Family Readiness Groups and Virtual Family Readiness Group
What is it?
Family Readiness Group (FRG) is a unit commander’s program that includes unit Soldiers, Civilian employees, Family members (immediate and extended) and volunteers. FRGs are integral to the morale and support of Soldiers and Families before, during and after deployments. The group functions as a communications mechanism, bringing accurate information to the Families from command, and serving as an informal chain of concern to bring issues back up to command. It is structured by the needs of the unit; some FRGs are large, very active and all encompassing, to include parents, friends and significant others in their information chain. Others are small, tailored only to the immediate requirements of a non-deployed unit.
Also available is the Virtual Family Readiness Group (vFRG) web system, which provides all of the functionality of a traditional FRG in an ad-hoc and on-line setting to meet the needs of geographically dispersed units and Families across all components of the Army. Unlike FRGs that are immediately located with the unit, the vFRG links the deployed Soldier, their Family, the FRG leader, the unit commander, the rear detachment, and other Family readiness personnel on their own controlled access web portal to facilitate the exchange of information and provide a sense of community, using technology to automate manual processes and provide enhanced services and communications. To access the vFRG, go to www.armyfrg.org.
What has the Army done?
More than 1,400 vFRGs are established linking forward deployed Soldiers to their Families on the home front. The development of vFRG sites is limited to Battalion and higher commands in an effort to serve the most Soldiers and Families, to include the National Guard and Army Reserve. Waivers are available for separate companies and other non-Battalion units with special needs.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army continues to strengthen support to Families by adding new elements, i.e., increasing the amount of money FRGs are allowed to have in informal funds from $5,000 to $10,000, enhancing the Family Readiness Support Assistant program, the vFRG has been redesigned to improve user experience. Marketing of these resources to commanders and Families is an integral part of the way ahead.
Why is this important to the Army?
FRGs are critical to maintaining the strength, morale and information chain for Soldiers, Families and command. Elements such as the vFRG program have proven to be overwhelming successes as additional information sources directed to Family members of Soldiers within the command. FRGs leverage command and Families; vFRG leverages technology for providing up-to-date information and connecting Families and commands.
Web site: http://www.armyfrg.org