What is it? The Multi-Component Family Support Network (MCFSN) was developed by the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command (FMWRC), Army National Guard (ARNG), U.S. Army Reserve (USAR), and Installation Management Agency Family Programs staffs. It is intended to establish a comprehensive multi-agency approach for community support and services to meet the diverse needs of Active and mobilized Guard and Reserve Army families. The concept includes both Army Community Service/Family Programs and Child and Youth Services (FP/CYS). The MCFSN delivery concept is accomplished by training Active Army, ARNG, and USAR service providers on all authorized services and programs available to Soldiers and families by each component; marketing services to families through the “Purple Box” and the Ten Touch Personal Contact System; and unifying collaboration of military and civilian service providers through an Inter-Service Family Assistance Committee (ISFAC).
What has Army done? In Fiscal Year (FY) 2005, OSD provided funding for a pilot project to test the model. The preliminary data confirmed that the MCFSN can be used to meet the needs of geographically dispersed families. The data suggested that the MCFSN provides providers, Soldiers and families a better understanding of services available and enhances networking between service providers of each component/service. FP/CYS briefed the Army Reserve Forces Coordinating Committee (ARFPC) and Reserve Component (RC) Coordinating Committee. The ARFPC recommended a holistic approach expanding family readiness programs to meet the needs of the RC Soldier as extensively as the Active Component Soldier. To facilitate action, the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower & Reserve Affairs) via FMWRC hosted a multi-component working group to develop a detailed action plan.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future? To institutionalize MCFSN the following actions are planned for FY 2007: write regulatory family program policies, procedures, concept plan, and training support packages; establish cohesive technology system, phase in technology and staffing, conduct unified regional training to include military readiness exercises, and include annexes to G1/Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management sections of the Army Campaign Plan and Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) process to address family readiness/support. The following actions are planned for FY 2008 - 2013: implement MCFSN to facilitate RC integration/synchronization, fund requirements in Program Objective Memorandum, and review and revise Title 10 to address levels of support/service.
Why is this important to the Army? The MCFSN will provide a comprehensive multi-agency approach for community support and services to meet the diverse needs of Active and mobilized Guard and Reserve Army families. It will reduce duplication of effort and provide geographical support where families actually live. Networked systems will contribute to information superiority by providing families access to online knowledge sources and interconnecting people and systems independent of time, location, or Service component. The MCFSN will ensure services are available throughout the ARFORGEN for predictable and steady full spectrum support.