NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING
A Program of the USCCB Committee for Pro-Life Activities
Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, USCCB
Diocesan NFP Program-National Profile
In the Fall of 1990, the Diocesan Development Program (DDP) initiated
an annual national survey. Diocesan NFP coordinators or contact persons
were asked to complete a Profile questionnaire that would
Overview of the 2001 Profile
In December of 2001, 189 Profile questionnaires were mailed to dioceses. One hundred and two or 54 percent of the dioceses completed and returned questionnaires. This year's report represents the second largest set of baseline data gathered on NFP programs throughout the nation, since the Profile began in 1990. As in previous years, the data indicates that certain aspects of NFP programs remain relatively unchanged with slight improvement in a few areas.
- In most dioceses, there is a person designated as the NFP coordinator. Often this responsibility is only one of many jobs performed by the person, e.g., Director of Marriage and Family Life (65 percent). A growing trend is for those responsible for coordinating NFP ministry to have had some training in NFP methodology (84 percent).
- Fifty-four percent of dioceses surveyed allocated less than a $5,000 for NFP efforts in 2001. Sixty-seven percent of all NFP diocesan programs operate on less than $10,000 per year. Fifteen percent of diocesan programs spend from $10,000 to $29,000 annually. Twelve percent of dioceses allocate from $30,000 to more than $70,000 for their NFP programs. Well funded diocesan NFP programs usually rely on various forms of federal and state grants to supplement diocesan funding. There are some dioceses where NFP instruction is covered by insurance plans. In most dioceses, a common arrangement is for an NFP program to share the funding, material, and staff support of an umbrella department, e.g., Marriage and Family Life Office. Identifying NFP as a specific line item for funding is increasing in diocesan budgets.
- The majority of diocesan marriage preparation programs make at least some effort to provide rudimentary NFP information to engaged couples, e.g., booklets and fact-sheets. Through NFP introductory sessions, more than 109,547 individuals received information on NFP. The time given to NFP is not lengthy; in 76 percent of Pre-Cana programs, it is less than one hour. Yet there has been slight improvement in the amount of time given NFP in marriage preparation programs overall. A more thorough and substantive inclusion of NFP in educational programs about human sexuality and conjugal love remains a challenging goal, not only for marriage preparation but on every level of instruction. Sometimes NFP is barely mentioned in Pre-Cana programs, e.g., literature is simply given to couples without discussion. Two dioceses have taken the courageous step of requiring a complete course of instruction in NFP as part of their comprehensive marriage preparation program.
- Across the nation, more than 5,641 individuals received a course of instruction in NFP.
- The Sympto-Thermal Method (STM) and Ovulation Method (OM) are the most preferred methods of NFP. Dioceses use a variety of national, regional and local NFP provider groups.
- The majority of diocesan NFP teachers are volunteers (50 percent). A few dioceses (28 percent) provide stipends to volunteer teachers to cover personal costs, e.g., transportation, baby sitter, materials, etc.
- From the dioceses surveyed, there are more than 1,326 NFP teachers across the nation. They represent a largely untapped resource for the teaching of human sexuality within a faith context.
Finally, regardless of the diocese, the single most compelling pastoral question when examining individual diocesan NFP efforts is: "Can couples who wish to be faithful to Church teaching on responsible parenthood readily get the NFP support they need?" The answer to this question will determine how best to plan and support local diocesan NFP ministry.
Gratitude is extended to the following dioceses which provided data for the 2001 Profile survey
Albany; Alexandria; Altoona-Johnstown; Anchorage; Arlington; Baltimore; Baton Rouge; Birmingham; Bismarck; Boise; Boston; Brooklyn; Burlington; Camden; Charlotte; Cheyenne; Chicago; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Columbus; Corpus Christi; Covington; Crookston; Denver; Des Moines; Detroit; Dubuque; Duluth; Erie; Evansville; Fall River; Fort Worth; Gaylord; Great Falls-Billings; Greensburg; Harrisburg; Hartford; Helena; Honolulu; Joliet; Kansas City-St. Joseph; La Crosse; Lafayette, LA; Lafayette, IN; Lake Charles; Lincoln; Los Angeles; Louisville; Madison; Manchester; Marquette; Memphis; Metuchen; Miami; Milwaukee; Nashville; New Orleans; New Ulm; Norwich; Oklahoma City; Ogdensburg; Omaha; Orange; Owensboro; Palm Beach; Pensacola-Tallahassee; Peoria; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Pittsburgh; Portland, OR; Richmond; Rochester; Rockford; Rockville Centre; Sacramento; St. Augustine; St. Cloud; St. Louis; St. Paul and Minneapolis; St. Petersburg; Salina; Salt Lake City; San Diego; San Jose; Santa Fe; Santa Rosa; Savannah; Scranton; Shreveport; Springfield, IL; Springfield, MA; Superior; Syracuse; Toledo; Trenton; Venice; Wheeling-Charleston; Wichita; Winona; Worcester; and Yakima.
The following documents are useful in strengthening diocesan NFP programs.
