Current Projects Portfolio
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, veterans, and their families. Below is a list of currently active Clearinghouse partnerships and projects.
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
Zero Suicide Systems Approach (ZSSA)
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 Community Services (ACS): Cost Benefit/Cost Effectiveness Analysis and Program Evaluations
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).
Army Volunteer Corps Program – Cost Benefit/Cost Effectiveness Analysis
Survivor Outreach Services Program – Cost Benefit/Cost Effectiveness Analysis
Family Advocacy Program – Economic Assessment
Employment Readiness Program – Outcome Evaluation
The Army Community Service’s (ACS) Employment Readiness Program (ERP) provides localized employment assistance (e.g., classes in resume writing, interviewing and the federal job search, career counseling services, employer networking, job fairs) at all garrisons. Historically, the ERP focused on helping Army spouses, who face employment challenges due to the frequent relocations, find employment opportunities at each duty station. A spouse’s ability to obtain meaningful employment may have downstream impacts on Service member retention, financial stability, and military family readiness. The Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State was commissioned by the DSC, G-9 to conduct an outcome evaluation to assess the ERP’s effectiveness with employment outcomes for all program participants, including Service members; Army Guard and Reserve members; DoD civilians; Army Survivors, retirees and retiree spouses. The evaluation had five aims: (1) examine whether the ERP improves employment related outcomes among program participants; (2) assess whether the ERP improves satisfaction with military life (e.g., readiness, retention, financial stability, and satisfaction); (3) gauge program user satisfaction with the ERP; (4) examine whether the ERP is more or less effective across different groups of participants (e.g., spouses, Service members, users of specific programs or services), and (5) recommendations for program improvement.
Family Advocacy Program – Process Evaluation
The Army Community Service (ACS) Family Advocacy Program (FAP) offers services (commanders’ briefings, troop trainings, prevention campaigns, and classes) that are designed to strengthen Army families, and enhance resilience, by providing prevention education encouraging healthy, violence-free relationships, nurturing parenting skills, and providing direct services to families impacted by abuse.Initially, the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State (Clearinghouse) was asked to conduct an outcome evaluation of specific ACS FAP prevention activities; however, this goal was not realized due to program constraints found in an initial inquiry (e.g., a lack of program standardization). Thus, an effort was initiated to catalog FAP class offerings Army-wide. The goal of this effort was to identify commonalities and strengths in offerings and make recommendations for improvements in program content, implementation, and evaluation. Three topic areas were chosen to investigate: anger management, parenting, and communication.
Army FAP Commanders Support Study Phase II
Army New Parent Support Program (NPSP) Engagement: Phase III
Family Advocacy Program
Located within the Office of the Under Secretary (of Defense) for Personnel and Readiness, Military Community and Family Policy (MCF&P), Family Advocacy Program is the congressionally-designated program responsible for preventing and responding to child abuse and neglect and domestic abuse in military families. The program works with key military and civilian departments, including medical, law enforcement, legal, chaplains, child and youth, and social agencies to promote a coordinated community response.
Commanders and Leaders FAP Training
Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate (DAVA)
New Parent Support Program (NPSP): Continuous Quality Improvement Pilot Implementation
Office of Military Community and Family Policy
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.
Child Development Center Evaluation
Live Support: Collaborating with Professionals to Problem-Solve
Military Spouse Transition Program (MySTeP)
Resource Center for Improving Family Health Behaviors
5210 Healthy Military Children
THRIVE: Lifespan Parenting Program
The Continuum of Evidence
Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA)
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
Visit the the School Resources website for more information.
Schools Empowering At-Risk Students (SEAS)
Visit the School Resources website for more information.
Our collaboration with Reserve Affairs began in 2011. Our work is focused on providing a broad array of services to a DoD-wide initiative that promotes the well-being of National Guard and Reserve members, their families and communities, by connecting them with resources throughout the deployment cycle.
Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program
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. To promote a smooth transition to civilian life for service members, veterans, and their families, the Clearinghouse is actively conducting applied research engaging in evaluations of veterans programs, and developing transition support products.
A research team at the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State is developing a collaborative network that will focus future research on post-9/11 veterans. Known as the VETeran Evaluation and Research Applications Network (VETERANetwork), the network will strive to ensure public and private donations are invested in effective programs and services that support veterans’ and their families’ well-being. The VETERANetwork will act as the applied research and evaluation unit for philanthropies, foundations, and other veteran-serving non-profit organizations. It will address questions and issues related to veterans’ transitions to civilian lives. The network will be hosted by the Clearinghouse with engagement of various partners (e.g., Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, the University of Southern California’s Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and Military Families, and the Carnegie Mellon CREATE Lab).
The VETERANetwork grew out of a joint research effort originally known as The Veterans Metrics Initiative: Linking Program Components to Post-Military Well-Being Study (TVMI Study). This collaborative study launched in April 2015 to examine veterans’ transition and reintegration experiences and to assess the impacts of transition programs that aid veterans as they transition from military to civilian life. Led by the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc., this project mobilized the scientific expertise of the Clearinghouse, other funders, and several VA researchers to collect multiple waves of data from veterans who discharged in 2016.
In 2020, the Clearinghouse expanded upon the TVMI Study with continued, independent data collection (”wave 7”) and this new research effort is known as the Veterans Engaging in Transition Studies (VETS). This longitudinal study continues to examine veterans’ experiences as they transition from military to civilian life and to explore the components across veteran transition programs that are linked to the following well-being domains: vocation, finances, mental and physical health, and social relationships. In addition, new lines of survey questions focus on the impacts of COVID-19 and the scope and scale of veterans’ higher education debt obligations (funded by the Pew Student Loan Research Project).
The VETERANetwork website is under construction and will be published in October 2020.