About Us

Our Vision

Individuals, families, and communities are achieving optimal quality of life assisted by competent, caring professionals whose expertise is continually updated through AAFCS.

Our Mission

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.

Our Core Values

Association members:
  • Believe in the family as a fundamental unit of society.
  • Embrace diversity and value all people.
  • Support life-long learning and diverse scholarship.
  • Exemplify integrity and ethical behavior.
  • Seek new ideas and initiatives and embrace change.
  • Promote an integrative and holistic approach, aligned with the FCS body of knowledge, to support professionals who work with individuals, families, and communities.

Our Strategic Direction

Download our new Strategic Direction that includes our three Strategic Priorities and their related goals and desired results.

Our Symbol

Betty LampIn 1926, the American Home Economics Association adopted the Betty Lamp as a symbol for the association. The lamp derived its name from the German words "besser" or "bete," meaning "to make better." The Betty Lamp produced comparatively good light for its time and was used widely by early American colonists. Mildred Chamberlain of Chicago submitted the design stating, "The lamp in colonial days provided light for all household industries." Similarly, the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) provides enlightenment through leadership in thought and action for family and consumer sciences professionals. The current logo for AAFCS still pays tribute to the Betty Lamp, but in a more contemporary way and includes a person to represent the individuals, families, and communities served by FCS professionals.

Our Founder

In 1909, Ellen H. Richards, first female graduate and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, founded the American Home Economics Association (now AAFCS). Ms. Richards was an activist for 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. Her professional experience and foresight led to the formalization of the family and consumer sciences profession.

Brand Story

Read the AAFCS Brand Story, which provides a brief overview of the Association’s history, purpose, programs, and members.

Family and consumer sciences (FCS) is the comprehensive body of skills, research, and knowledge that helps people make informed decisions about their well being, relationships, and resources to achieve optimal quality of life. The field represents many areas, including human development, personal and family finance, housing and interior design, food science, nutrition, and wellness, textiles and apparel, and consumer issues.

Today’s FCS professionals practice in multiple settings. They are early childhood, elementary, secondary, university/college, and Extension educators, administrators and managers, human service professionals, researchers, community volunteers, business people, and consultants who address the issues most important to our quality of life.

The Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Body of Knowledge is the current framework that serves as the foundation for the field. Click here for an overview and explanation of the FCS Body of Knowledge. To learn more about the development and evolution of the FCS Body of Knowledge, check out the AAFCS E-Book - Family and Consumer Sciences Compendium Series: Volume 1, Body of Knowledge.

See our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for additional information on AAFCS and FCS.