MFRC Communique

MFRC Communique

March 6, 2018

Soldier and baby

This issue of the MFRC Communique provides information about topics that will be under review by the Department of Defense Military Family Readiness Council, or MFRC, at its second meeting of FY2018, which will be held on March 6, 2018. Each section below has been prepared by guest speakers who will be making brief, executive summary type presentations at this open public meeting. The links listed below were chosen by guest speakers and Department of Defense resource partners to provide additional background information, to supplement meeting presentations, and to help council members prepare for follow-on program and policy reviews, council deliberations, and the development of recommendations to the Secretary of Defense at the final MFRC meeting of FY2018, which will be held on June 6, 2018.

 

MFRC eMailbox: osd.pentagon.ouse-p-r.mbx-family-readiness-council@mail.mil

MFRC Webpage: https://www.militaryonesource.mil/military-family-readiness-council

In This Issue:

  1. Spouse Licensure Portability
  2. Blended Retirement System and Financial Literacy
  3. Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children
  4. Exceptional Family Member Program
  5. Autism Clinic at Joint Base Lewis-McChord
  6. TRICARE and Telemedicine Expand Access to Care
  7. New Parent Support Program
  8. Child Development/Family Child Care
  9. Military Services Youth, Sports and Recreation Programs
  10. Boys & Girls Clubs of America Partnerships
  11. Emotional and Spiritual Well-Being 
  12. Partnering for Readiness Resource Spotlights

Spouse Licensure Portability

FY18 Focus Area 4

GUEST SPEAKER:

Mr. Marcus Beauregard, Defense-State Liaison Office

The Defense - State Liaison Office, or DSLO, continues to work with state legislators, other state officials, representatives from occupations, and military spouses, to improve license portability for military spouses. Their collective efforts are making a difference. During the MFRC March 6 meeting and the discussion on licensure, a representative from an occupation working an interstate compact, a military spouse organizing her fellow professionals, and a state legislator will provide insight into the beneficial actions being taken. In preparation for this discussion, the following materials can provide background information.

Recommended Resource Awareness for Discussion Periods

Blended Retirement System and Financial Literacy

FY17 Recommendation for Immediate Action (Update)

GUEST SPEAKER:

Mr. Andrew Corso, Department of Defense Office of Military Personnel Policy/Compensation

Retirement planning is an important part of personal and family financial management and literacy. Under the Uniformed Services' new Blended Retirement System, about 85 percent of all active-duty and reserve/National Guard service members will receive a government-provided, portable retirement benefit, even if they do not qualify for a defined benefit pension. Beginning in 2018, all new service members will be automatically enrolled in the Uniformed Services' new Blended Retirement System, or BRS. Members who were serving as of December 31, 2017, were grandfathered under the legacy retirement plan. Those who are currently serving and have fewer than 12 years of service, or members of the reserve/National Guard who have fewer than 4,320 retirement points, will be given until December 31, 2018 to decide whether to shift to the new system or remain in the legacy retirement system. Below are resources that explain the new BRS and provide financial counseling options – online and on base.

Recommended Resource Awareness for Discussion Periods

Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children

FY17 Recommendation for Immediate Action (Update)

GUEST SPEAKER:

Ms. Kathy Facon, Department of Defense Education Activity/Education Partnerships and Resources

Developed collaboratively in 2006 by the Council of State Governments and the Department of Defense, the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (referred to as the Compact) has been signed into legislation by all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and adopted by the Department of Defense Education Activity, or DODEA, with the goal of providing a consistent policy to address some of the educational challenges transitioning school-aged children of military families face.

While the Compact is not exhaustive in its coverage, it does address the key educational issues encountered by transitioning military families: eligibility, enrollment, placement, and graduation. In addition, the Compact provides for a detailed governance structure at both the state and national levels, with built-in enforcement and compliance mechanisms. At the national level, the Compact is governed by a Commission that works together to promulgate rules to achieve the Compact goals and to initiate interventions and education to address concerns between states. At the state level, the Compact is governed by state councils which provide for the coordination among its agencies of government, school districts and military installations concerning the state’s participation in and compliance with this Compact.

