STAND TO!

Edition: Fri, December 19, 2008
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TODAY'S FOCUS

Family Engagement Kit

What is it?

The Family Engagement Kit is a tool developed by the U.S. Combat Readiness/Safety Center for family members to encourage them to take an active role in their Soldier's off-duty safety, particularly those returning from a deployment.

Some Soldiers take deployment and the return home in stride, without missing a beat, for others it is not a seamless reintegration. Some individuals have a more difficult time trying to re-connect with their past life or to integrate and modify their deployment behavior into their present situation.

Research, examining post-deployment motor vehicle and personal injury accidents, has shown that from 2002 to Nov. 2008, 246 Soldiers have died within one year of returning from deployment. In fact, 21 percent of these Soldiers died within the first 30-day post-deployment and 67 percent have died within 180-days of return.

Regardless of whether Soldiers are readying for a deployment, returning from a deployment or neither, family members are a front line of defense and can positively affect Soldiers behavior.

This kit has simple, yet effective, "how to" instructions combined with other useful aids to help family members take care of all our Soldiers.

What has the Army done?

The Army recognizes the strength of Soldiers comes from the strength of their families and much the same can be said for their safety.

Leaders have also come to realize that "battle buddies" are a key factor in keeping Soldiers safe on the battlefield. On the home front, a Soldier's "battle buddy" is often his or her family and that crucial front line of defense when it comes to affecting a Soldier's decision-making process or reaction to a particular situation.

Why is this important to the Army?

Soldiers and their family members are the nation's most valued resources and just as engaged leadership has made a difference in Soldiers' safety on-duty, engaged families can have that same impact in our Soldiers' off-duty safety as well.

By raising awareness of the many tools provided in this kit, family members become engaged in risk assessment and risk mitigation, safeguarding the well-being of Soldiers.

This kit also educates family members on composite risk management and provides them with the resources to keep themselves and their families safe. Additionally, it encourages family members to be each other's "battle buddy" during their spouse's deployments and watch over each other and recognize when to step in or to ask for help.

The Family Engagement Kit supports the efforts of the Army's Post-Deployment Health Reassessment (PDHRA) Program and its commitment to safeguarding the well-being of all Soldiers - active, guard and reserve.

Resources:

The Family Engagement Kit can be used by individual family members or Army family readiness groups (FRG). The accompanying training support package provides instructors and/or FRG leaders with a standardized lesson plan, handouts and other resources, such as national website links and can easily be tailored to any group.

USACRC Family Engagement Kit

INFORMATION YOU CAN USE

- 2008 Strategic Communication Guide - Read the 2008 Army Strategic Communication Guide for key messages and updates

- Strategic Communication Coordination Group (SCCG) Workspace

- Army Public Affairs Portal

- Stories of Valor

- Speaker's Toolkit

- Information Papers with " 2008 Army Posture Statement"

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