AFCC-MN is an interdisciplinary and diverse association of professionals dedicated to improving the lives of all children and families through the resolution of family conflict.
We have accomplished a lot in a short period of time and look forward to maintaining our energy and our focus on furthering this recently enacted mission statement of the Chapter.
This is an important mission and one that will continue to present enormous challenges to the families in our state. Yet, as we have demonstrated in the few short years of our existence, if we as family professionals can come together in a spirit of professional cooperation, we can achieve many good and worthy objectives.
How AFCC MN got its beginning
As told by Gary A. Debele, Esq., Walling, Berg & Debele
In September 2007, a small group of lawyers, mental health professionals, and a guardian ad litem or two were seated at a table having dinner at the “Divorce Camp” conference in northern Minnesota. Divorce Camp is an annual event put on for 20 years by the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Recently, Divorce Camp had become more interdisciplinary, including mental health professionals, guardians ad litem, ADR professionals, members of the judiciary, and financial experts. It was fast becoming apparent that we all enjoyed each other’s company and our varied perspectives.
In that milieu, someone at the dinner table mentioned AFCC, noting what a wonderful organization it is, and suggesting that it was high time that we had our own state chapter in Minnesota. Planning was soon underway to set up a “Coordinating Committee” to begin that process. We began meeting monthly and before we knew it, we had a solid cadre of persons signed up as members of the national AFCC organization, all serving to give us the energy and support to push forward with formal application for chapter status.
We were granted provisional status on July 22, 2008. Once you become a provisional chapter, you must complete additional tasks to demonstrate the ability to sustain a chapter long term. We did that and on March 22, 2010, we formally applied for full chapter status. On June 14, 2010, the AFCC Board of Directors approved chartered chapter status for us, making Minnesota an official chapter within AFCC. Since that time, membership has continued to increase, as has the energy level and visibility of our organization. Family court professionals across the state are now aware of our existence and look to us for innovation, leadership, and interdisciplinary work in the vital challenges that face family courts and families across our state.
Minnesota chapter members participate in a variety of committees and projects both at the state level and in the national organization. Our membership is well represented at the annual national conference and at regional AFCC trainings, not only through attendance, but by teaching and board and committee work. Our chapter recently completed work on a strategic plan that will further strengthen our committee structure and the efficiency of our operations.