Recommended Resource Awareness for Discussion Periods

Exceptional Family Member Program

FY17 Recommendation for Immediate Action (Update)

GUEST SPEAKER:

Dr. Ed Tyner, Department of Defense Office of Special Needs and Children and Youth

The Department of Defense Office of Special Needs is dedicated to enhancing and improving the Exceptional Family Member Program, or EFMP, by standardizing numerous aspects of the program. Standardization allows families with special needs to have a more consistent EFMP experience and provides the same level of access to services, regardless of service affiliation or location. To learn more about what work is currently being done, what still lies ahead, and available assistance, review the following information.

Recommended Resource Awareness for Discussion Periods

Submit a suggested topic for discussion to the Advisory Panel: osd.pentagon.ousd-p-r.mbx.efmp-family-panel@mail.mil

Autism Clinic at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

FY18 Focus Area 3: Child and Youth Well-Being (Panel Topic)

GUEST SPEAKER:

Col (S) Eric Flake, USAF, MC, Madigan Army Medical Center/JBLM CARES

Across the United States, one in every 68 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. In some military communities, that number is even greater – one in every 40 children, thus impacting approximately 5 percent of our military families. There is no single treatment for children with autism as cases are neurodevelopmental in nature and unique to each child. Autistic children need help developing skills ranging from communication and behavior to feeding, social relationships and more. And, the parents of autistic children need support from each other, schools, medical practitioners and the community at large. The Department of Defense stands ready to support parents with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder by providing assistance when relocating and connecting them to needed benefits and services. The new autism clinic at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Washington, aims to fill immediate gaps while families wait to access local community, state, and federal support services and benefits. Learn more.

Recommended Resource Awareness for Discussion Periods

  • General Autism Background and Resources

TRICARE and Telemedicine Expand Access to Care

FY18 Focus Area 3: Child and Youth Well-Being (Panel Topic)

GUEST SPEAKER:

CAPT Ed Simmer, USN, MC, Defense Health Agency/TRICARE

TRICARE has recently made important changes to its enrollment and coverage so that it can better serve all of the 9.4 million people under its care, and respond to changes in law, policy, and advancing medical science. It has expanded the type and number of services available and options through which patients can receive that care – including telemedicine and telemental health. Family support service providers will play an important role in sharing new coverage information as they help service and family members connect to integrated family support, medical, mental and behavioral health, and substance use prevention and treatment programs.

Recommended Resource Awareness for Discussion Periods

New Parent Support Program

FY18 Focus Area 3: Child and Youth Well-Being (Panel Topic)

GUEST SPEAKER:

Ms. Tib Campise, Department of Defense Office of Military Family Readiness Policy/Family Advocacy Program

The Department of Defense supports new parents in their role as guardians and family members. The New Parent Support Program, or NPSP, nurtures healthy relationships in the early years, helping parents provide a strong foundation that results in long-term well-being for children and youth. Services include home visits by highly trained and experienced staff; parent education and skill development; and opportunities to ask questions about topics such as breastfeeding, safe sleep, child development, discipline, family budgeting, and more. See the links below for sample support resources and information about installation specific New Parent Support Programs.

Recommended Resource Awareness for Discussion Periods

Child Development/Family Child Care

FY18 Focus Area 3: Child and Youth Well-Being (Panel Topic)

GUEST SPEAKER:

Ms. Carolyn Stevens, Department of Defense Office of Military Family Readiness Policy

The Department of Defense recognizes the importance of providing families with access to quality, affordable child development programs and assists military families seeking child care in a variety of settings: child development centers, family child care and school-age care, and child care provided through approved community-based homes and facilities.

Recommended Resource Awareness for Discussion Periods

Military Services Youth, Sports and Recreation Programs

FY18 Focus Area 3: Child and Youth Well-being (Discussion Period Topics)

Information provided in support of the child and youth well-being discussion period:

Ms. Karen Morgan, Department of Defense Office of Military Family Readiness Policy/Children and Youth Programs

The military services have a comprehensive, integrated youth program that includes both on- and off- base support, serving more than 1 million youth and teens of active duty and Reserve Component members worldwide, through a variety of educational and recreational programs. Military youth programs collaborate with other nationally-recognized youth serving organizations such as Boys & Girls Clubs of America, National 4-H clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and the YMCA, to promote positive youth development. Support programs include, but are not limited to, computer labs; Military Kids Connect youth website; field trips; supervised sports and recreation programs; and fitness, music and summer camps.

