We provide services to help families thrive
Sometimes families need help. Maybe it’s help with meeting concrete needs, like paying for child care or putting food on the table. Maybe it’s help with overcoming challenges, like getting back to work after a long stretch of unemployment. Or maybe it’s help to better understand your child’s developmental needs and build your parenting skills.
Women, Infants, & Children
Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) provides healthy foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and referrals to healthcare and community services. Families of all types qualify for WIC.
WIC clients are pregnant, postpartum, and/or breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to age five. To receive WIC, parents or guardians must meet income eligibility requirements or receive Denali Kid Care, the Alaska Temporary Assistance Program (ATAP), or SNAP. If you don’t qualify for these programs, you may still qualify for WIC by meeting the income guidelines for your household.
Alaska Family Services’ WIC clinics are located in Palmer, Wasilla, Kenai, and Homer and our WIC services extend to all Mat-Su communities, Seward and the communities surrounding Kachemak Bay.
Wasilla WIC Phone- 376-4080
Wasilla WIC Fax- 373-0640
Palmer WIC Phone- 746-4080
Palmer WIC Fax- 746-1177
Kenai WIC Phone- 283-4172 or 1-800-687-4172
Kenai WIC Fax- 283-4174
Homer WIC Phone- 235-5495
Homer WIC Fax- 235-0655
Breastfeeding Peer Counselors
Breastfeeding Peer Counseling offers you a unique opportunity to talk to someone who is trained in providing breastfeeding support, has experience being on Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and went through a breastfeeding journey with their own children.
Our Breastfeeding Peer Counselors will provide you with guidance, support, and up-to-date information while you are pregnant and especially after delivery. You will have unrestricted access to the peer counselor via phone, even after WIC office hours and on weekends. Breastfeeding Peer Counselors will help prevent and handle most common breastfeeding concerns and will provide a referral to a lactation consultant if further assistance is needed.
Any breastfeeding mom can participate in our Zoom breastfeeding classes, facilitated by a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor. In order meet individually with Breastfeeding Peer Counselors you must be a client of the WIC program.
Contact Dasha at 376-4080 for more information on our breastfeeding classes.
Child Care Assistance Program
Alaska Family Services’ Child Care Assistance Program assists families with children ages 12 and under to pay for quality child care services while parents or guardians are participating in an eligible activity, such as working or attending an educational or job training program.
Based on their household size and monthly gross income, families pay a monthly contribution to their child care provider.
Eligibility for families is based on family size and gross monthly income. The family must use a child care provider who has elected to receive payments from the Child Care Assistance Program. Benefits are paid directly to the child care provider.
For qualifying families, child care assistance offers two different types of assistance:
Parents Achieving Self Sufficiency (PASS II)
This assistance issues benefits for families that are leaving the Temporary Assistance Program. PASS II assistance is provided for a 12-month period for families that still need help with child care while attending work, job training, or schooling.
Parents Achieving Self Sufficiency (PASS III)
Support for families that are working, in job training, or attending schooling that are not leaving the Temporary Assistance program but need assistance affording child care.
Child Care Assistance Locations & Contact
The Anchorage Child Care Assistance Program office provides services to eligible families within the Municipality of Anchorage.
2525 Gambell St. Ste. 220
Anchorage, AK 99503
Anchorage Phone: 907-644-5000
Anchorage Fax: 907-644-5020
The Central and Coastal Child Care Assistance Program office provides services to eligible families in communities that include but are not limited to:
Central areas include the Mat-Su Borough as well as the Valdez and Cordova census areas.
Coastal areas include the Aleutian Chain, Bristol Bay Area, Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak, Kotzebue, and Nome.
777 N Crusey St. Ste. B201
Wasilla, AK 99654
Wasilla Phone: 907-373-4450
Wasilla Fax: 1-888-415-6868
In the Kenai area, applications may be picked up and any documents submitted at the AFS Kenai WIC office.
