The following is an extract of a letter from Mr Peter Salem, Executive Director AFCC to an individual considering membership to AFCC and it encapsulates many of the important reasons for becoming a member:
“I told you that I would write you an email that would give you good reason to become a member of AFCC, recognizing that you are very busy and have significant commitments to other organizations. Believe me, I get the part about being pulled in more than one direction. Many of our members are. I also understand your wanting to contribute and not simply sit on the sidelines.
That said, the reason I believe that you ought to be a member of AFCC is not to be an engaged member (although we always welcome that) but to support our mission and our work that I know you believe in. Simply stated, we believe in the same thing: positive outcomes for children whose parents have entered the family courts. In addition to conferences and training programs, AFCC has developed several initiatives related to domestic violence, family court triage, family law education reform, use of research in family law controversies, and practice guidelines and model standards for family mediators, custody evaluators, court-involved therapists, child welfare mediator and others.
In addition to our service projects, we make an effort to be certain that AFCC is accessible, i.e., that those who work as social workers, domestic violence advocates, court staff, and other less well-compensated positions can afford our membership dues and attend our conferences. To do so, dues have remained low at $160/year. When I became executive director in 2002 they were $150. We raised dues $10 in 2012. That’s it. Conference registration fees for members in that time have increased just over 1% annually and we now sponsor more than 40 scholarships every year, including some travel stipends.
Keeping costs low is never easy given inflation, the recession, and since then a generally sluggish recovery. And here is the kicker: it is extremely rare for AFCC to receive foundation or government funding. It simply is not available very easily for domestic relations initiatives. Therefore, everything we do, all of the projects noted above and others that can be found here are self-funded. That money comes from conference revenues and/or membership dues. That is it.
You said the issue was not money, and I am confident of that. So, if you join AFCC at a cost of $13.33 per month (a tax deductible business expense) you are doing so to support both the work of the organization, the member benefits, including Family Court Review (which you would receive quarterly and online) and you would be helping keep our fees low for those whom the membership dues might represent a bit of a stretch financially.
Well, there it is. My best effort at convincing you that your membership in AFCC not only would have value to you, but even if you are unable to be an active member, it would be meaningful to others.
I hope you’ll consider joining. It’s easy to do at the link below: