Current Projects

Since its inception in 2010, the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness has provided professionals who deliver direct assistance to military families with information to help identify, select, develop, implement, and evaluate evidence-informed and evidence-based programs and practices to improve the well-being of service members and their families. Below is a list of currently active Clearinghouse partnerships and projects.

Air Force Portfolio

The collaboration between the U.S. Air Force and the Clearinghouse began in 2012, with a USDA cooperative agreement to conduct two research evaluations. Since then, the Clearinghouse has completed various projects with the Air Force in the areas of mental health, father engagement, drug and alcohol misuse, and suicide prevention. The projects have included the development of online trainings, evaluating the effectiveness of the Community Assessment Survey (CAS), an implementation evaluation of evidence-based PTSD treatments, and the development of an updated manual for Level 1 treatment within ADAPT.

Air Force Medical Operations Agency - Mental Health and Alcohol/Drug Misuse Projects

Although different in scope, each of the mental health related projects the Clearinghouse collaborates on with the U.S. Air Force Medical Operations Agency (AFMOA) assists the U.S. Air Force in: (1) development, application, and implementation of medical policy; (2) research and evaluation to address healthcare resourcing and operations; and (3) providing medical resources, coordinating best practices, analyzing data, and providing clinical expertise for efficient patient-centered healthcare.

Mission: Dad

Mission: Dad is an interactive online program intended to support fathers’ engagement with their young children. It includes information on child development, ideas on fun activities and games for fathers to play with their children, resources to track child development, and a platform for multimedia engagement among caregivers. The Clearinghouse worked with partners to develop the web-based application for the program, and is currently conducting a study to determine usability and user satisfaction. The goal is to understand how fathers engage with the program, which individual components are most used, and fathers’ sentiments on the program as a whole.

Zero Suicide Systems Approach (ZSSA)

The Clearinghouse has partnered with the U.S. Air Force and the Department of Defense Suicide Prevention Office (DSPO) to pilot test the Zero Suicide Systems Approach (ZSSA); making the Air Force the first service to pilot test a Zero Suicide Framework. The ZSSA is a pilot test of the Zero Suicide Framework across Military Treatment Facilities (MTF) at five Air Combat Command (ACC) Air Force Bases. The ZSSA aims to improve care and outcomes for individuals at risk for suicide in a healthcare system. It represents a commitment to patient safety-the most fundamental responsibility of our job-and also to the safety and support of clinical staff, who do the demanding work of treating and supporting suicidal patients.
To learn more about the ZSSA project, click here (two page handout – kyle).

Army Family Advocacy and Community Service Portfolio

The collaboration between the U.S. Army and the Clearinghouse began in 2011, with a USDA cooperative agreement to conduct a single program evaluation. Since then, the Clearinghouse has completed various projects with the Army in the areas of family advocacy, community service, and healthy parenting.

Army New Parent Support Program (NPSP) Engagement: Phase III

The NPSP EIII initiative aims to prevent child abuse and neglect and promote child development by increasing awareness of NPSP services and supporting parents to develop skills and knowledge to deal with the everyday demands of parenthood. This project includes three overarching priorities: (1) increase NPSP visibility and family recruitment through innovative marketing and outreach; (2) facilitate the implementation of evidence-based curricula within Army NPSP home visits; and (3) provide information in home visit effectiveness through an implementation evaluation. The evaluation team from the Clearinghouse will assist with home visitor training and implementation of the evidence-based curricula and provide information on the effectiveness through an implementation evaluation.

Army FAP Commanders Support Study Phase II

The Clearinghouse, at the request of U.S. Army Family Advocacy Programs (FAP), is completing a review of case-file information to identify factors that may be predictive of treatment outcomes in order to provide information on the effectiveness of child abuse and domestic/partner abuse case treatments for Army Medical Command. In addition, the Clearinghouse is charged with developing evidence-based information for prevention of child abuse and domestic/partner abuse that supports program accountability requirements for Army Installation Management Command. To accomplish this, the Clearinghouse will conduct a survey with FAP managers (FAPMs) to identify best practices for treatment, soldier and family engagement and service delivery, and to obtain feedback on ways to improve the “FAP Guide to Prevention Programming Self-Guided Tutorial.”

Army Community Services (ACS): Cost Benefit/Cost Effectiveness Analysis

In partnership with the Office of Army Chief of Staff of Installation Management (OACSIM), the Clearinghouse has two primary aims. The first aim includes: (1) carrying out evaluability assessments for 11 selected Army Community Service (ACS) programs; (2) conducting Cost Benefit/Cost Effectiveness analysis for the ACS Survivor Outreach Services (SOS) program and the Army Volunteer Corp Coordinator (AVCC) program; and (3) completing an economic assessment for the Family Advocacy Program (FAP). The second aim involves conducting evaluations for the FAP and the Employment Readiness Program (ERP). The focus of the FAP evaluation will be parenting and anger management classes, and the focus of the ERP evaluation is yet to be determined.

