Army Reserve Child and Youth Services Program
What is it?
The Army Child Youth Services (CYS) Directorate, U.S. Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command (FMWRC), has extended its mission to include geographically dispersed Families. The United States Army Reserve (USAR) has established a CYS staff to assist with the implementation of CYS programs and initiatives so as to reduce the hardships associated with balancing parental responsibilities with Soldier mission requirements.
What has Army done?
The Army Reserve CYS Directorate includes 21 full-time staff. The program manager, located at the U.S. Army Reserve Command and under the supervision of the Director of Army Reserve Family Programs, implements the CYS program through 18 CYS regional coordinators and two outreach liaison coordinators. The regional coordinators, located within the existing Army Reserve structure, assist in development and implementation at the local level. The outreach liaison coordinators primarily facilitate access to child care and student support services. The three areas of focus are child care, youth development, and student support. Our goal is to provide an accessible, well-rounded program that meets the needs of all USAR youth, supports the parent/caregiver during deployment, and provides peace of mind to the Soldiers while they are separated from their Families. The following are recent accomplishments with respect to that goal:
- Child care
- Battle Training Assemblies Child Care
- Marriage Enrichment Retreat Child Care
- Super Saturday Respite Care
- Child care needs for other military training events
- Youth development
- Youth Leadership Education and Development (YLEAD) Conference
- Army Reserve Enrichment Camps (ARECs)
- Operation Military Kids partner and state team members
- Army Reserve Teen Panel (19 members and 3 junior advisors)
- Army Family Action Planning teen work groups
- National Military Family Association’s Operation Purple Camps (host of seven camps)
- Teen Mobilization Briefings
- Franklin Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens (training of 130 USAR youth)
- Student support
- Partnership with Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC)
- Guard and Reserve Institute Training (community training)
- Collaboration with Active Component School Liaison staff
- Online training for college preparation
- Provision of resources and tools for students
Our indirect services afford us the opportunity to increase awareness and provide tools and resources to those who have a direct link to Army Reserve youth and Families. These include:
- Soldier readiness processing
- Interservice Family Action Committee
- Army Integrated Family Support Network
- Resource and referral entity for USAR Family members
- Family Day Briefings, Mobilization and Reunion Briefings
- Collaboration with supporters of zero-to-three population
- Activities with youth-serving organizations (e.g., 4H Club and the Boys and Girls Clubs)
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
In the coming year, USAR CYS plans to host an Army Reserve–wide youth conference. Additionally, we plan to increase the number of YLEAD Conferences and the number of ARECs. We will expand our child care program to meet the growing demand for Army Reserve child care services, to include an increase in the number of Super Saturday respite care programs. We will also reach out to parents and caregivers who serve the zero-to-three population by providing training opportunities and materials. With regard to student support, we are planning to obtain training resources and information to empower parents and teachers. We will continue collaboration efforts with the MCEC and the Active Component School Liaison officers to find more ways to reach school personnel, like our quick-reference guide that is designed for those who work with military youth. With the growth of our programs, we hope to add more CYS regional coordinators and possibly more outreach liaison coordinators in the coming year.
Why is this important to the Army?
This CYS program is a force multiplier and a strong retention tool. These initiatives help to build confident, self-reliant Families that have the capacity to endure multiple mobilizations and deployments.