NC Family Impact Seminars

NCFIS_logoThe North Carolina Family Impact Seminar (NCFIS) is a series of seminars, briefing reports, and follow-up activities for state policymakers and executive branch leaders. The seminars feature experts in research, policy and practice who provide objective, nonadvocacy and solution-oriented information on timely policy issues.

The Center became the home site for NCFIS in 2004 and presented the first seminar in 2005. NCFIS is part of the Policy Institute for Family Impact Seminars (PINFIS). The Institute was founded in 1999 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension to continue the mission of the federal Family Impact Seminar, which operated from 1976 to 1998 in Washington, D.C. As part of this national FIS network of more than 20 states, NCFIS can link policymakers with current research and evidence-based policy options on a myriad of pressing issues.

Legislative Advisory Committee:Tamara Barringer 2015 FIS

This bipartisan committee helps select seminar topics, informs colleagues of seminars and provides important guidance. The committee members are:

  • Drupti Chauhan, Research Division, N.C. General Assembly (NCGA)
  • Rep. Rick Glazier
  • Sen. Fletcher Hartsell
  • Kristopher Nordstrom, Fiscal Research Division, NCGA

How are Family Impact Seminars Unique?

Family Impact Seminars provide an opportunity for policymakers and other stakeholders to learn from experts about the impact of policies on families and children.  FIS encourages leaders to consider these impacts in the same way that they routinely consider economic and environmental impacts.

The seminars:

  • Connect legislators with experts.Nancy Carter and Marcella Middleton
  • Deliver objective information on a range of evidence-based policy options without advocating for particular strategies or solutions.
  • Provide an overview of the scientific research on current topics.
  • Provide opportunities for policymakers to discuss issues and seek common ground in a nonpartisan, neutral environment.

How Do Policymakers Use FIS Information?

Mark Testa 2015 FISLegislators across the country use information from these seminars to:

  • draft new legislation,
  • evaluate pending legislation,
  • introduce research into deliberations,
  • prepare for speeches and presentations, and
  • share new ideas with colleagues.

What Resources Are Available?

  • Briefing Reports:  FIS publications are available electronically.  The reports address topics such as child care, education, juvenile crime, long-term care, parenting, smoking and substance use.
    • NCFIS reports and other materials are available on this website; see “past seminars” in the right column.
    • PINFIS: Publications from other FIS sites are available at
  • Experts:  NCFIS and PINFIS can connect legislators to policy research organizations and university research centers that address a range of social policy issues and that focus on research-to-policy translation.
  • Guidance: NCFIS and PINFIS can provide guidance on how to assess the impact of policies on families.FIS 2015 Panel