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 Fiscal Year 2021 PEI 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, FY21: 1,954
- Average Number of Youth/ Families Served Per Month, FY20: 378
- Counties Served: 10
- Annual Budget for Community Contracts: $1,600,000
- Total Number of Community Grantees/ Sub-grantees: 4 Grantees 10 Sub-grantees
- Average Grantee Budget: $400,000
SMVF Success Story
University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, Bell County
Jim was scheduled for deployment in less than a month when he learned about our program through the Soldier Readiness Programming. When Jim and his wife Pam arrived at their initial appointment, Pam was tearful. Due to her bipolar disorder, she feared she would be unable to parent her three children while Jim was deployed, and they would be removed from her care. They reported high levels of couple distress and stated that they were discussing divorce.
Through our pre-deployment services, we connected Pam to important supports in her community such as new parent support and on-post childcare so she could attend her psychiatry and psychology appointments. The supports that we provided:
- Worked to bolster the strengths that Pam and Jim already had.
- Fostered connections and communications between them to improve their couple and co-parenting relationship.
- Provided guidance to develop a concrete plan to support their children during the separation.
- And, assisted them in the development of a communication/connection plan and a co-parenting plan.
During the pre-deployment work, their therapist identified post traumatic stress symptoms exhibited by Pam and their oldest child. The family agreed to engage in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy in addition to the support services they were receiving to best support their family. At the end of the pre-deployment phase, the couple reported the Strong Families Program “saved our marriage” and said they both felt ready for Jim to deploy. The Strong Families therapist continues to work with this family weekly during Jim’s deployment. The family continues to utilize the plan and skills they have learned and remain fully engaged in the program.