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.

Army

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 of Relocation Readiness Program (RRP)
In partnership with the Army’s Deputy Chief of Staff (DCG G-9), the Clearinghouse will conducted a process evaluation of the Army’s Relocation Readiness Program. If the process evaluation finds the program to be effective, then a Cost Benefit/Cost Effectiveness analysis will also be conducted.

Department of Defense 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.

Incident Determination Committee (IDC) Decision Tree Algorithm (DTA)

The Clearinghouse has been tasked to conduct a quality assurance (QA) check of the Incident Determination Committee (IDC) and its use of the Decision Tree Algorithm (DTA) across the various Services and installations to understand the impact of adding a medical representative’s vote to the IDC and to ensure consistent processes across all Services.. This effort is conducted by the Clearinghouse and New York University (NYU) in partnership with the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Military Community and Family Policy (MC & FP) office, through a cooperative agreement with the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

Incident Severity Scales

The Family Advocacy Program (FAP) Incident Severity Scale (ISS) is a research-based tool that meets the goal of providing an objective, consistent and standardized means to determine the severity of met criteria for child abuse/neglect and domestic abuse incidents by FAP clinicians across all the Services. This Clearinghouse hosts the ISS Support Website that is intended to support clinicians with implementation of the ISS tool by providing ISS FAQs and Videos that describe ISS tool elements in more detail. These resources are intended to refresh the clinician’s knowledge of the Scales and are always available in order for the clinician to access a specific area within the Scales for clarification. Our specialists at the Clearinghouse are here to support clinicians as they have questions about the implementation of the ISS Tool and we are available via email or the phone helpline at 1-877-382-9185 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST/EDT.

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Problematic Sexual Behavior Non-Clinical Referral Tool
The Clearinghouse was sponsored by The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Military Community and Family Policy (MC & FP), through a cooperative agreement with the National Institute for Food and Agriculture, to assist in the development and evaluation of a Problematic Sexual Behavior (PSB) Non-Clinical Referral Tool (NCRT) that is intended to assist DoDEA (Department of Defense Education Activity) and Child Development/Youth Program (CD/YP) personnel in determining if a referral or consult to FAP (Family Advocacy Program) is warranted based on the sexual behavior(s) exhibited by the child(ren) or youth. The NCRT also assists FAP personnel in establishing if a referred incident should be considered non-normative and if engagement of the MDT (Multi-Disciplinary Team) should be initiated. The Clearinghouse hosts the NCRT Support Site that is intended to support DoDEA, CD/YP, and FAP personnel in the training and implementation of the NCRT. Clearinghouse professionals are available to support DoDEA, CD/YP, and FAP personnel via email (PSBToolSupport@psu.edu) or the phone helpline at 1-877-382-9185 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST/EDT.

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Staffing Tool

The Family Advocacy Program’s (FAP) mission is to prevent child abuse/neglect and domestic abuse in military families and support individuals who are impacted by family violence (DoDI 6400.06, E.2.16). The Clearinghouse has been tasked to develop a novel staffing tool to assist Headquarter FAP Leadership with making informed decisions about proper staff levels across the various Services and installations. In partnership with the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Military Community and Family Policy (MC&FP), the Clearinghouse team has been collecting data to gain an understanding of all FAP personnel roles and responsibilities and appreciate the time and manpower required to execute the FAP mission.

Military Suicide Research Consortium

Military Suicide Research Consortium Zero Suicide Project
This project is designed to build off of the success of the ZSSA project completed by the Clearinghouse in 2019. This study seeks to answer several overarching questions that will advance the science of military suicide prevention.These include: (1) How well is ZSSA being implemented (e.g., reach, acceptability, penetration) at the five AF pilot sites?; (2) Can targeted strategies (e.g., coaching, technical assistance, local manpower enhancement, provision of implementation data) improve implementation outcomes over time?; (3) Which targeted strategies have the greatest impact on implementation?; and (4) Are improvements in implementation outcomes associated with patient outcomes? Thus, the study aligns with MSRC’s research area on translation of research into practice, particularly as relates to the implementation and consistent adoption of evidence-based suicide prevention strategies. Further, this study will advance the scientific understanding of how to best implement suicide prevention within MTFs.

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.

