Extension Professional Staff
County Extension Director
12923 Lawrence Road
Sterling, IL 61081
Expert in: Child Development, Parenting, Family Communication and Dynamics
Janice McCoy provides overall leadership University of Illinois Extension in Carroll, Lee and Whiteside counties. Janice currently leads a staff of sixteen and the unit focuses on Family Life, Home Horticulture, 4-H and Youth Development, and Nutrition Education. She is responsible for personnel, budgeting, program development, volunteerism, council development, and facility use in the unit. Janice has a bachelor's degree in mass communications and a master's degree in college student personnel, both from Western Illinois University. McCoy is available to provide education and training for families and professionals in your community.
McCoy has spent her career working with educational and not-for profit organizations. She worked for the YWCA of the Sauk Valley for nine years as the Director of Crisis Services. She was responsible for supervising the domestic violence and sexual assault programs. This experience has made her very familiar with the needs of at-risk families. She spent fourteen years as a Family Life Educator with Univeristy of Illinois Extension demonstrating expertise in family living content and program development.
McCoy joined University of Illinois Extension in 2001. In her role as a Family Life Educator, McCoy has primarily been responsible for educational programs for families with children and professionals who work with families. She also has expertise in caregiving and aging awareness programs. She also coordinates an annual conference for child care providers in Northern Illinois every years.
Included among her awards are State and National program excellence awards for the Your Young Child curriculum and Distinguished Service Award from the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Scientists. She has also presented curriculum and research findings at numerous national conferences.
McCoy's professional affiliations include Illinois Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, and Community Coordinated Child Care. Janice is a native of the Sauk Valley area and graduated from Dixon High School. She and her husband Jim live in Dixon with their daughter.
Parenting & Managing Work & Life Programs
Your Young Child -- Your Young Child is an award winning seven-unit research-based curriculum to help parents manage seven of the most stressful stages of early childhood that have been implicated as "triggers" for child abuse and neglect: 1) crying and colic; 2) sleep routines in infants and toddlers; 3) the "no-stage" in early toddlerhood; 4) choosy eaters; 5) separation anxiety; 6) exploration and the frustration and safety concerns related to it; 7) the process of learning to use the toilet.
Parenting 24/7 – An award winning "one-stop" source of web-based news, information, and advice on parenting and family life, this resource is designed for parents and grandparents of children from birth through the teens. It provides feature articles with research-based information, video clips of parents and experts, breaking news and commentary, newsletters, and recommendations for the best parenting resources on the web. The site includes video clips of real parents on the challenges they face and the strategies they use to solve problems, as well as parent ratings and comments on feature articles. Topics include childrearing challenges (such as tantrums, toilet training, discipline, and sleeping), "pep talks" (remembering the joys of parenting, sharing success stories), and strategies for fostering a strong family life (including coping with stress, family traditions and rituals, and managing couples relationships). This resource is in the process of being linked with the nationally based Just in Time Parenting program (see below), utilizing social media as a way to build parenting communities.
Just in Time Parenting -- An outreach innovation that brings high quality, research-based information to families at the time it can be most useful and make the biggest difference in their lives. The goal of this program is to reach all parents in some way -- starting prenatally and continuing through adolescence - with the key information that can help their family unit thrive and support their children as they grow up healthy and ready for success. This multi-state initiative is starting with the best that already exists within the Extension system and transforming that into two national interactive internet resources on parenting. States and counties will be able to get annual updates of the number of registrants from their local areas.
Parenting Again -- A resource tool developed to assist those who respond to the needs of grandparent caregivers. There are nine topic based discussion guides that are designed to be facilitative tools for use by support group leaders. The chosen topics are based on commonly identified issues of grandparent caregivers. Educators can provide programming to end user audiences as well as in a train-the-trainer format.
Intentional Harmony: Managing Work and Life -- The overall goals of this curriculum are to increase knowledge of the causes, correlates, and outcomes of work-life stress; reduce the experience of it; and increase the use of adaptive management strategies. Modules correspond to managing work and non-work life (parenting, partner/spouse, workplace, emotional well-being, physical health, extended family and friends). Appropriate for workplace as well as traditional Extension settings, each module consists of: (a) a facilitator's guide, (b) PowerPoint presentation, (c) video clips, (d) handouts (at least 6 for each module), and (e) a brief review of research relevant to the topic. A website is also available.
Adult Life, Aging, and Caregiving Programs
Caregiving Relationships: For Those Who Care for Adults -- A research-based curriculum designed to reduce the emotional pressures associated with caregiving and to strengthen family relationships. A daylong interactive workshop provides background and prepares professionals to work with individual family caregivers. Topics covered in the curriculum include: the emotional impact of caregiving; changing relationships; loss; communication.
Taking Care of You: Powerful Tools for Caregiving -- A six-week educational series designed to provide caregivers with the tools needed for self-care. Caring for someone with a chronic illness can be stressful physically, emotionally and financially. This program helps family caregivers; reduce stress, improve self-confidence, better communicate feelings, add life balance, increase ability to make tough decisions and locate helpful resources. Interactive sessions, discussions and brainstorming help caregivers choose helpful "tools" and put them into action.
Long-term Care: Talking, Deciding, Taking Action – An educational series that helps individuals and families plan effectively for their needs as aging adults. A brand-new website (www.longtermcare.illinois.edu) featuring multi-media presentations and hands-on activities is now available. Regional one-day workshops can be offered introducing this topic to local clientele as well as to professionals who assist families with long-term care needs. Both the workshop and website use a multi-disciplinary approach combining both family life and financial management topics. Content topics include housing options, family dynamics and communication, caregiving issues, and financing long-term care.
Healthy Living Throughout the Lifespan Series -- Educational programs for adult audiences relevant to issues experienced throughout the lifespan, such as parenting, stress management, memory and aging, caregiving, retirement, recognizing and maintaining resiliency. Programs can be offered individually or as a series and range from 60-90 minutes each session.