Supporting Total Force Fitness: 2019 Virtual Conference, Relationships for Readiness

Friday Field Notes banner image: Featuring engaging stories from practitioners about how partnerships with Cooperative Extension help build Community Capacity to support military service men and women and their families.

In this week’s Friday Field Notes, we will explore how the Military Families Learning Network’s 2019 Virtual Conference, Relationships for Readiness, can help military family service providers support Total Force Fitness.

The 2019 Virtual Conference will focus on the Department of Defense Family Readiness System, a network that supports military family readiness and quality of life. Similar to Total Force Fitness, the Family Readiness System emphasizes meeting military families’ needs in all domains of wellness and achieves this goal by working across disciplines through a networked approach. Working within the Family Readiness System helps support Total Force Fitness by ensuring that all service providers can assist military families with getting the support they need in each Total Force Fitness domain.

Virtual Conference Sessions

The Family Readiness System and You. The opening session of the virtual conference (VC) offers an introduction to the Family Readiness System. After an overview of the Family Readiness System, participants will have the opportunity to ask panelists – including Community Capacity Building team leader Dr. Keith Tidball – about their experiences with the Family Readiness System.

What do Networks Mean for My Work? Networks are key to working effectively in the Family Readiness System and supporting Total Force Fitness. Kristen Johnstad starts the discussion on networks in the second session by giving a general overview of professional networks and their benefits.  This session will relate directly to the Social Fitness domain of Total Force Fitness. Social fitness involves building and maintaining healthy relationships with others.  It also plays a role in supporting optimal performance and resilience. Social fitness is multi-dimensional and includes not only friends and family, but also recreation, religion and hobbies, as well as bosses and peers. Social activity can help relieve stress, build connections with others, and ease the strain of missing family and friends.

Social Fitness represented in TFF

Creative Visual Language for Insight and Problem Solving. Sunni Brown will introduce “infodoodling” in the third session as a way to help individuals be more creative in problem solving and communicating effectively. VC participants will have an opportunity throughout the conference to practice these skills using the Idea Catcher. Building the skill to think creatively and communicate effectively across disciplines can help service providers support Total Force Fitness across multiple domains, especially Psychological Fitness.

psychological fitness

Collaboration Across Boundaries. Collaborating across disciplines and departments is important when supporting families across multiple domains of Total Force Fitness.  Building upon community resources in which Military Service Members and their family members reside is ultimately a collaborative and participatory process involving both military and civilian stakeholders. In the fourth session of the VC, Russ Linden will discuss ways to improve collaboration across agencies and departments to support military families.

Collaboration

Holistic Financial Health for Human Services. As mentioned in our Total Force Fitness and MFLN’s Personal Finance team blog post, while finances are not a domain of total force fitness, financial health can impact all areas of Total Force Fitness. In the fifth session of the VC, Shawn Young will lead a discussion in how financial health is associated with overall well-being.

Financial well-being

Create a Network That Works. In the second session lead by Kristen Johnstad, participants will continue to discuss best practices for building professional networks and engage in activities to jump start participants’ own network.

Making Connections Sessions. Each day of the conference will end with a Making Connections Session. A time for conference participants to discuss the sessions of the day and apply the information gained in these sessions to their own work.

Register for the 2019 Virtual Conference by clicking here. We can’t wait to see you September 17 – 19!

 

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