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 Licensure Portability

The Military Spouse License Portability project was designed to inform Department of Defense (DoD) policy makers of the amount of time it takes military spouses to obtain an occupational license when they have an inter-state relocation due to a Permanent Change of Station (PCS).

In partnership with the DoD, Defense State Liaison Office (DSLO), the Clearinghouse examined six occupational licensure boards across 50 states and Washington D.C.. Findings include license-application processing times, supporting documentation requirements, application process details, information accessibility, and application costs.

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

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Resource Center for Improving Family Health Behaviors
The Resource Center for Improving Family Health Behaviors (Resource Center) works to ensure military family readiness by promoting health and preventing obesity through evidence-informed practices and programs. By hosting the Resource Center, the Clearinghouse is creating a cohesive and supportive community that can help professionals, researchers, and military and community leaders increase military family well-being through program innovation that includes family health promotion as a key component. The Resource Center’s review of obesity prevention and intervention programs, helps to identify the evidence behind health promotion programs that are available for military families. The Resource Center uses an evidence-based approach to prepare documentation and employs multiple media platforms to highlight and present current research to professionals and military families.
5210 Healthy Military Children
5210 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.

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Inclusivity
Do 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.

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THRIVE: Lifespan Parenting Program
The THRIVE Initiative is a portfolio of evidence-informed, health-promoting parent education programs 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.

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Take Root Home Visitaiton (TRHV) Evaluation - Navy
Take Root Home Visitation (TRHV) was developed through a collaboration between the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy (MC&FP) and the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State (Clearinghouse) to meet the needs of home visitation professionals working with military families who are or may be at risk for child maltreatment. Now that TRHV has been developed, the Navy is piloting the curriculum with it’s home visitors and families. There are three priorities of the evaluation: (1) Examine the benefits and limitations of using a DoD developed home visitation curriculum in standard practice across the Navy, (2) Obtain feedback from stakeholders (i.e., home visitors and parents) about the TRHV curriculum for continuous quality improvement, and (3) Measure the effectiveness of TRHV in terms of implementation and client outcomes.
Take Root Home Visitation (TRHV) Evaluation - Marine Corps
Take Root Home Visitation (TRHV) was developed through a collaboration between the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy (MC&FP) and the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State (Clearinghouse) to meet the needs of home visitation professionals working with military families who are or may be at risk for child maltreatment. Now that TRHV has been developed, the Marine Corps is piloting the curriculum with it’s home visitors and families. There are three priorities of the evaluation: (1) Examine the benefits and limitations of using a DoD developed home visitation curriculum in standard practice across the Navy, (2) Obtain feedback from stakeholders (i.e., home visitors and parents) about the TRHV curriculum for continuous quality improvement, and (3) Measure the effectiveness of TRHV in terms of implementation and client outcomes.
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.

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Veterans Initiatives

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.

VETERANetwork

VETERANetwork LogoA 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).

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The Veteran Metrics Initiative
This project represented a collaborative effort among the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. (HJF), VA Boston, VA Central/Western Massachusetts, and VA South Texas, the United States Military Academy, and ICF. This project began as a three-year longitudinal study and followed service members as they transitioned from military service to civilian life and evaluated the effect of program use on well-being outcomes. Key study aims included the following: (1) documenting Veteran well-being in four domains (i.e., vocation, finances, mental and physical health, and social relationships); (2) characterizing programs that Veterans use as they reintegrate and distilling the programs into their common components; and (3) examining the link between common program components on both Veteran characteristics and their well-being. This project was privately funded by organizations who have a vested interest in successful Veteran transitions (i.e., Bob Woodruff Foundation, Health Net Federal Services, The Heinz Endowments, HJF, Lockheed Martin Corporation, May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust, National Endowment for the Humanities, Northrop Grumman, Philip and Marge Odeen, Prudential, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Rumsfeld Foundation, Schultz Family Foundation, Walmart Foundation, Wounded Warrior Project, Inc., and the Veterans Health Administration Health Services Research and Development Service). You can learn more about The Veteran Metrics Initiative on the HJF website. The Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness continues to analyze TVMI data results and has engaged in an expansion of the longitudinal study as part of the VETERANetwork initiative.
Veterans Assessment Report

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