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Our History and Impact

For over 143 years, The Family Partnership has worked to understand and address the needs of vulnerable families and children in the greater Minneapolis area.  

Who We Are

The Family Partnership (TFP) was founded in 1878 as the Minneapolis Humane Society to protect and serve children that were being abused or exploited. Along with a few name changes, our work has continually transformed to anticipate and address the evolving needs of families and individuals, many of whom are the most vulnerable in our community.

We have helped over a million people clear the path for success, and maintained hope for families through world wars, pandemics, the Great Depression and social unrest.

Family playing.

Highlights of Our Impact

Here are a few highlights of our more than 143 years of service. The Family Partnership’s legacy includes the following:

  • Served as a founding partner of the Greater Twin Cities United Way
  • Advocated for creation of the juvenile court system; provided funds to hire the first Juvenile Protection League policewoman in Minneapolis
  • Played an active role in the development of the University of Minnesota School of Social Work
  • Deployed Family Visitors who were among the first home-based services 
  • Became the first family service agency in the United States to provide an affirmative counseling program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) individuals and families in 1975, and helped create OutFront Minnesota
  • Started Minnesota’s first anti-sex trafficking services (PRIDE program) in 1978, that today is one of the longest running programs in the country
  • Provided leadership on public policy issues including children’s mental health, school reform, Earned Income Tax Credits, affordable housing, early childhood education, Safe Harbor and more
  • Led a statewide Minnesota Family Strengths study of more than 2,000 white and BIPOC families that identified nine characteristics of strong families
  • Increased outreach to diverse communities and new immigrants with culturally appropriate and multilingual services, including African American Leaders of Tomorrow curriculum, Be More Campaign, Financial Achievement Program in Latinx community, MN Q Youth, Native American Somali Friendship Committee
  • Merged The Family Partnership (aka Family & Children’s Service) and Reuben Lindh Family Services in 2011 enhancing both organizations’ reach and impact 
  • Began championing a two-generation (2 Gen) approach across all of our programming to improve whole family health and well-being
  • Implemented Mobility Mentoring®—an evidence-based educational/economic mobility coaching strategy designed to break intergenerational cycles of poverty across our agency
  • Deepened our evidence-based practices throughout our organization
  • Developed and piloted a groundbreaking new Executive Functioning Across Generations©, 2Gen curriculum to boost brain development for preschoolers and their parents

Explore our rich history.

The Family Partnership, as it is known today, was founded in 1878 as the Minneapolis Humane Society to protect and serve children that were being abused or exploited. Explore the rich history of The Family Partnership in A Splendid Work: 125 Years (published in 2003). The engaging narrative describes the challenges families and individuals in Minneapolis have faced and how our work has continually transformed to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in our community.

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Join our efforts and invest in change.

Are you passionate about supporting our mission of building strong families, vital communities and better futures for children? As a supporter you can invest in children and families to reach their full potential and live as contributing members of healthier, prosperous communities.