About Us

Alaska Family Services (AFS) is a mission driven organization with a long history of service and excellence in supporting families and building healthy communities. Our core values serve as a foundation for all we do.

Mission

In service to Alaskans, families, and communities to collectively create a better tomorrow.

Values

Family

Family comes in all forms; some family members are related by blood or marriage, while other family members are chosen. We implement program practices and workplace policies that honor the role of family in the lives of our employees and those we serve.

Community

Our AFS community emphasizes interactions with people and relationships above everything else. We commit to maintaining open and collaborative relationships with our clients while also actively contributing to the communities we serve.

Trust

Trust is the cornerstone of all relationships. We maintain a culture of trust with our employees and those we serve by being honest, open, ethical, and fair.

Equity

Our equity focus offers all clients and employees individualized supports and opportunities to encourage their success. We challenge ourselves to understand our individual biases, continue to educate ourselves, and develop workplace policies and practices that minimize inequities and structural barriers for our community members.

Transformation

Our AFS staff are catalysts of transformation through strong and motivational collaborations with our clients. We champion positive transformation at the individual, organizational and community level.

Land Acknowledgement

Truth and acknowledgment are critical to building mutual respect and connection across all barriers of heritage and difference. We begin this effort to acknowledge what has been buried by honoring the truth.

Alaska Family Services was founded on the ancestral lands of the Ahtna and Dena’ina Athabaskan peoples. We pay respects to their elders past and present and honor with gratitude their stewardship of the lands of the Matanuska Susitna Valley throughout the generations.

 

Thank You, Chin‘an, Tsin'aen

Our Story

AFS was founded as Valley Women’s Resource Center (VWRC) in 1979 in response to the need for domestic violence support services in Mat-Su. VWRC was incorporated in 1980 and opened Margaret’s House, a safe shelter for women and their children seeking safety from domestic violence and sexual assault, in Wasilla in 1982.

A defining characteristic of AFS is our commitment to grow or alter our services to meet the needs of the communities we serve.

Using the ability to recognize community needs and adapt program services to meet them, VWRC’s services expanded in our first 10 years of service to include:

  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
  • Child Care Assistance
  • Infant Learning Program
  • Child Care Food Program
  • An emergency Food Bank
  • Services to Young Pregnant Women.
AK Family Services Staff & Family
Matanuska Peak

Today, AFS offers over 20 programs, including:

  • WIC
  • Child Care Assistance
  • Family Violence Intervention
  • Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Shelter
  • Supervised Family Contact
  • Parents as Teachers
  • Special Santa
  • Parenting Classes
  • Work Services
  • Alcohol Safety Action Program
  • Tobacco Prevention & Control
  • Adult and Youth Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Services
  • Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Advocacy
  • In Home Supports
  • Women’s Residential Reunification Action Program

At Alaska Family Services, we live and breathe our mission of being, in service to Alaskans, families, and communities to collectively create a better tomorrow.

AFS provides services to over 10,000 individuals annually.

In addition to providing all of our services in the Mat-Su, we also provide Child Care Assistance in Anchorage, Cordova, and Valdez and WIC in Kenai, Seward, Homer, and the villages in Kachemak Bay.

Board of Directors

Kenni Linden

Kenni Linden

Chair
Deborah Rutherford

Deborah Retherford

Vice Chair
Nichelle Henry

Nichelle Henry

Secretary/Treasurer
Tony April

Anthony April

Director
board of directors IC

Imran Chaudhry

Director
Casey Cook

Casey Cook

Director
Shelter Illustration

Katie Ellsworth

Director
Jackie Kenshalo

Jackie Kenshalo

Director
board of directors RL

Ryan Lonergan

Director
Lisa Wade

Lisa Wade

Director
Shelter Illustration

Vanessa White

Vanessa White

Join Us!

At AFS we live and breathe our mission of being, in service to Alaskans, families, and communities to collectively create a better tomorrow.

Our goal is to attract and employ caring and motivated people driven by our mission to serve our community. If our mission excites you, and you’d like to join us in collectively creating a better tomorrow, we’d love to hear from you.

Header photo by Aneta Foubikova on Unsplash