for the Families in Canada Conference 2019!

Note: A Community Engagement Reception will be held on March 27, 2019 at 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Atlantic Time) at this event.

Download the University of Prince Edward Island FAM2019 Satellite Event Program

Post-Conference symposium (March 29, 2019): Grandparents Raising Grandchildren – It Takes a Village to Raise a Grandchild (download the program)


Think BIG! Exploring Issues and Opportunities to Promote Family Well-being on Prince Edward Island

As the province’s only university, the University of Prince Edward Island is committed to advancing family well-being, and is proud to be partnering with the Vanier Institute of the Family for this exciting conference. Through dynamic local programming and the national livestream, this event will explore issues and opportunities facing families today.

The local panel sessions will reflect the context of PEI with the following themes:

1. In the Beginning: The First Five Years
2. Youth and Family
3. 21st-Century Families
4. Starting Over
5. Expanding Families
6. In the End

Panel focus areas

Our panellists, representing different perspectives as individuals with lived experience, policy-makers, practitioners and researchers, will consider issues and opportunities relative to these areas.

Panel 1: In the Beginning: The First Five Years

“Early childhood development is considered to be the most important phase in life which determines the quality of health, well-being, learning and behaviour across the life span. It is a period of great opportunity, but also of great vulnerability to negative influences and constitutes a unique phase for capitalizing on developmental forces to prevent or minimize disabilities and potential secondary conditions.”

World Health Organization (WHO), 2015

Panel 2: Youth and Family

Strong healthy families are essential to support optimal youth development, which in turn contributes to strong societies. It is within the family that youth first learn of their intrinsic value and dignity – imparting core values and influencing character development. The examples set by parents, grandparents and extended family members shape the youth beliefs, actions and behaviours of youth.

At the same time as youth engage in identity formation, peer support and peer acceptance rises in importance in the lives of youths. The efforts to emerge as an individual and extricate themselves from their parents’ identities can lead to risk-taking behaviours. As youths attempt to navigate their transition to young adulthood, families take on a different role.

Panel 3: 21st-Century Families

Families are more racially, ethnically, religiously and culturally diverse than even before. The “traditional” family is no longer viewed as the only path to positive outcomes. The evolving complexity and diversity in family forms has prompted research, policy and practice initiatives aimed at strengthening families and family members, whether the ties are biological, formalized or by choice.

Despite continuities and changes in family life, there is an enduring attachment to family ties and commitments. Understanding how resilience may be fostered is critical to effectively support families at times of stress.

Panel 4: Starting Over

Modern family structures reflect trends in contemporary partnering patterns and family formation and reformation patterns. Role confusion, resentment and conflict may ensue as familial rules are renegotiated and/or re-established. When expectations are unmet, relationship conflicts can result.

Although the nuclear family model continues to be held as the dominant cultural norm in our society, families that arise from new beginnings play an important role in society and have taken on newfound prominence.

Panel 5: Expanding Families

The family form has always been shaped by socioeconomic and cultural changes; however, the once anticipated empty nest has become a haven for adult children to return to their parental homes; for grandparents to raise their grandchildren; or for grown children to care for aging parents. “Re-nesting” may negatively affect the development of some families, while others adjust and flourish.

Panel 6: In the End

When a family comes to an end, or experiences significant loss, the remaining members undergo a process of “role reorganization.” As the family faces the challenges of regaining the rhythm and balance that was lost, the lessons learned about themselves, the world and others can put together a life that is necessarily different, but equally meaningful.