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About AFEM

Advancing Family Economic Mobility (AFEM) is an initiative committed to creating sustainable pathways to economic mobility and well-being for all people and families. Funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Doris Duke Foundation and administered by the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) in collaboration with the Administration for Children and Families Office of Regional Operations, the AFEM network fosters new approaches to improving long-term, systemic economic mobility at all levels. To achieve this, it has undertaken a three-pronged approach to build a vetted repository of reproducible strategies and resources to share with agencies throughout the US.

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National Advisory Council

The National Advisory Council (NAC) is the governing body that aligns the collective AFEM work to build equitable, whole family approaches in supporting parents as workers. It is comprised of federal representatives from the Interagency Council on Economic Mobility, parents and other community leaders with lived experience, regional and state leaders, technical and policy experts, and philanthropic partners responsible for developing cross-sector economic mobility strategic priorities. Their leadership provides the roadmap for the AFEM initiative, informs federal systems change efforts, and disseminates innovative resources across multiple national networks.


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Peer Learning Communities

Peer learning communities are central to generating, scaling, and spreading innovative practices and policies for advancing family economic mobility at the state and regional level. In 2022, APHSA established national learning communities comprised of state and county agency leaders committed to the AFEM agenda: Whole Family Approach to Jobs in ACF Region 1 (New England states met for learning communities on benefits cliffs, race equity, and parent engagement), Human Services Workforce in ACF Region 4, Preventing Family Involvement in Child Welfare Systems through Economic and Concrete Supports, and Systems Navigation and Alignment.

Each learning community is comprised of between four and eight state and county teams that convene regularly for peer learning exchange, receive one on one technical assistance to implement AFEM innovations, and develop bases of shared learning resources.


Whole Family Approach to Jobs Regional Learning Community

Preventing Family Involvement in Child Welfare Systems through Economic and Concrete Supports National Learning Community

Human Services Workforce Regional Learning Community

Systems Navigation National Learning Community


Mississippi Systems Change

APHSA, local organizations, and state partners are working toward improving access to services and increasing workforce training and family supports in alignment with statewide workforce strategies to establish a sustained vision for family economic mobility.

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