The Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness has been around for two years now and we've worked with various professionals.
A schoolteacher in a classroom to a clergyperson to any type of person in the community and professionals on military installations and bases throughout the world.
Some professionals are DoD policymakers and so they come to us and they say "We'd like to understand better about the impact of children witnessing domestic violence, so we did a literature review" for them on that and understanding what we know about children who experience trauma in their life.
We understand that everyone is busy and they have very little time to dedicate to look and see what is really effective out there and with the tight budget constraints, people are pushed more and more for accountability of every penny they spend.
We're not exactly promoting any particular program -- We are just providing the evidence base behind programs that already exist, and explaining to professionals who work with military families what the evidence base is, what we know about this program so that we can help them make the best choice. The Clearinghouse was designed to be the Consumer Reports of programs of strategies and allow providers who are supporting military families to look and say, "I need to have a parenting program; What are the ones out there?" So we vet parenting programs and they are on a continuum from effective to ineffective. So ultimately we're not the good housekeeping seal of approval, we're really consumer reports. We say, "Here's what's available to you, here's what we know about it" and you need to make that decision based on your understanding of the folks you're working with.
Quality technical assistance is key to implementing evidence-based programs effectively and efficiently. I'm sure everyone thinks that their situation is unique, but it really is when it comes to technical assistance because the technical assistance needs to be applied to their particular setting and their particular situation.
As a veteran, I understand how military families work; having a family when I was in the United States Army myself. Professionals can call in or they can come online to the Clearinghouse and get help from implementation specialists and people with the knowledge to help them in their day-to-day activities that they use with military families. Technical Assistance is free for professionals that work with military families. Anyone can come to our website, to our live chat, email, or through our toll-free number.
I was interested in getting involved because I wanted to work in an applied setting. It's made me more aware of the situations military families go through, and the challenges they face. I'm glad they're getting attention that's needed because they're willing to put time to fight for us. I feel like it's time for us to fight for them.
Why what we do is important is because our direct audience is the professionals that work with military families. We want to support them and help them to give our service members and their families the best research and the best resources that they deserve to get. What we're doing is taking science to practice. It becomes a place where professionals can go to make choices about how they work with military families in a way that promotes their well-being and promotes their resiliency and make a difference in the lives of military families.