Progress made on local AFAP issues
April 22, 2011
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - Status updates on community issues raised at the 2011 Hawaii Army Family Action Plan Conference were presented to U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii leadership, March 23, here.
During the conference, here, Feb. 8-11, five workgroups had tackled 88 community issues ranging from survivor outreach services to community services.
Each of the workgroups then selected two or three top issues and presented their recommendations to senior leaders and subject matter experts.
Issues were later studied and categorized as either "active," "closed," or "unattainable."
Additionally, three issues have been forwarded to U.S. Army-Pacific and will be presented at its Mid-Level AFAP Conference, May 2-5, at Ford Island.
Active issues forwarded to USARPAC
Issue 1: Presentation of an Army heirloom chest to the surviving family retroactive to 9/11.
Recommendation: That the Army retroactively present an heirloom chest to surviving families whose Soldier died while on active duty between Sept. 11, 2001, and Sept. 28, 2007.
Issue 2: No child victim advocacy program within the Army.
Recommendation: That a child victim advocacy program be created within the Army. Professionals with experience and training should provide victim advocacy services for children younger than 18 years of age.
Issue 3: Individualized exceptional family member child care.
Recommendation: That current regulations be amended to allow for one-on-one or lower ratio care for children with special needs in Child, Youth and School Services, which should be funded through CYSS.
Active issues at USAG-HI
Four issues have been categorized as active, meaning that action plans have been developed and are currently being worked at USAG-HI.
Issue 1: Security within USAG-HI housing communities.
Recommendation: Neighborhood Watch has been reinstituted. Also, police officers will be assigned to north and south communities.
Issue 2: Housing assignment prioritizations.
Recommendation: That Island Palms Communities remove the temporary lodging allowance as a consideration when assigning quarters.
Issue 3: No recreation center at Fort Shafter for single Soldiers.
Recommendation: That a recreation center, similar to the Tropics Recreation Center at Schofield Barracks, be available at Fort Shafter.
Issue 4: Child care service at fitness centers.
Recommendation: That low-cost hourly child care be provided on-site through CYSS for fitness center patrons.
The following three issues were categorized as closed, meaning that either an issue has a completed action plan and/or is resolved:
Issue 1: Authorize all surviving family members the option to purchase the Delta Dental Plan. This option already exists.
Issue 2: Access to Exchange and Military Clothing Sales stores for surviving next of kin without an ID card to replace items such as ribbons and awards. This recommendation has been approved; the Survivor Outreach Office will coordinate requests.
Issue 3: Hawaii Board of Education bus fare refund policy is misleading. Recommendation was that the Hawaii BOE revise the bus transportation application and website to include a statement of the current policy authorizing prorated refunds for military families forced to move due to circumstances beyond their control. Concerned parents can contact the School Liaison Office for questions concerning refunds.
Three issues were marked as unattainable, meaning that an issue either failed to meet issue criteria or cost effectiveness:
Issue 1: Rental rates categorized by grade category for military housing within USAG-HI. Recommendation was that the Residential Communities Initiative rent collection policy be changed to authorize collection of full basic allowance for housing, or BAH, only when entitled quarters are available.
Issue 2: Detailed leave and earnings statement at mid-month. Recommendation was that detailed information be included on the mid-month LES. There are current plans to do so.
Issue 3: Calculation of service members' child support payments. Recommendation was that federal legislation be created to govern the calculations of child support payment requirements for service members based on pre-determined standards. However, this issue is unattainable since laws governing child support are made at state level.