Installation Morale, Welfare and Recreation, or MWR, departments extend resources available to military children and youth by offering access to affordable family fun at swimming pools, movie theaters, bowling and golf facilities, recreation centers, hiking trails and more. See MilitaryINSTALLATIONS to learn more about installation-specific youth and MWR programs and services.

Recommended Resource Awareness for Discussion Periods

Boys & Girls Clubs of America Partnerships

FY18 Focus Area 3: Child and Youth Well-Being (Panel Topic)

GUEST SPEAKER:

Ms. Terrill McFarland, Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Boys & Girls Clubs of America, in partnership with the U.S. armed services, help military children thrive as vital members of their community. Thousands of BGCA youth development professionals serve as mentors and program facilitators, providing kids with important character development opportunities and caring relationships customized to their unique needs. In 2016, over 458,000 military-connected youth participated in BGCA programs at 484 on-base youth centers, with an additional 22,500 youth participating in programs at 1,437 clubs in local communities.

In 2016, BGCA launched the Better Together: Military Public-Private Partnership (MPPP) – a groundbreaking, action-focused initiative bringing together government agencies, military-serving organizations, private sector corporations and foundations. The partnership is designed to improve the lives of military families in civilian communities. Better Together will provide solutions focused on resiliency, reintegration, and workforce readiness, and promote healthy military families. Through Better Together, BGCA strives to provide resources and services to 250,000 military connected youth. Annually, BGCA provides grants and in kind resources valued at $2.5 million to military youth centers. To learn more about how the military services are working with BGCA programs worldwide to teach young people resilience skills and valuable character traits that allow them to reach their full potential, see the links below.

Recommended Resource Awareness for Discussion Periods

Emotional and Spiritual Well-Being

FY18 Focus Area 3: Child and Youth Well-Being (Panel Topics)

GUEST SPEAKER:

Dr. Kristina Callina, Tufts University/Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development

Research has shown that schools and youth-serving organizations have a key role to play in developing the character of our nation’s youth. Programs such as scouting (Eagle Scouts, in particular) help instill core values, leadership and decision making skills that have a common moral purpose. As discussed in a recent National Academy of Sciences meeting on character, more work needs to be done to understand how character develops. Researchers at Tufts University are collaborating with the United States Military Academy on a first-of-its-kind, five-year longitudinal study of how West Point develops character and leadership in its cadets, a project that could help predict which practices produce successful officers and influence character and leadership education in schools, businesses and other organizations. Learn more here.

Recommended Resource Awareness for Discussion Periods

Partnering for Readiness Resource Spotlights

FY17 Recommendation (Update)

Resource Awareness - Provided by Department of Defense Partners:

  1. Partnering for Readiness (P4R/Defense Health Agency)
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  3. Military Kids Connect (National Center for Telehealth and Technology, or T2)

 

Recommended Resource Awareness for Discussion Periods.

Be There – Peer Support Call and Outreach Center (Suicide Prevention)

Call Center: 844-357-PEER (7337)

Text: 480-360-6188

 

Defense Center of Excellence Outreach Center (24/7 Help for Families)

Call Center: 866-966-1020

E-Mail: resources@dcoeoutreach.org

Support for Children

 

Psychological Health Center of Excellence, or PHCoE

Real Warriors

Psychological Health Resource Center: 866-966-1020

Helping Children Cope with Deployments and Reunions

Resources for Military Families

 

TRICARE.mil

Deploying Information

Deployment Resources

 

Military Kids Connect (Connected Health/Defense Health Agency)

For Military Kids (ages 6-8), Tweens (ages 9-12), Teens (ages 13-17)

 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA

Featured Content:

 

Stop Bullying

 

Non-medical Counseling

 

Sesame Street for Military Families

 

Department of Defense Mobile Apps

iTunes for the iPhone and iPad

Google Play for Android devices

 

Virtual Hope Box

Learn Positive Coping Skills

Breathe2Relax

Relaxation Techniques

The Big Moving Adventure

Helping Young Children with Moving