The Family Advocacy Program is the Department of Defense social services program to address child abuse/neglect and domestic abuse in military families. It strives to prevent abuse by promoting relationship health and family wellness through a variety of strength-based initiatives and services. The program promotes early identification and coordinated, comprehensive intervention, assessment and support to victims; provides assessment, rehabilitation and treatment to alleged abusers; and cooperates with civilian authorities and organizations to address known or suspected abuse.
- Training for military personnel focuses on early recognition of relationship problems and encourages self-referral and reporting of family violence. Specialized training for commanders addresses their intervention responsibilities.
- Prevention activities include training in parenting skills and managing stress, and counseling to couples and parents in coordination with other programs.
- The New Parent Support Program, a voluntary home-visiting program, aims to build protective factors in families to promote the optimal development of children and prevent child abuse.
- Victim advocates, sponsored and supervised by the Family Advocacy Program, provide confidential information, safety planning and other assistance to domestic abuse victims.
- Intervention is provided in cases of suspected or actual child or domestic abuse including:
- Referral of reports of suspected family violence to the civilian child protective services agency and military and/or civilian law enforcement agencies, and social assessments of all family members
- Treatment recommendations for command
- Support to victims and appropriate rehabilitative treatment to alleged abusers
- A standardized process to verify that reports meet the criteria for entry into a central registry, and that the registry is used when conducting background checks of personnel who will provide services to children
- Public awareness campaigns focus on National Child Abuse Prevention Month, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and special initiatives.
All active duty members, activated National Guard and reserve members, and their families are eligible.
The program is available at military installations worldwide.
Military OneSource - www.militaryonesource.mil/abuse