203651 Family resiliency training with active duty military families and children: The FOCUS Project's experience

Monday, November 9, 2009: 1:35 PM

Kathleen West, DrPH , Leadership for Women's Health Project, Public Health Institute, Los Angeles, CA
Patricia Lester, MD , Division of Child and Adolscent Psychiatry, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
About 1.2 million US children have an active-duty military parent, with more than 50,000 military families including two active-duty parents. Resiliency in military families is the norm, but long and multiple deployments over the past eight years are taking a toll not only on the service member on the front lines, but on family members on the “homefront”. Child behavioral problems and other indicators of distress have increased among military families. To help address this, FOCUS (Families OverComing Under Stress) provides family-centered resiliency training to Marine and Navy families and children at nine military installations in the US and Japan through a contract from the US Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED). Using the Combat Operational Stress Continuum developed by the US Marine Corps and a public health approach to match family need with tiered early intervention, FOCUS provides secondary prevention services. The demonstration project has reached more than twenty-five thousand military service members and their families with FOCUS information and more than 600 have participated in direct services, including multi-session programming to support family and child well-being. A description of the evidence-based FOCUS intervention adapted for military families, project implementation and outputs, and areas of unmet service need will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify military family risk and resiliency factors that can inform child and family-centered prevention efforts 2. Describe the role of FOCUS in the Combat Operational Stress Continuum 3. Discuss the service needs identified during the FOCUS Project's demonstration year

Keywords: Adult and Child Mental Health, Special Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am directly involved in the project to be presented and have been involved in public health work with high risk families for several decades
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.