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The Family Advocacy Program

The Family Advocacy Program, or FAP, is the Department of Defense program designated to address domestic abuse, child abuse and neglect, and problematic sexual behavior in children and youth. FAP is delivered through the military services who work in coordination with key military components and civilian agencies to:

  • Prevent abuse
  • Encourage early identification and prompt reporting
  • Promote victim safety and empowerment
  • Provide appropriate treatment for affected service members and their families

Find your local Family Advocacy Program.

If you would like to learn more about FAP’s services – or need to make a report of domestic abuse, child abuse and neglect, or problematic sexual behavior – use the MilitaryINSTALLATIONS tool for local contact information.

FAP directly provides or coordinates a range of services for individuals and families impacted by violence, abuse and neglect. FAP services are designed to:

  • Identify and build on individual and family strengths
  • Increase protective factors that have been found to reduce risk
  • Promote the safety and well-being of service members and their families

The Family Advocacy Program services are available at every military installation where families are assigned. Trained FAP victim advocates and clinicians offer a range of services and programs, including workshops to build skills for healthy relationships, help in planning for safety in a crisis, as well as support to new and expecting parents. They also respond to reports of domestic abuse, child abuse and neglect and problematic sexual behavior in children and youth. Whether you are seeking help managing abuse from your spouse or partner, or have concerns for a child’s safety, FAP can assist and connect you to helpful resources.

Here’s how FAP supports service members and their families through prevention, reporting and treatment – and how you can play a role in supporting members of the military community impacted by abuse.

How FAP supports service members and their families impacted by abuse

The Family Advocacy Program, or FAP, provides clinical and non-clinical services to prevent and respond to domestic abuse, child abuse and neglect and problematic sexual behavior in children and youth. FAP’s top priority is safety for individuals and families in the military community who may be at risk for, or experiencing, abuse. FAP also works with service members and their families to encourage healthy, violence-free relationships and nurturing parenting. Some of these services include:

  • The New Parent Support Program. Active-duty service members and their partners who have or are expecting a baby may participate in this program, which offers home visitation from a nurse or licensed social worker. Home visitors provide a variety of services tailored to each family and parent’s needs, including breastfeeding support, lessons on effective and safe parenting of infants and toddlers, tips for new fathers and more.
  • Victim advocacy and support. Whether you are in need of immediate help in a crisis or are seeking information about counseling for emotional safety and support, FAP victim advocates and clinicians can work with you to develop a plan to address unhealthy patterns of behavior or abuse in a relationship.
  • Treatment, counseling and rehabilitation for service members who use violence or abuse in their relationships with spouses, partners or children. FAP works with the support of command to teach new and constructive ways of interacting, managing conflicts and communicating. Counseling to address untreated trauma affecting those who harm the people they love, and one-on-one support to teach positive parenting techniques, are examples of FAP services.

How FAP handles reports of domestic abuse and child abuse and neglect

The Department of Defense has specific definitions of domestic abuse and child abuse and neglect, which inform when the Family Advocacy Program must notify military law enforcement and command of a report of abuse.

FAP also responds to reports of children and youth exhibiting problematic sexual behavior. FAP addresses these reports and provides support for the parents of both children impacted by, and child exhibiting harmful sexual behavior.

Below, we’ve answered some frequently asked questions about how FAP handles reports of domestic abuse, child abuse and neglect, and problematic sexual behavior in children and youth.

What is considered domestic abuse, and when will FAP get involved?add
Does there need to be physical violence for FAP to provide help for domestic abuse?add
What is considered child abuse and neglect, and when will FAP get involved?add
What is considered problematic sexual behavior in children and youth, and when will FAP get involved?add
Does involvement with FAP affect a service member’s career?add
How do FAP victim advocates help individuals experiencing domestic abuse?add