What We Do
The SMVF program provides support for families of children ages 0-17 in which one or both parents are serving, or have served, in the armed forces, reserves, or National Guard. Through supports such as parenting, education, counseling, and youth development programming this program:
- Builds on the strengths of both caregivers and children to promote strong families.
- Partners with military and veteran caregivers to support positive parental involvement in their children’s lives.
- Partners with military and veteran caregivers to maximize their ability to give their children emotional, physical and financial support.
- Builds community coalitions focused on promoting positive outcomes for children, youth and families.
Who We Serve
Military families with children ages 0-17 in which one or both parents are serving, or have served, in the armed forces, reserves, or National Guard.
Map of Providers and Communities
For additional provider details, see the 2022 provider directory.
How We Measure Success
- Children remain safe during services, within 1 year (99.3% in FY20) and 3 years (98.7% in FY20).
- Increase in protective factors, such as family functioning and resiliency, social supports, and nurturing/attachment (90% of caregivers in FY20).
- Program Start Date: 2014
- Target Number of Youth/Families Served Annually, FY22: 1,461
- Average Number of Youth/ Families Served Per Month, FY21: pending
- Counties Served: 12
- Annual Budget for Community Contracts: $1,825,000
- Total Number of Community Grantees: 5 Grantees
- Average Grantee Budget: $365,000
SMVF Success Story
Strong Families Strong Forces in collaboration with Boys and Girls Club of Central Texas – (Bell County)
The Stephens family entered the program after the father, who is a service member, reported that after several combat deployments he struggled to connect with his spouse and engage with his two children. His spouse reported to the case managers that she noticed differences in his behavior such as irritability, being easily startled and withdrawing from social interaction. The father expressed an inability to connect with his children after being routinely exposed to children injured in combat. Additionally, he expressed feeling ashamed of the events that occurred during deployment and did not feel comfortable discussing any aspect of his experiences with his family. This emotional distance and lack of family engagement led to frequent arguments in the household.
During their time in the program, the family learned how military separations and PTSD impacts the entire family system. Gradually, with the assistance of their case manager, they worked on understanding what it means to be a military family and what military separation was like for each member. The couple worked on communication and connection and made significant improvements in their co-parenting skills. Over time, the family reported significantly less arguments and more family engagement in the home. The couple stated that the program helped them maintain and strengthen their family connection.