What is PAFCS?

The Pennsylvania Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (PAFCS) is an affiliate of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS). We work to empower individuals ...

strengthen families and enable communities. Our members include elementary, secondary, post-secondary and extension educators,

administrators, other professionals in government, business and nonprofit sectors. Also, our members include students preparing for a career in the field of family & consumer sciences.


We are one of the oldest professional societies in the United States. Founded in 1909, our purpose is to improve the quality and standards of individual and family life through programs that educate, influence public policy, disseminate information and publish research findings.

Family and Consumer Sciences professionals focus on an integrative approach to the reciprocal relationships among individuals, families and communities, as well as the environments in which they function. The association supports the profession as it provides leadership in:

  • improving individual family and community well being;
  • impacting the development, delivery and evaluation of consumer goods and services;
  • influencing the creation of policy; and
  • shaping social change, thereby enhancing the quality of life.

Representing Family and Consumer Sciences Professionals, PAFCS is the only organization in Pennsylvania representing family and consumer sciences professionals across practice areas and content specializations. These professionals develop, integrate and provide practical knowledge about the things of everyday life - human growth and development; personal behavior; housing and environment; food and nutrition; apparel and textiles; and resource management - that every individual needs every day to make sound decisions which contribute to a healthy, productive, and more fulfilling life.

The Association supports the profession as it provides leadership in: improving individual, family and community well-being; impacting the development, delivery and evaluation of consumer goods and services; influencing the creation of policy; and shaping societal change, thereby enhancing the quality of life for individuals, families and communities.

Vision

The Pennsylvania Association of Family and Consumer Sciences is recognized as the comprehensive and integrative source of knowledge and the primary voice focusing on family, individual and community well-being in Pennsylvania.

Mission

The mission of the Pennsylvania Association of Family and Consumer Sciences is to provide leadership and support for professionals whose work assists individuals, families, and communities in making informed decisions about their well being, relationships and resources to achieve optimal quality of life.

Core Values

The Pennsylvania Association of Family and Consumer Sciences values:

  • families as the fundamental social unit.
  • research as a base for new and expanding knowledge.
  • innovation, creativity and application of research to solve problems of individuals and families.
  • holistic, interdisciplinary, integrative and preventative perspectives in addressing the issues of individuals, and families as consumers.
  • diversity, equality and human rights.
  • both global and community perspectives when addressing issues of individuals and families as consumers.
  • reciprocal relationships between people and their environment which affect the quality of life.
  • the forging of partnerships and collaborations with others who share our values and purposes.
  • life long learning.
  • a healthy global environment which positively impacts the human condition.
  • the profession as a force in shaping public policy.

Association's Name Change

The nature of family and consumer sciences, as well as the Association's programs, have evolved because of changes in the  family, our culture and resources; new knowledge in the basic disciplines; and applied research. 

To more accurately reflect the breadth and scope of the profession, the organization changed its name from the Pennsylvania Home Economics Association to the Pennsylvania Association of Family and Consumer Sciences in 1994. 

The name change responded to the recommendations made at a historical conference held in Scottsdale, Arizona, in October 1993, during which 100 invited professionals representing 21 related professional organizations met. These participants overwhelmingly agreed that the name of the profession should be changed to family and consumer sciences.

Family and Consumer Sciences - Our History

While the profession and the Association are positioning themselves for the 21st Century, they continue to be deeply committed to many of the issues initially identified by Ellen H. Richards, the AAFCS founder and first president. Richards, the first female graduate and professor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was concerned with consumer education; nutrition; child protection; industrial safety; public health; career education; women's rights; purity of air, food, and water; and the application of scientific and management principles to the family. Historians credit her with originating the concept of ecology as well as formalizing the profession of family and consumer sciences.

 
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