Diocesan Plan for Natural Family Planning Program Development. Washington, D.C.: Diocesan Development Program for NFP, 1981. (Available from the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities; 1-202-541-3070.)
Standards for Diocesan NFP Ministry. Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office of Publishing and Promotion Services, 2000. (Available from USCCB Publishing; 1-800-235-8722; #5-357.)
*The bishops of the USCCB Committee for Pro-Life Activities thank Rev. Robert R. Cannon, M.A., M.Th., J.C.L. of the Diocese of Venice, FL for preparing the 2001 Profile Report.
I. Program Management
1) The (arch)diocesan NFP Program is: (Check one)
|65%||Part of the office of Marriage and Family Life|
|03%||A service of one of our Catholic hospital(s)|
|05%||Part of Catholic Charities|
|06%||Its own department|
2) Does the (arch)diocese have an NFP Advisory Committee?
3) Who is responsible for coordinating NFP Ministry (e.g., Family Life Director, NFP Coordinator, Respect Life Director, etc.)?
|25%||Diocesan NFP Coordinator|
|31%||Family Life Director|
|07%||Respect Life Director|
|37%||Other: Director of Catholic Charities, respect life coordinator, Catholic hospital|
The person responsible for coordinating NFP ministry has held the position for an average of (5.4) years. The range is from less than a year to twenty-nine years.
4) For this position, NFP work is: (Check one)
|44%||One aspect of other responsibilities|
5) Is the NFP coordinator trained in NFP methodology? (Check one)
6) If the answer to question (5) is "Yes," for which of the following roles was the NFP coordinator trained? (Check all that apply)
Those who have been teaching have taught for an average of ten years.
7) If you answered question (5), please indicate which school(s) of NFP trained the coordinator: (Check all that apply)
|32||Billings Ovulation Method Association (BOMA)|
|30||Couple to Couple League (CCL)|
|20||Diocesan NFP Teacher Training Program|
|15||Northwest Family Services|
|05||Family of the Americas Foundation|
8) How many NFP teachers are part of the (arch)diocesan program? (Count teaching couples as two)
9) Which statement best describes the NFP program policy regarding remuneration of its teachers? (Check one)
|50%||Most of our NFP instructors are volunteers. We give them a stipend to cover expenses.|
|28%||Most of our NFP instructors are volunteers. We do not give them a stipend.|
|11%||We pay our NFP instructors (part and/or full time).|
|08%||Salaries/stipends for instructors are provided by other sources (e.g.,Catholic Hospital, Knights of Columbus, etc.).|
10) Which organization trains the (arch)diocesan teachers? (Check all that apply)
|44||Billings Ovulation Method Association (BOMA)|
|62||Couple to Couple League (CCL)|
|20||Diocesan Teacher Training program|
|11||Family of the Americas Foundation|
|17||Northwest Family Services|
|09||Other: Various locally sponsored settings|
II Program Budget
11) How much money was spent on (arch)diocesan NFP programing last year? (An estimate should include salaries, stipends, postage, materials, etc.)
|24%||$1,000 - 4,999|
|12%||$5 - 9,999|
|20%||$10 - 29,999|
|06%||$30 - 49,999|
|06%||$50 - 69,999|
12) How much (arch)diocesan money was allocated for NFP programing last year?
|25%||$1,000 - 4,999|
|13%||$5 - 9,999|
|15%||$10 - 29,999|
|05%||$30 - 49,999|
|03%||$50 - 69,999|
13) Is there a fee for an introductory session? (Check one)
Prices ranged from a low of $0 to a high of $80.00 depending on materials and length of an introductory session(s). The average fee is $25.00.
14) How much is charged to clients/couples for a course in NFP? (If amounts vary, give average)
The average charged for a course in NFP is $80.00. The charge varied from a low of $20.00 and to a high of $360.00, depending on materials, length of course, and the number of follow-up services required.
15) Is a fee charged for follow-up? (Check one)
The average charged for a follow-up is $20.00. The amount varied from $0 to $40.00
III Program Service
16) Which NFP method(s) is currently taught in the (arch)diocesan program? (Check all that apply)
17) How many individuals (couples count as two) in the (arch)diocese received an introductory/promotional talk on NFP during the last twelve months?
More than 109,547 individuals received some information/instruction on NFP.
18) How many individuals (couples count as two) in the (arch)diocese attended NFP class/instruction during the last twelve months?
More than 5,641 individuals attended a class/instruction on NFP.
19) Does the (arch)diocese have guidelines for marriage preparation?
20) If the answer to question (19) was "Yes" is NFP included in the guidelines for marriage preparation?
21) Does the (arch)diocese require an introduction (overview) to NFP for the engaged? (Check one)
22) Does the (arch)diocese require an NFP course for engaged couples? (Check one)
23) On average how much time is allowed for NFP education in marriage preparation programs? (Give your best estimate)
|18%||5 minutes - 15 minutes|
|33%||20 minutes - 30 minutes|
|25%||35 minutes - 45 minutes|
|21%||1 hour - 2 hours+|