Office of Military Community and Family Policy Portfolio

Located within the Office of the Under Secretary (of Defense) for Personnel and Readiness, Military Community and Family Policy (MCF&P) provides direction and oversight of quality of life programs for the military community to ensure these programs are designed and executed to support the needs of the Total Force. Our partnership with MCF&P began in 2010 and includes work in the areas of military and family readiness, child and youth services, recreation and education opportunities, and career and transition support.

5210 Healthy Military Children

5210 Penn State logo5210 Healthy Military Children is a community-wide initiative developed to improve child health. It strategically spreads a consistent, positive message about the daily health behavior recommendations throughout communities where families work, live, and play: 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables, 2 or fewer hours of recreational screen time, 1 or more hours of vigorous physical activity, and 0 sweetened beverages. The 5210 Healthy Military Children campaign is evidence-informed and supported by recommendations from groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Association for Sport and Physical Activity.

Visit the 5210 Website here.

Child Development Center Evaluation

The Clearinghouse, at the request of Military Community and Family Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, is conducting an evaluation of the effectiveness of the Child Development Centers (CDC) across all four military services (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines). This evaluation will compare military-connected children in CDC care with military children in civilian care. Observations will assess the quality of care that is received in each child care facility, and questionnaires completed by parents and teachers will assess child development, family-work conflict, parent stress, and parental absenteeism from work.

Commanders and Leaders Training

This DoD FAP project focuses on the development of new instructional materials and a refinement of legacy instructional materials in the area of family maltreatment prevention and response. The instructional materials will be developed into modules and webpages to support commanders, other leaders, and supervisors as they address child abuse and neglect and domestic abuse in military units.

Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate (DAVA)

This project involves using previously collected data to explore data-driven caseload recommendations for Domestic Abuse Victim Advocates (DAVAs). Using data from across the services (collected by the Marine Corps), the Clearinghouse is assessing complexity indicators that were hypothesized to affect the amount of time a DAVA spends on an individual case. Analyzing the data will inform recommendations about how to determine caseload sizes for DAVAs.

Inclusivity

Inclusivity Penn State logoDo you know how to talk to your kids about tolerance and acceptance? Here we offer a practical guide for parents who want to help their children develop a tolerance for, and acceptance of diversity. This can help lead to a better understanding and appreciation for human differences of all kinds, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and for the physically, mentally, or intellectually disabled. It provides parents with a video and resources that focus on valuing differences, rejecting stereotypes, and cultivating mutual respect. Teaching children to develop positive mindsets like tolerance and acceptance will nourish their curiosity, empathy, patience, flexibility, and respect for others, and give them a deeper understanding of self. The site also gives parents easy access to an Inclusivity Toolkit, including printable highlights from the website, as well as typical scenarios and suggestions for speaking to kids and answering questions about tolerance and acceptance.

Visit the Inclusivity website here.

Live Support: Collaborating with Professionals to Problem-Solve

The Clearinghouse provides support through interactive communication (i.e., phone, web, live chat, and email) to help professionals adopt evidence-based programs and practices to enhance family readiness. Support requests have grown significantly and steadily since 2012. These requests include gathering information on evidence-based programs, data and research findings for evidence-based prevention, help in selecting the right program, assisting with program implementation, assisting with developing an evaluation plan, explaining services offered by the Clearinghouse, and fielding questions regarding the Continuum.

Military Spouse Transition Program (MySTeP)

The Military Spouse Transition Program (MySTeP) is a Department of Defense initiative that will become part of the comprehensive Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program. MySTeP includes the development of curriculum to inform military spouses about programs and resources they can use to prepare for their service members’ eventual transition out of the military.

New Parent Support Program (NPSP): Continuous Quality Improvement Pilot Implementation

The New Parent Support Program is a secondary prevention program delivered through home visitation services for expectant and new parents and their very young children (prenatal to age 5). This pilot implementation of the Clearinghouse resulted in a DoD-wide logic model and corresponding evaluation plan that will accomplish two tasks: (1) test the feasibility of the research design of the evaluation plan, and (2) test four measures that examine how well each contributes to specified outcomes of the NPSP, and how useful each measure is for tailoring service delivery.

Resource Center for Improving Family Health Behaviors

The Resource Center for Improving Family Health Behaviors is an interactive, searchable web-based platform developed for professionals to more effectively address obesity-related behaviors among the military families they serve. By hosting the Resource Center, the Clearinghouse is creating a cohesive, supportive, virtual community that can help professionals, researchers, and military and community leaders, and can provide ongoing opportunities for interactive learning and proactive technical assistance. Thus far, more than 350 obesity prevention and intervention programs have been vetted and placed on the Continuum. Each program vetted has a brief, accompanying fact sheet for prospective users.

