Story by Rosemary Freitas Williams, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy
The government shutdown has affected a wide range of services, but we are doing all we can to maintain our covenant with the military community at the Department of Defense. This blog previously addressed the effect of a shutdown on these services, but I want to reiterate the key places our military community can turn to for assistance.
• Military OneSource: The Military OneSource website and call center are fully operational. Military OneSource is a defense-wide program that promotes the quality of life of service members and their families by delivering information, referrals, confidential counseling and other services in-person, online and by telephone. The service is available worldwide 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at no cost to the user and regardless of the service member’s activation status. Visit their website or call 800-342-9647.
• The Military and Family Life Counselor (MFLC) program: The MFLC program is fully operational. These highly-trained professionals provide non-medical counseling to address issues requiring short-term attention, including everyday stressors, deployment and reintegration concerns, parenting, grief and loss, and marital issues. If an MFLC is unable to access the installation during a shutdown, they will work offsite until they are able to access the installation.
• The Joint Family Support Assistance Program (JFSAP): The JFSAP program is fully operational. JFSAP serves members and families from all Components and collaborates with existing military and family support resources to augment their activities and fill gaps where they exist. JFSAP is tailored to the needs of geographically dispersed military families, including National Guard and Reserve. The JFSAP program provides the following services and resources:
- Information and referrals to community services and support.
- Non-medical counseling and education to individuals, families and groups.
- Child and youth services, including assistance locating child care.
- Financial education and counseling.
- On-demand support for Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program (YRRP) and other deployment events.
• Military and Family Support Centers: Staffing and operating hours will be determined by installation commanders. Centers should be contacted directly for availability of services.
Here at Military Community and Family Policy, we fully recognize the commitment and sacrifices made by our military families. The government shutdown has us operating within extraordinary constraints, but we will not waiver in our promise to support the needs of our service members, their families and survivors.
For a complete list of family support program availability and impacts during shutdown, please read our previous post.