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Military Community and Family Policy
DoD Partnerships: Creating Innovative
Resources and Tools for You
Barbara Thompson
Director, Office of Family Policy/Children and Youth/Special Needs
Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
Daniel Perkins, PhD
The Pennsylvania State University
Lynne Borden, PhD
The University of Minnesota
• DoD draws on rich resources in communities to further our
effectiveness to support military families
• An especially effective dynamic partnership is with NIFA and its
land grand universities who perform a range of helpful functions:
• Literature reviews on key topics and providing succinct briefs
• Developing and evaluating programs
• Providing extensive online portals including a clearinghouse on
military-related information
• Creating research-based tools accessible to professionals in both
the civilian and military communities to promote child and family
Military Family Readiness
DoDI 1342.22, July 3, 2012
Definition of MFR:
• The state of being prepared to effectively navigate the challenges of daily
living experienced in the unique context of military service. Ready
individuals and families are:
Knowledgeable about the potential challenges they may face
➢ Equipped with the skills to competently function in the face of such challenges
➢ Aware of the supportive resources available to them
➢ Make use of the skills and supports in managing such challenges
• Includes:
Mobility and financial readiness
➢ Mobilization and deployment readiness
➢ Personal and family life readiness
• This term and its definition have been included in the June, 2014 edition
of Joint Publication 1-02, “Department of Defense Dictionary of Military
and Associated Terms”
Family Readiness System
• The network of agencies, programs, services, and individuals, and
the collaboration among them, that promotes the readiness and
quality of life of Service members and their families
• Service members and their families have primary responsibility for
their well-being. Family readiness services enhance members’
and families’ abilities to fulfill that responsibility
• The Family Advocacy Program with its mission to prevent,
respond, report, and provide treatment for child abuse and neglect
is a large comprehensive program DoD-wide within the Family
Readiness System
FAP Scope and Mission
• The Family Advocacy Program (FAP) is a congressionally mandated
DoD program designed to be the policy proponent for and a key
element of the Department of Defense’s Coordinated Community
Response system to prevent and respond to reports of child
abuse/neglect and domestic abuse in military families - in
cooperation with civilian social service agencies and civilian law
• FAP is located at every CONUS and OCONUS installation with
command sponsored families
• FAP support, treatment and case management services are provided
to individuals who are eligible for treatment in military medical
treatment facilities.
Coordinated Community Response for
Child Abuse/Neglect and Domestic Abuse
Service members
and families
Ctr for Child
Mil Police/
CMD, law enforcement & SJA not involved
in all DA cases (restricted reporting)
Family Advocacy Program
• Promote prevention, early identification, reporting, and treatment of
child and spouse abuse
• Strengthen family functioning in a manner that increases the
competency and efficacy of military families
• Preserve families in which abuse has occurred, if possible, without
compromising the health, welfare, and safety of victims
• Provide effective treatment for all family members when appropriate
• Effectively collaborate with state and local civilian social services, law
enforcement and medical agencies
FAP Initiative
• DoD focus on prevention across Military Community and Family
Policy – and specifically for prevention of child abuse and neglect
• In our partnerships with land-grant universities, DoD requested a
review of the literature and existing prevention and training
programs focused on safe guarding children and youth from sexual
• It should include a look at the tactics predators utilize in grooming
children as well as existing programs that are in place to protect
children from predatory practices
• The review will include lessons learned and best practices on
addressing child sexual abuse
• DoD wanted resources that will be used by FAP, Child and Youth,
and others to inform policy, program development, and practice
Military REACH:
Supporting Military Families
Through Research and Outreach
Lynne M. Borden, PhD
Center for Research and Outreach (REACH)
The University of Minnesota
July 14, 2104
Our Mission
Military REACH synthesizes
empirical research and develops
research-informed resources that
address key issues impacting
Military families.
Our Goals
Conduct comprehensive research reviews in a timely
Synthesize research literature to inform policy makers,
service providers, educators, and others
Develop research-informed curriculum and materials
designed to enhance the quality of programs that serve
Military families
Empower those who work with, and on the behalf of,
Military families through development of tools and
resources that meet their needs
Empirical research is
used to identify and
address key issues
impacting military
families and the
programs that serve
Military REACH
creates and houses
trainings, tools, and
resources for youth
The Live Learning Lab
allows for virtual
assessment, virtual
coaching, and
development plans
for youth programs.
Research Library
• Putting Research To Work (PRTW’S)
– Individual research articles reviewed
• Research Briefs
– Review of current research literature related to the
a particular topic
• Rapid Response Reports
– A comprehensive review of research literature
related to particular topic
• Video Library
Putting Research to Work
• Reviewed by
multiple leading
• Searchable by
topic area
Briefs and Reports
• Summarize the
current literature
• Written by experts in
the field
• Discuss
considerations for
individuals, families,
and policies
Training Library
• Online professional development training
Principles of youth development
Coaching and managing people
Understanding dilemmas of practice
Promoting wellness
Program evaluation
Professional Development
• Critical elements of
positive youth
• Modules crossreferenced with
Council on
Live Learning Lab
Virtual Program Assessment:
Video assessment of out-of-school programs
Observational program rating
Program development plan
Supporting training materials
Live Learning Lab
• Professional
development in a
secure and
• Expert coaching
and feedback
Safeguarding Children and Youth
Safeguarding Children and Youth identifies:
Current research related to safeguarding children
and youth
Program strengths and limitations
The role of the organization
(e.g., schools, faith-based, out-of-school)
Safe Guarding: The Role of
Key Strategies:
Screening and selecting employees and volunteers
Guidelines on interactions
Program responses
Ongoing monitoring
Staff training
Ensuring safe environments
Understanding grooming
Military REACH
“The significant problems we face
today cannot be solved at the same
level of thinking we were at when we
created them.”
