Total Force Fitness and Military Families Learning Network: Family Development

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 continue our exploration of the resources and programming that Military Families Learning Network provides to support Total Force Fitness with our   (FD) and Early Intervention (EI) teams.

Family Development and Total Force Fitness

Military families face similar challenges as civilian families, but they can sometimes have unique challenges that can be addressed through Total Force Fitness. The FD and EI teams produce online professional development opportunities on topics relevant to family strengthening, prevention and treatment of family violence as well as early intervention and special education services for young children (birth to 5 years). Both FD and EI aim to provide meaningful learning opportunities and helpful resources connected to Total Force Fitness. Below are a few topic areas related to various Total Force Fitness domains.

Social, Psychological, Physical & Behavioral Domains of Total Force Fitness

The Webinar Series on THRIVE highlights programs focusing on positive parenting practices, parent and child stress management and physical health promotion. The series features representatives from Penn State’s Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness who will discuss the implementation of the THRIVE initiative which aims to empower parents as they nurture their children from the prenatal period until their children reach 18 years of age. THRIVE consists of a series of face-to-face and online parenting programs and a range of online resources and interactive learning modules.

THRIVE

In October, FDEI will host the third webinar in their 2019 autism series, Stepping Out: Family Outings with Young Children with Autism.  Dr. Katie Wolfe, assistant professor of Early Childhood Special Education at the University of South Carolina, and Dr. Hedda Meadan, professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Illinois, will present ways professionals can help families develop strategies to support families of young children with autism during common community outings.

The FD team is co-hosting a webinar with the Military Caregiving team in November, What Helping Professionals Need to Know About Kincare. With the rising trend of kincare – the care of children by relatives and other loved ones – it’s helpful for service professionals to be knowledgeable about how this affects military families. Though such arrangements can provide benefits such as love and stability for children, caregivers can struggle with various barriers to this non-traditional parenting role. This webinar will educate helping professionals like social workers, counselors, and case managers on how to identify risk and protective factors for caregivers as well as children, while also providing strategies of support.

Grandparents with grandchildren

Exploring struggles faced by families is an important component of Total Force Fitness. The MFLN Family Development and Early Intervention teams work to keep service professionals informed to support work with military families.

Additional Resources from Family Development and Early Intervention

Be sure to check out previous events from the Family Development team on topics like the Family Finance Series that addressed other domains of Total Force Fitness, such as psychological fitness.  Be sure to register for upcoming FD and FDEI webinars and explore blog posts, podcast episodes and more on the FD homepage!

 

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