The Continuum of Evidence

Clearinghouse research and evaluation scientists conduct reviews to examine the evidence base of prevention and treatment programs. Programs are placed on the Clearinghouse’s Continuum of Evidence (Continuum) and descriptions are provided to help professionals, service program managers and directors, and Department of Defense (DoD) policy analysts make informed decisions regarding how best to serve military families. The products of this work are fact sheets developed in order to provide a snapshot of each program, and include information on target audience, components, previous use, training requirements, implementation cost and time, and program contact information.

THRIVE: Lifespan Parenting Program

Thrive Penn State LogoThe Thrive Initiative is a continuum of evidence-informed, health-promoting parenting program for parents of children from birth to age 18. Thrive programs have been developed to reach parents in both face-to-face and web-based formats. Thrive seeks to harness parents’ potential for fostering holistic, positive youth development and resiliency throughout childhood and adolescence. The primary theoretical assumption undergirding all Thrive programming is that both what parents do (e.g., parenting practices) and how they do it (e.g., the affective quality of parenting interactions) are important for creating an optimally nurturing parent-child relationship and fostering subsequent positive child development outcomes. All programming within the Thrive initiative focuses on child health promotion through positive parenting practices and parent and child stress management.

Visit the Thrive website here

Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Portfolio

Since our partnership began in 2014, the Clearinghouse has worked diligently to support DoDEA in fulfilling their commitment to ensuring all school-aged children of military families are provided a world-class education and to educate, engage, and empower each student to succeed in a dynamic world. Our work includes creation and delivery of professional development training for teachers and school psychologists that assists DoDEA professionals in supporting the unique needs of military families.

Parental Absence Support Research Project

Working with DoDEA partners, the Clearinghouse developed five training modules plus resource materials and a website focused on assisting DoDEA teachers support the unique needs of military families. In addition, the Clearinghouse developed a socio-emotional and behavioral training for school-based personnel. The socio-emotional and behavioral training, Ready School-Wide Enrichment Training (Ready SET), is a two-day training for a core school personnel (Go Team) that focuses on safe and ready schools, behavior management, socio emotional learning strategies, functional approaches to problem behaviors, and responding to students experiencing crisis and trauma.

Schools Empowering At-Risk Students (SEAS)

Penn State Faculty (Dr. Cristin Hall) and Clearinghouse staff are working with DoDEA partners to develop six online learning modules for school psychologists, school counselors, and school nurses related to warning signs and risk assessment, prevention, intervention, postvention, ethical and legal issues, and self-care and care coordination for at-risk students. In addition, the Clearinghouse team is working to develop supplemental materials and lesson plans for school personnel to deliver to students.

Reserve Affairs Portfolio

Our unique collaboration with Reserve Affairs began late in 2012. Our work is focused on providing a broad array of support to help integrate Reserve Component issues across the Department of Defense (DoD) in a DoD-wide effort to promote the well-being of National Guard and Reserve members, their families and communities, by connecting them with resources throughout the deployment cycle. This work has included program evaluation, curriculum assessment, data analysis, and curriculum development.

Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program

The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program is a partnership through the Center for Excellence (CfE). The focus of this partnership is to provide the CfE with program evaluation and improvement support. Examples of these efforts include: developed a Logic Model; reviewed a standardized curriculum to ensure alignment with research; standardized a post-event survey; automated data cleaning and analyses for ongoing data collection efforts; evaluated the program specialist position and how it was utilized in support of program implementation tasks by the respective services; and tailored evaluations of the services’ YRRP. In 2016, the partnership with CfE was expanded to include other programs within FEPP-specifically, the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). You can learn about the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program here: http://www.yellowribbon.mil/

Veterans Initiatives Portfolio

Veterans and their families are a key military subgroup that the Clearinghouse aims to support. Recent studies indicate that most veterans are living healthy and productive lives; however, a 2017 Clearinghouse review identified a number of challenges that veterans and their families face. Read the report here. To promote a smooth transition to civilian life for service members and their families, the Clearinghouse is actively conducting applied research, engaging in evaluations of veterans programs, and developing transition support products.

The Veteran Metrics Initiative

This project represents a collaborative effort among the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, VA Boston, VA Central/Western Massachusetts, and VA South Texas, the United States Military Academy, and ICF. This three-year longitudinal study will follow military personnel as they transition from military service to civilian life and evaluate the effect of program use on well-being outcomes. Key study aims include the following: (1) document veteran well-being in four domains (i.e., vocation, finances, mental and physical health, and social relationships); (2) characterize programs that veterans use as they reintegrate and distill the programs into their common components; and (3) examine the link between common program components on both veteran characteristics and their well-being. This project has been privately funded by organizations who have a vested interest in successful veteran transitions (e.g., Wounded Warrior Project, Bob Woodward Foundation, Walmart Foundation, and Department of Veterans Affairs).

Classroom of teens working