A vital source of relational therapy within the community.
Currently in order to join AAMFT, one must also join their state division.  This is referred to as a mandatory two-tier system.  The AAMFT Board asserts that the two-tier system is creating obstacles for the profession to advance as a whole.
In the summer of 2017, AAMFT will ask members to vote on a bylaw change, that if passed will do away with the mandatory two-tier system.  

AAMFT is confident that the vote will pass this time around and has informed divisions that they will have the following four options if and when it passes:

Beth Nelson (MAMFT Board President), Tamara Statz (MAMFT Pre-Clinical Rep) and Erin Pash (MAMFT Legislative Co-Chair) share their thoughts on the four options.
  1. Dissolve completely at the state level
  2. Organize as a geographic “Interest Network“ of AAMFT
  3. Become an “Independent Affiliate” of AAMFT
  4. Form a local organization that is separate from AAMFT

Which option makes the most sense will vary from state to state, based on membership engagement, the division’s current financial health, the projected retirement rate, attrition patterns and the wishes of the current membership.

All of the information distributed by AAMFT (to date) on this year’s bylaw vote be found here (additional background information from the first attempt to make this change in 2015 can be found here). We encourage you to read all of the information in order to be as informed as possible. In the interest of time, here are some key points on each of the four options:

Division Dissolution

♦ Upon dissolving, any reserve funds will be used to cover existing expenses and earmarked for advocacy efforts exclusively within our state.

 Options for continued connection at the local level include:

◊ Establishing and communicating via a forum on the    AAMFT Community webpage.
 Hosting non-CE networking events, such as lunch meet-ups.
 Coordinating fundraising efforts for advocacy.

Interest Network

♦In the proposed new structure, “Interest Groups” can be formed around a specific topic or geographic region.
♦Requirements to form a geographic interest group include:

◊ A minimum of 25 members and 4 officers.
◊ An approved business plan that demonstrates how the proposed interest network will support the AAMFT Strategic Plan.
◊ (If approved) Completion of an annual evaluation form reporting back on the efforts outlined in the interest network’s business plan.

♦ The primary focus of geographic interest groups will be advocacy.  It was stated at the 2016 Division Leader Day that these groups will be allowed to serve one other purpose such as offering training or networking opportunities.
♦ To be a part of the group, one must be a member of AAMFT and then pay an additional fee to join the (MN) Interest Group.
♦ AAMFT will take a 25% management fee from the dues collected for the Interest Group. As a part of the management fee, joining and renewal will continue to be handled by AAMFT and should the (MN) Interest Group hold a conference, event registration will be done through AAMFT’s website and AAMFT staff will handle things such as venue contracts.

Independent Affiliate

♦ With this option, MAMFT would maintain its 501(c)6 status and formal governance structures.
♦Requirements include:

 ◊ Submitting a business plan to AAMFT for review and approval with a minimum membership target of 350 members and the ability to keep operating reserves at 70%.
◊ Reviewing the business plan with AAMFT every two years or as needed.  
◊ Providing annual proof of good legal and financial standing.
◊ Operating in accordance with AAMFT’s Independent Affiliate agreement and terms.
 ◊ Assigning a member of the Legislative Committee to coordinate with AAMFT, serve on TEAM and attend events, and provide quarterly updates for AAMFT Family TEAM advocacy updates.

♦ To be a part of the group, one must be a member of AAMFT and then pay an additional fee to join the (MN) Independent Affiliate group.  
♦ AAMFT will take a 25% management fee from the dues collected for the Affiliate group.  AAMFT will continue to manage joining and renewal as they do now.

Local Organization Separate from AAMFT

♦ MAMFT would maintain its 501(c)6 status and formal governance structures.
♦ To be a part of this group, AAMFT membership would not be required but would be encouraged.
♦ Membership and all functions would be managed by the local group.
♦ The MAMFT board would aim to have a collaborative relationship with the AAMFT board and staff.
♦ Efforts would be focused on meeting the needs of local marriage and family therapists.

Many details still need to be shared by AAMFT.  The MAMFT Board is researching all possible options and will share what they are able via the MAMFT website and email blast.

The MAMFT board recently conducted a survey of MN MFTs regarding their preference, which closed on March 1st. Stay posted for next steps in the process.  

Please stay informed and don’t hesitate to contact the MAMFT Board with questions or feedback. To reach the board email info@mamft.net.