Non Technical Summary
Military families are facing unprecedented challenges. OIF and OEF have resulted in the longest deployments in military history, and repeated deployments and re-deployments have become commonplace. On the warfront, military engagements are occurring in close quarters against hard-to-identify opponents, and the threat of terrorist attacks is ever-present. The instantaneous news reports out of Iraq and Afghanistan bring the warfront to the home front on a daily basis. Moreover, National Guard and Reservists military families are fully engaged in this effort because their loved ones have been called-up to active duty more than any time in their history. Yet, these geographically dispersed do not have the built in social supports and services that active duty military families have because they life on or close to an installation. The primary objective of the current proposal is to expand the Clearinghouse on Military Family Readiness (Clearinghouse) at Penn State University to include a Yellow Ribbon Virtual Resource. The Clearinghouse was established through a partnership between the Department of Defense's Office of Military Community and Family Policy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). In support of military families, the DoD-NIFA Partnership leverages the research and programmatic expertise of the Land Grant University's Cooperative Extension Service. Specifically, the mission of the Clearinghouse is to enhance the health and well-being of military families by increasing their readiness and resilience in meeting the challenges, and maximizing the rewards of the military lifestyle. The Clearinghouse hosts and disseminates comprehensive, scientifically-based information related to understanding, measuring, developing, enhancing, and strengthening military family readiness. Providing information on and access to evidence-based programs enhances family functioning across a broad range of outcomes. High quality, proactive, professional technical assistance is also provided to promote the understanding, adoption, and ultimately wide-spread use of science-based practices to enhance family readiness. Through the use of these mechanisms of action, the Clearinghouse is building the professional capacity of those working with military children, youth, and families so they are better positioned to effectively bolster military family functioning and resilience.
Animal Health Component
Research Effort Categories
Goals / Objectives
For the current effort, the Clearinghouse proposes to strengthen the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program (YR). This project will assist reserve affairs with the following tasks: (1) consolidate and review all YR Guard and Reserve training material (curriculum, presentations, lesson plans, group exercises) collected from Service contacts to identify best practices, as well as gaps in content; (2) develop educational resources to address identified gaps from the review; (3) provide training and technical assistance related to implementation of best practices and newly created educational materials; (4) summarize the data from after action reports and YR surveys within each State to examine the effectiveness of the program; and (5) provide reports to support Congressional and military reporting requirements.
Although the award to strengthen the YR program is being proposed for one year, the Clearinghouse's virtual infrastructure is designed to be sustainable. It will be infused with the larger DoD-USDA Partnership. However, some resources will be required if these infrastructures are to remain current, impactful, and viable for the long-term. In addition, findings within the field of implementation science indicate the need for long-term technical assistance. Therefore some resources will be needed to ensure high-quality implementation and utilization of the programs, practices, and strategies by professionals in the field. To maximize success of the YR program we will:(a)Proactively engage YR support professionals in the identification of educational resources and gaps in content for the YR program;(b) Provide ongoing assistance through various mediums (e.g., phone, email, instant message, and social media); (c)Suggest improvements to the YR program based on the utilization of evidence standards of programs and practices. This proactive capacity building and ongoing technical assistance within the Clearinghouse will be offered by implementation specialists. This type of proactive assistance is critical for increasing adoption and maintaining quality.