Among services provided to Soldiers and their families on Fort Detrick is the Army Family Advocacy Program, which offers a variety of programs designed to assist in education, prevention, reporting, intervention and treatment of spousal and child abuse.
According to Stephanie Schultz, Fort Detrick Army Community Service director, "The Family Advocacy Program provides installation commanders with staff assistance in addressing the problems of spouse and child abuse. information and education designed to support strong, self-reliant Families and to enhance coping skills."
Shultz said, “the Program provides services to at-risk Families who are vulnerable to the kinds of stresses that can lead to abuse, identifies abuse as early as possible to prevent further trauma, provides treatment services to Soldiers and their Families who are involved in Family violence (the health clinic provides treatment) in order to strengthen the Family and prevent the recurrence of abuse."
She added that AFAP also encourages voluntary self-referral through education and awareness programs Partners with installation and community organizations to promote community cohesion. Some of the services offered include: the exceptional New Parent Support Program, Transitional Compensation Program and Victim Advocacy Program.
The New Parent Support Program is voluntary, according to Schultz, for military families expecting a child, or with a child ages 0-3 are invited to participate free of charge in all the services offered.
"The NPSP helps prepare for parenthood; to become a more confident parent; to understand the ages and stages of your child's development; to lesson stress; to improve your relationship with your children; develop a support system; to make parenting fun; to feel more at home in the military community; to help understand your child's behavior," said Schultz. "The program is designed to strengthen parent's knowledge and skills so that they can them provide environments where their children can thrive. The program also seeks to reduce stressors that can increase the risk of child abuse and neglect," Schultz said, adding the services are confidential and free.
The Transitional Compensation Program is, according to Schultz, a congressionally authorized program for abused Family members of military personnel. Legislation authorizes temporary payments for Families in which the Active Duty Soldier has been separated administratively or by court-martial for a dependent-abuse offense.
The TC Program offers benefits and entitlements from 12-36 months for eligible Family members. During this benefit period, beneficiaries are provided temporary financial compensation and are eligible to receive medical care, including behavioral health services as TRICARE beneficiaries.
Recipients will also have commissary and exchange privileges during this period. Family members must apply through their local FAPM or Victim Advocate at the Army Community Service Center.
Another service Schultz said is available is Victim Advocacy Services. She said a VA is, "a trained professional who provides non-clinical advocacy services and support to Soldiers and Family members experiencing domestic abuse. Victim Advocates are on-call 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week to provide crisis intervention, safety planning, non-judgmental support, assistance in securing medical treatment for injuries, information on legal rights and proceedings, and referrals to military and civilian resources. The on-call VA will empower victims to make informed and independent decisions to support their recovery process."
If you are interested in learning more about the services offered, call (301) 619-2408, visit the Army Community Service Center to set up an appointment, or attend any class offered.