International Commission on Couple and Family Relations


What the ICCFR Trust does

In keeping with its international focus, the Trust encourages family lawyers, educators, counsellors, social workers and researchers from developing countries and from voluntary/not-for-profit groups to attend ICCFR events, principally the conference, through the awarding of scholarships. Since its foundation, the Trust has supported the active participation in the work of ICCFR of organisations and individuals whose work focuses on supporting couple and family relationships and who would not otherwise have been in a position to do so. Over the last ten years, the Trust’s scholarships have enabled presenters and participants from around the world – but in particular from countries in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe where travel funds are scarce – to attend ICCFR conferences.

In 2013, the Trust piloted a ‘young graduates’ scholarship introducing to the ICCFR younger (under 35) postgraduates and researchers working in one of the areas at the heart of ICCFR – in social sciences and social work, law and family policy, couple and family therapy and counselling. On the basis of the success of the pilot, this scholarship now continues.

It is the Trustees’ intention to extend and enrich the Commission’s activities and to use resources to bring the Commission’s work and documentation to the attention of an ever-increasing number of organisations and individuals concerned with couple and family relations in all parts of the world and to encourage the fruitful exchange of ideas and continued networking through the ICCFR website, conferences and beyond.

Because of the close relationship and common purposes, the Trust and ICCFR are able to share resources and personnel, the Commission being the operational organisation that can realise the Trust’s plan of action. This mutually beneficial relationship is helped by the fact that the Trust’s trustees understand the activities, aspirations and needs of ICCFR.


 After the conference I read Professor Angela Abela’s work on attitudes towards remarriage, and used Malta as an example for additional reading in my new Sociology textbook, Discovering Sociology.

The ICCFR conference at Malta was a shining example of how academics can come together and work for this social good.

The conference was unique in my experience in its focus on sharing diverse practices of the couple relationship, notably on how to inform policy and practice within Malta. I am particularly grateful to the ICCFR for providing a bursary to enable me to attend the event.”

Mark McCormack, Professor of Sociology, University of Roehampton, London / The Couple Relationship in the 21st Century, Malta, 2018


 Let me begin by expressing my sincere gratitude to ICCFR for giving me the opportunity be a participant at the Conference on The Couple Relationship in 21st Century. During the conference, I not only gained knowledge but also deepened my understanding of the couple relationship from different perspectives in varied professions, countries and cultures.

“What I found particularly beneficial from the conference was the findings and ideas from academic research and frontline practice.

“It has been my privilege to participate in this conference to learn from practitioners in advanced regions, and it has inspired me to seek solutions to tackle problems and face challenges in China.”

Jaden Zheng Yu-Tang, China / The Couple Relationship in the 21st Century, Malta, 2018