ACS trains new Care Team members
November 1, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (November 1, 2012) -- The Army Community Service Mobilization and Deployment Readiness Program offers care team training Nov. 15 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Bldg. 5700 and invites everyone to participate in the program.
The purpose of the care team is to offer short-term care and support to Families of deceased and seriously wounded Soldiers and civilians until the Family's own support structure is in place, according to Janice Erdlitz, Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation marketing director.
"They are utilized at the discretion of the Family and the command. They are not mandatory, but are an additional resource to provide valuable support to Families. Although Soldiers as well as Family members are encouraged to attend, the command makes the final decision on who will comprise its care team," she said.
ACS staff, along with other trainers, will cover issues such as: care team operations, Survivor Outreach Services overview, casualty notification, dealing with loss and grief, and dealing with the media.
Anyone who is willing to undergo the training can; it is not limited to Soldiers or Family members and it is free.
"Anyone in the community can attend the training session. It's important to have all walks of life trained in this type of scenario, even if they do not get chosen to be on the team," said Curtis Williams, ACS mobilization and deployment program manager.
Those who complete the training will get a certificate of completion and are responsible for notifying their command that they have completed the training, according to Williams.
The training's focus will be teaching participants the ins-and-outs of becoming a care team member.
"When someone is severely injured or someone has been lost, some units decide to send out a care team after the notification team. The purpose of the training is to make sure the members are trained properly and have a clear picture of their role," said Williams. "We try to teach them things to say and things not to say. Members may make phone calls to help support the Family member, they might prepare a meal or even possibly help transport Family members."
The care team, which only stays with the Family member until more support arrives, is set in place so the Family member is not left alone for extended amounts of time.
"The care team is a short-term support system. Members are not counselors and they are not a part of the causality notification team-- they are there to simply assist. They will go out and help Family members do things if that is what is needed of them," said Williams.
The training's overview will help attendees understand their responsibilities as a team member, according to Williams.
"We want people who are properly trained, so they know their responsibilities and they don't step out of their lane. The team is an extra tool that units have available to them. They don't always use the team, but when they do we want members who are ready to take action," he said.
Williams encourages everyone to receive the training, even if they do not intend to be on a team.
"This can help everyone and anyone. If you know how to support someone who has lost a loved one, you can help. Many people feel helpless when a friend is in need, but this training can give you the tools to help a fellow Army spouse or a neighbor. The team is a priceless asset, it gives people peace of mind knowing that there is a team that is available to them," he said.
For more information, call 255-9578.