FamilyWise Services

Mission Statement

The FamilyWise mission is to promote social change by strengthening families and the community through programs that encourage self-determination, self-sufficiency, and healthy family lifestyles. Six fundamental core values guiding our work from direct service with individuals to the leadership of our board are: Safety and Wellbeing, Ability to Change and Succeed, Partnering, Honoring Diversity, Accountability, and Integrity.

Contact Information

3036 University Avenue Southeast
Minneapolis, MN 55414

General Information

Alternative Name
FamilyWise, Genesis II for Families, Children's Safety Center, First Step Early Childhood Education Center
Principal Staff
Ann Gaasch
Number of Full-Time Equivalents (FTE)
Number of Clients


Board Chair
Cynthia Orbovich
Number of Board Members
Board Meetings with Quorum
Average Member Attendance

Impact and Programs

93% of parents demonstrated positive parenting techniques that fostered positive parent/ child interaction 88% of parents demonstrated positive parenting techniques that fostered early childhood development and school readiness OR 91% of parents demonstrated positive parenting techniques that fostered positive parent/ child interaction early childhood development and school readiness 87% of children demonstrated age appropriate social/ emotional development 91% of children demonstrated age appropriate language and literacy development. OR 89% of children demonstrated age appropriate social/ emotional development and language and literacy development. 98% of children remained in their parents care while in programming 65% of children living in out-of-home care are safely returned to their parents care 83% of clients obtained or maintained employment, or continued their education. 90% of clients achieved a non-abusive, drug-free home. 83% of clients obtained or maintained secure housing. 81% of clients successfully completed programming. 96% of clients delayed pregnancy while participating in programming
Current Goals
FamilyWise uses a strengths based practice approach to achieve the following goals with families: • Reducing or eliminating child abuse or neglect by parent(s) • Improve parenting skills • Helping children and youth reach age-appropriate developmental levels • Supporting individuals in continuing their education, finding and retaining long-term employment and safe, stable housing • Reunifying children with their parents, when possible • Delay onset of additional pregnancy
Community or Constituency Served
Last year over 1,100 families involving almost 1,500 vulnerable children turned to FamilyWise for help in all its programs. Programs of FamilyWise serve children, youth and families of all ages. Primary populations served include children 6 months to kindergarten in its child development center, young parents ages 14-22 years and their children in teen parenting programs, youth ages 8-20 and their families in its High Fidelity Wraparound program, and parents and children of all ages in its parenting and supervised visitation programs. In 2014 served 784 infants and children under 6 years of age, another 696 children ages 6 – 17, 186 youth ages 18 – 22, and 1,078 adult parents/ caregivers, 96% of which are 23- 54 years of age. Based on 2014 FamilyWise demographics, 63% of families served are from communities of color, 39% of them African American, 7% Multiracial, 6% Latino, 5% Asian, 3% African, and 3% American Indian. FamilyWise is a culturally diverse organization, though not culturally specific, and has a proven record of serving communities of color. FamilyWise has extensive expertise in working with extremely impoverished children and families. In 2014 87% of all households served by FamilyWise were living below 100% of poverty, with over 98% living below 200% of poverty. Many of the families participating in FamilyWise programs have experienced generational poverty. The correlations between present and future economic disparities and family violence are clear: a staggering 58% of adults in the 2012 Wilder Research Study “Homeless in Minnesota” reported childhood histories of abuse, neglect or out-of-home placements, and while the overall number of children in out of home placements in Minnesota has steadily declined since 2007 according to data from Minnesota KIDS COUNT, our state’s rate of re-entry into out of home care is persistently high. Families living in poverty experience excessive levels of stress and discrimination that can lead to family violence, trauma, chemical dependency, and homelessness. This often results in their disproportionate participation in child protective services and other public assistance systems. FamilyWise provides extensive prevention and intervention services through all of its services to address the disparities experienced by families in poverty who are experiencing domestic and family violence.
Geographic Area Served
FamilyWise is a regional organization with programs serving the Twin Cities Metropolitan area including the urban core with 42% from the City of Minneapolis and 10% from the City of St. Paul, and the East Metropolitan suburbs with 5% from suburban Ramsey County and 5% from Washington County. The remaining population served includes 13% from Northwest Hennepin County including Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center, 8% from the rest of Hennepin County, 7% from Anoka County, 6% Dakota, and 1% each from Chisago, Isanti, and Scott Counties. Services are provided to families from these geographic areas through home based work and in five FamilyWise locations: Minneapolis, North Minneapolis, St. Paul, Lakeville and Isanti. Families who are highly mobile or homeless are served at community locations accessible to them.


3 Year Average Expenses
Program Services $1,283,507 73.6%
Management $251,770 14.4%
Fundraising $208,218 11.9%
Unrestricted Net Assets
2014 2013 2012
End of Year: $1,516,523 $1,361,583 $1,315,729
Beginning of Year: $1,361,583 $1,315,729 $632,774
Difference: $154,940 $45,854 $682,955

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