The Military Families Initiative
evolved out of problems expressed among military spouses who
over the years have requested help from the staff of Alternatives to Domestic Violence.
increasing number of
women have come to us in recent years for help after their husbands
return home from deployment. Their issues include not only domestic
violence, but also such
things as substance abuse or the impact of their spouse's multiple
or post-traumatic stress disorder on the rest of the family.
We wanted to find a way to
deal with issues faced by the families of returning military personnel and
veterans. Military families give so much to us. They deserve the very best help
we can deliver to them.
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So, in 2008, ADV signed a
memorandum of understanding with March Air Reserve Base near the city of
Riverside to handle referrals for families of active and reserve military
personnel and provide counseling to help them deal with post-deployment issues.
The services are provided through ADV's fee-based Corona Counseling Center. In
2010, the counseling center’s services were approved for coverage under the
Military Health Plan, TRICARE.
About the same time, Blue Shield of
California Foundation, which was looking at issues likely to
impact public health, asked ADV to develop a concept paper discussing how to
build, fund and evaluate special counseling services for military families.
Ultimately, Blue Shield of
California Foundation awarded a $180,000 two-year grant to design a complete
program that would not only serve Riverside County military families, but also
could be copied by agencies in other communities. The grant rolled out on Jan.
We knew we needed to design a
program that was based on solid data about what works and what doesn’t work. We wanted to develop a list of best practices that
others could use in their own programs. So we signed up two of the best
consulting firms in the country to help us.
Social Solutions was engaged to
develop the software that will be used to gather the project data. Social
Solutions is a leading provider of performance management software for human
services and has specifically developed software and online reporting
environments for domestic violence and family services agencies across the
Their software will help us track,
assess and evaluate our counseling services.
To analyze the data and help shape
the final report and blueprint that others may use, ADV engaged Harder &
Company, a national firm based in California that specializes in needs
assessments, program evaluations, strategic planning and organizational
consulting for nonprofits and government agencies.
They will help us develop the best
practices model and create training materials and webinars so others can learn
from our experience.
The final phase of the project will be to establish counseling centers geared for military personnel and
their families at key locations around Riverside County, including Hemet and
Temecula. Then ADV will roll out the tools so the services can be replicated
Building our initiative in this
methodical manner will allow us to have a strong clinical program for families
that is both effective and sustainable.
ADV has more than two decades of
experience working with all types of family problems. We believe we can
leverage that expertise to help military families. Our emphasis will be on the family
as a whole, because spouses and children often don’t get as
much attention after a deployment ends.
Military Families Initiative A service of Alternatives to Domestic Violence P.O. Box 910, Riverside, CA 92502 • Phone: (951) 320-1370 • FAX: (951) 320-1381