Mission Statement


The Department prepares students to become developmental science leaders who support the well-being of children, families, and communities in diverse settings. Recognizing the impact of systemic oppression across development, our emerging leaders learn to employ ethical, strengths-based practices for addressing social inequities and promoting resilience. Students are trained to think and write critically about human and family development through identifying and solving real-world problems, advocating for individuals and families, and disseminating knowledge.


Through the convergence of critical consciousness and culturally-sustaining practices with an intersectional lens, the students, faculty, and staff will collaborate with a shared sense of values to foster a collective identity of leaders advancing social justice.


The Department of Child and Family Studies values and promotes the following:

Perspectives and approach to learning

  • Culturally-sustaining and social-constructivist pedagogy to address social justice and equity in the development of children and families through innovative methods of teaching, learning, scholarship, and community engagement.
  • Experiential learning that helps students actively apply knowledge in community settings, engaging in iterative reflection to promote an understanding of broader contexts and systems of oppression.  
  • Student-centered approach that recognizes and values students’ lived experiences and intersectional identities.

Critical thinking skills

  • Engagement in and evaluation of the study of children and families using rigorous scientific methods and processes.
  • Acknowledgement of the inherent fluidity of the scientific process including the importance of contextualized interpretations and the existence of nuance, uncertainty, and complexity.
  • Recognition that the developing person and family are embedded within diverse cultural, local, global, and historical contexts, which are nested and interconnected.
  • Investigation, critical questioning, and analysis of the implications of systems of power that shape policies and practices affecting children, families, and communities.

Professional attitudes

  • Appreciation of the significance of language, culture, sexual orientation and gender identity, ability status, and racial and ethnic and forms of identity as they relate to human development and interconnection.
  • Awareness that children and adults achieve their full potential in the context of relationships that are based on trust, respect, and integrity, and seeking to model and promote these relationships.
  • Understanding that colonial, White, Western values are implied in our theories of normative development, and deconstructing these theories with a critical and collectivist lens.
  • Recognition that education is a human right, and committing to address and improve issues of equity, inclusion, and social justice within educational and child-centered contexts.

Community engagement

  • Providing students with opportunities to serve and support the progress of their communities at large by applying their skills and knowledge in fieldwork experiences.
  • Creating opportunities for students to participate in campus and community-level decision-making with the goal of decolonizing organizational practices and serving as catalysts for changing policies, programs, and practices.
  • Facilitating a bidirectional community-academic partnership by working collaboratively with community partners to assess resources and allies to support the development of children and families.
  • Support of efforts to address educational equity and protect the civil rights of students and the communities in which they live.

Department Office

Business Hours: Monday - Thursday, 8:00 am - 6:00 pm; Friday, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm.
The Child & Family Studies office is located in the Engineering and Technology Building room A535. The administrative, curricular, and advisement functions of the department are supported in this office. Our contact information - Phone: (323) 343-4590 / Fax: (323) 343-5019.

Department Office Manager

Rocio Salgado, Administrative Support Coordinator
Location: E&T 536
Phone: 323-343-4590
Fax: 323-343-5019
E-mail: RSalgado@calstatela.edu

We look forward to being of service!