- Albert Einstein
Military REACH
Please visit us at:
Lynne M. Borden, PhD
[email protected]
(612) 624-7707
Clearinghouse Mission
To foster and support interdisciplinary applied research
and evaluation, translational and implementation
science, and outreach efforts that advances the health
and well-being of Military service members and their
Sound Science…Stronger Service
Clearinghouse Goals
1. Conduct high-quality, innovative applied research.
2. Increase the speed with which research innovation &
translation in evidence-based or evidenced-informed
practices & programming.
3. Encourage new applied research and outreach focused on
military families.
4. Develop a new generation of researchers, implementation &
evaluation scientists specializing within a Military context.
5. Provide action-oriented information to improve public
understanding of Military families.
Programs Vetted on
Continuum of Evidence
More than 800 program fact
sheets on the web (302 obesity
Search for programs by Topic,
Subject Area, Target Population,
and Sector.
Quick overview of the program,
cost, contact information, &
suggestions for evaluations to
improve science base.
Submit a program for review.
Effective RCT
Unclear +
Unclear Ø
Unclear - (20)
Ineffective (1)
Technical Assistance?
• It is the provision of resources and support
before, during, and after program delivery,
including assistance in:
• Selecting an evidence-informed program or
• Implementing a program or practice with quality
and fidelity
• Evaluating the impact of a program or practice
• Proactive TA and Reactive TA
Live Chat
Clearinghouse Projects
•Resource Center for Obesity Prevention
•Continuum of Evidence Project (DoD)
•Implementation Technical Assistance
•Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program
•Navy Youth Sports & Fitness Project
•Family Readiness Program Evaluation
Plan Development Project (DoD)
•Family Advocacy Program (DoD)
• Air Force Family Advocacy
• Supporting Military Families
During Parental Absence
• USMC Study: The Impact of
Suicide on Marine Families
• THRIVE: Parenting Across the
Lifespan (DoD)
• Army Public Health Command
A Call To Action
For Adults
Only .5% Of Substantiated
Abuse Reports Are Made
Directly By The Child
Adults Must Be Vigilant As Children Are Unable To Voice Their
Prevention Strategies
1. Focus on Culture
Articulate core values & moral obligations
Establish values & ethics-based decision-making
Form an ethics council to counsel leaders
Reinforce the Responsibility of All to Safeguard Children!
Prevention Strategies
2. Establish Accountability Policies
• Establish reporting protocols for supervisors that require immediate &
mandatory contact with the appropriate external authorities
• Eliminate discomfort in reporting and fear of retribution
3. Educate
• Require/track action-oriented ethics & compliance training for staff
training on child abuse prevention & reporting
Educators make up 17% of the professionals
submitting maltreatment reports.
Suspected Maltreatment
A lack of reporting confidence & comfort
results in not reporting or deferring the reporting
responsibility (i.e., principal, teacher, counselor )
The maltreatment is less likely to be reported and
more likely to continue = child is at continued risk
Reports by educators are two times more likely to be
than reports from social and mental health professionals.
More reports could reduce child maltreatment!
Prevention Strategies
4. Develop a Communications Strategy
• Utilize regular internal & external communications to reinforce the
cultural expectations (e.g., newsletter or list-serve)
• Develop a school-wide prevention & reporting publicity campaign
• Provide talking points for consistent media & public messaging
• Share credible educational materials with families
All Communications Should Intentionally Promote A
Culture of Awareness & Action
Prevention Strategies
5. Institute Safety & Enforcement Policies
• Inventory extracurricular & volunteer activities
• Institute controls on access to unaccompanied minors & facilities
• Require & monitor background checks
• Identify a coordinator to monitor policy compliance
• Encourage the reporting of suspicious/improper activity by
Responding To Abuse
Prioritize the victims
Identify a central point of contact & a crisis management team
Develop a crisis communications plan
Provide counseling, health services, and support resources to victims &
their families
Deal with the media -- emphasizes a commitment to corrective action
Establish a system to reply to the public response
Partner with prevention organizations to identify ways that the public
can engage in corrective actions
Child Welfare Information Gateway: (information) (prevention programming & resources)
National Children’s Advocacy Center:
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children:
National Sexual Violence Resource Center:
Prevent Child Abuse America:
American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children:
The Penn State Network on Child Protection and Well-being:
Video on the Epidemiology of Child Sexual Abuse (David Finkelhor, Ph.D.):
Prevent Child Abuse America:
American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children:
The Penn State Network on Child Protection and Well-being:
Video on the Epidemiology of Child Sexual Abuse (David Finkelhor, Ph.D.):

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