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Before reading this, consider reading about Providers and Reading a Provider. In this part, we will talk in detail about the .family provider modifier.

The .family modifier has one purpose: Getting a unique provider based on external parameters.

Some common use-cases for family would be:

  • Combining FutureProvider with .family to fetch a Message from its ID
  • Passing the current Locale to a provider, so that we can handle translations


The way families works is by adding an extra parameter to the provider. This parameter can then be freely used in our provider to create some state.

For example, we can combine family with FutureProvider to fetch a Message from its ID:

final messagesFamily =<Message, String>((ref, id) async {
return dio.get('$id');

When using our messagesFamily provider, the syntax is slightly different.
The usual syntax will not work anymore:

Widget build(BuildContext context, WidgetRef ref) {
// Error – messagesFamily is not a provider
final response =;

Instead, we need to pass a parameter to messagesFamily:

Widget build(BuildContext context, WidgetRef ref) {
final response ='id'));

It is possible to use a family with different parameters simultaneously.
For example, we could use a titleFamily to read both the French and English translations at the same time:

Widget build(BuildContext context, WidgetRef ref) {
final frenchTitle = Locale('fr')));
final englishTitle = Locale('en')));

return Text('fr: $frenchTitle en: $englishTitle');

Parameter restrictions

For families to work correctly, it is critical for the parameter passed to a provider to have a consistent hashCode and ==.

Ideally, the parameter should either be a primitive (bool/int/double/String), a constant (providers), or an immutable object that overrides == and hashCode.

PREFER using autoDispose when the parameter is not constant:

You may want to use families to pass the input of a search field to your provider. But that value can change often and never be reused.
This could cause memory leaks as, by default, a provider is never destroyed even if no longer used.

Using both .family and .autoDispose fixes that memory leak:

final characters =<List<Character>, String>((ref, filter) async {
return fetchCharacters(filter: filter);

Passing multiple parameters to a family

Families have no built-in support for passing multiple values to a provider.

On the other hand, that value could be anything (as long as it matches with the restrictions mentioned previously).

This includes:

Here's an example of using Freezed or equatable for multiple parameters:

abstract class MyParameter with _$MyParameter {
factory MyParameter({
required int userId,
required Locale locale,
}) = _MyParameter;

final exampleProvider =<Something, MyParameter>((ref, myParameter) {
// Do something with userId/locale

Widget build(BuildContext context, WidgetRef ref) {
int userId; // Read the user ID from somewhere
final locale = Localizations.localeOf(context);

final something =
exampleProvider(MyParameter(userId: userId, locale: locale)),