601 Frontage Road, Suite 209
Kenai, AK 99611
Drop-box available 24/7.
Family Support and Preservation Program
The Family Support & Preservation Program (FSPP) offers a range of programs that teach parenting skills and strategies, strengthen parent and child relationships, and help keep children safe.
For more information call (907) 376-2003 or email FSPP@akafs.org
Parents as Teachers
Parents as Teachers (PAT) PAT is an evidence based, home visiting, parent education program. We follow a strengths-based curriculum designed for children prenatal up to 5 years to help the parents learn activities and milestones for their children to ensure Kindergarten readiness and alleviate childhood neglect.
PAT typically includes in home sessions with parents, but those are currently happening virtually or outside. PAT focuses on the well-being of the entire family through trained staff who assist parents with activities or answer questions so they learn the best way to help their children thrive or, if pregnant, ensure they are getting the care they need and getting ready for their new addition.
FSPP offers a 6-week parenting class that starts the first Wednesday of every even month. We use the Active Parenting Now curriculum to help parents improve their parenting skills and their child’s behavior. Any parent or guardian can participate in this class and foster parents can earn training hours towards their certification by completing the class. There is a $75 per person fee for the 6-week course. Participants must attend all 6 classes to receive a certificate of completion.
AFS is proud to announce the opening of the AFS Diaper Pantry! We have disposable/cloth diapers, pull-ups, wipes, adult diapers, and feminine hygiene products for any individual who needs them.
Open the last Wednesday of every month from 1:30 to 5:30pm. Located at 403 S Alaska St in Palmer.
There is NO application process!
Parents of children ages 3 and under (or a child with special needs) will receive 30 diapers or 20 pull-ups and 1 package of wipes. Participants can also receive 30 feminine/adult sanitary products.
AFS does not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, or age.
Circles of Support (COS)
COS is an in-home support service program available to OCS referred families with children 5 years of age and up. COS provides parent education using the strengths-based curriculum Nurturing Families. There are alternative curriculums for families with special needs (e.g., families with autistic children) or military families.
Family Contact Services (FCS)
The primary purpose of FCS is to ensure safe family time for parents and their children who reside in out-of-home care. Parent coaching, a key component of FCS, helps parents increase their parenting capabilities, family communication skills, and ability to develop child centered family activities so that reunification can occur.
AFS’ FCS program uses the Strengthening Families model and Active Parenting Now curriculum during family time and we’ve implemented the policies and procedures detailed in the R.O.C.K. Mat-Su Family Contact Best Practices Guide for Professionals.
There are no age restrictions for the children in the families who participate in FCS. OCS must refer families to the FCS program.
Court Supervised Visitation Services
Supervised visitation is available for parents who have a court order stating that supervised visitation will be provided by “Alaska Family Services or professional agency”.
This program is eligible for Medicaid billing for the child(ren) attending and has an out-of-pocket payment for orientation of $50.00 (cash only/exact change only). If the parent wishes to pay for the supervised visitation out-of-pocket, there is a $100.00 fee per supervised hour.
For more information, please contact us!
Work Services and Job Development
The Work Services and Job Development (WSJD) helps clients gain employment for their families, keep employment, and/or progress employment by either promotion or improved status.
WSJD case technicians provide one on one support to help the parents we serve achieve work readiness. The WSJD job developer partners with clients for resume and other work readiness specific training and works with local employers in the community to match them with clients seeking employment.
WSJD serves individuals referred by the Department of Public Assistance (DPA). When a family has been on the Alaska Temporary Assistance Program (ATAP) with DPA for 24 months, the parents are referred to WSJD for a more intense job search or job development. Families are eligible for services for the next 36 months.
For more information call (907) 352-2600.
The Mat-Su Special Santa program was founded in 1997 and has helped over 47,000 Mat-Su children, newborns to 18 year olds, receive holiday gifts.
Special Santa helps spread the magic of Christmas by providing families in need with presents for their children and bringing the community together through volunteer opportunities in the workshop for fundraising events.