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The Minnesota Whole Family Systems Initiative is a collaboration among three Divisions within Minnesota’s Department of Human Services (DHS) (Economic Assistance & Employment Support, Child Care Services, Child Safety and Permanency Divisions), the Minnesota’s Interagency Leadership Team, other Minnesota state agencies, the seven community sites, and the BUILD Initiative.

The vision of the Whole Family System Initiative is to shift and change the system across government and organizations so that it truly enables and supports whole family approaches and responses to families’ challenges that encompass all aspects of their lives, including well-being, family preservation, housing, childcare, health, and economic stability. There are four WFS Objectives:

  1. To bring stability and improve the health and well-being of children and their families, especially in communities of color that continue to face significant adversities and disparities.
  2. To lift up experiences and knowledge of communities and families, and co-create solutions that reduce and remove, systemic barriers.
  3. To put equity into action through implementing and learning from universal-targeting, culturally specific approaches and emerging practices that address over representation and disparities for African American and American Indian children, families, communities and tribes.
  4. To develop “a community of learning” which includes tribal nations, local communities and government, state agencies, and other partners. In this community of learning information flows in all direction and is equally valued. The learnings build on the lessons from the MN 2-Generation Policy Network that started in 2016 and the Early Childhood Systems Reform work that started in 2017.