70 years of commitment to families: AGF celebrates its anniversary

Logo 70 Jahre AGF

The Association of German Family Organizations (AGF) was founded on 25 March 1954. Today, exactly 70 years later to the day, the members looked back on the history of the AGF at their general meeting and discussed the current family policy challenges in particular. The constituent meeting of the Association of German Family Organizations” took place on 25 March 1954 in Königswinter and laid the foundation for coordinated and committed representation of family interests at a national level and for international work.

On occasion of this anniversary, the family organizations jointly state today:

“Over the past 70 years, the AGF has made an important contribution to the promotion and support of families in Germany. Our commitment to a fair and appreciative family policy with financial recognition of the achievements of families, the expansion of family-supporting infrastructure and intergenerational cohesion were, are and will remain central pillars of our work.”

The family organizations emphasize that in regards of the current family policy challenges, this means for them that “solutions must be found to substantially reduce child poverty and to ensure adequate and affordable housing. In addition, an appropriate range of high-quality education and childcare services must be ensured. People who take on caring responsibilities for relatives must find good support with regard to reconciling work and care as well as to financial challenges. Overall, the social contributions of all forms of family must be valued and families and children must be placed at the center of political efforts to ensure Germany’s future sustainability.”

For the current legislative period, the AGF is also calling for the measures announced in the coalition agreement to be implemented. These include, in particular, the introduction of an appropriate paternity leave, the introduction of a new family care leave and the adaptation of family law to social change.
Among the first topics addressed by the AGF were the financial compensation of monetary family disadvantages and combating the housing shortage, as well as the organization of a congress for the then “International Union of Family Organizations”.

The latter illustrates that international work has always been an important focus of the AGF’s work. The AGF cooperates with numerous family policy associations and organizations from other European countries, above all the European association COFACE Families Europe. It is therefore an important German contact and link between German and European family policy.

The AGF was originally founded by three family associations, the German Family Association (DFV), the Family Federation of German Catholics (now the Family Federation of Catholics – FDK) and the Protestant Action Group for Family Issues (now the Protestant Family Working Group – eaf). Over time, it has taken up social developments, developed its working methods and membership and now consists of six member associations. In addition to the founding members, the following have joined: the Association of Single Mothers and Fathers (VAMV), the Association of Binational Families and Partnerships, iaf and the Forum for Progressive Family Policy (ZFF). The family associations from their perspective each focus on the interests and rights of families. The AGF formulates the common concerns of its member associations and is an active partner in politics and society. It carries out political lobbying for the interests of families and promotes dialogue and cooperation between family policy organizations and those responsible for family policy at national and international level.

To mark its 60th anniversary, the AGF had already traced its history in a brochure and published an exhibition on the milestones of German family policy (both in German). This was updated in 2023 and can be borrowed from the AGF. Further information: https://ag-familie.de/en/agf-exhibition-on-development-of-german-family-policy/.