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.

Air Force

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 the Air Force Medical Service’s job; and also to the safety and support of clinical staff, who do the demanding work of treating and supporting suicidal patients. The Clearinghouse’s ZSSA team can be reached at To learn more about the ZSSA project, click here.


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
Volunteering is instrumental to many efforts to support successful functioning of local communities. Strategic community interventions to augment volunteerism can bring substantial resources into local communities. The Army Community Services’ Army Volunteer Corps (AVC) represents the largest such program for military populations in the world. This work presents findings from an evaluation of the fiscal and societal contributions of over 30,000 volunteers participating in the AVC. The AVC produced over 3 million volunteer hours annually (over 1,300 FTEs) with a positive return-on-investment.

Summary Sheet: Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) of the Army Community Service’s (ACS) Army Volunteer Corps (AVC) Program

Full Report: Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) of the Army Community Service’s (ACS) Army Volunteer Corps (AVC) Program

Survivor Outreach Services Program – Cost Benefit/Cost Effectiveness Analysis
The ACS Survivor Outreach Services (SOS) program is designed to provide long-term support to families of Fallen Soldiers. The Clearinghouse conducted a CBA to assess the program costs and impact of the SOS program. A conservative return-on-investment (ROI) of $1.59 for every dollar invested in the SOS program was established. This ROI represents a demonstrable improvement in the lives of survivors, as well as a positive ROI for the Army to society, allowing for a win-win for the Army.

Summary Sheet: Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) of the Army Community Service’s (ACS) Survivor Outreach Services (SOS)

Full Report: Army Community Service Survivor Outreach Services Cost-Benefit Analysi

Family Advocacy Program – Economic Assessment
The ACS FAP provides services and personnel to prevent and treat child maltreatment (CM) and intimate partner violence (IPV). Within this report, the Clearinghouse considers the economic relevance of ACS FAP with regard to the costs of negative outcomes and the potential economic return if ACS FAP was found to reduce family violence. The overall costs of ACS FAP were examined relative to the potential economic benefits that would be associated with true population-level change due to program impact. If future evaluation demonstrated that ACS FAP is effective in positively impacting its targeted outcomes, a clear case could be made for the continued and priority funding given the potential realized by a positive ROI for the Army and society at large.

Summary Sheet: Economic Assessment of the Army  Community Service’s (ACS) Family Advocacy Program (FAP)

Full Report: Army Community Service’s Family Advocacy Program (FAP) 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.

Summary Sheet: ERP Outcome Evaluation

Full Report: ERP Outcome Evaluation


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.

Summary Sheet: FAP Process Evaluation

Full Report: FAP Process 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 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.

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
This DoD FAP project focuses on web-based learning materials to support training commanders and senior enlisted leaders on understanding, preventing, and responding to child abuse, neglect, and domestic abuse.
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.
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.

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
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.
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 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. Go to the MySTeP website.
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. Go to the 5210 website.
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. Go to the Inclusivity website.
THRIVE: Lifespan Parenting Program
The 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. Go to the Thrive website.
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.

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
Working with DoDEA partners, the Clearinghouse developed eight training modules plus resource materials and a School Resources website focused on assisting DoDEA and public school 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. The Ready SET model includes a coaching and technical assistance component throughout the academic year to support implementation of Ready SET strategies.

Visit the the School Resources website for more information.

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.

Visit the School Resources website for more information.

Reserve Affairs

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
The focus of this partnership is to provide the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program with program evaluation and improvement support. Examples of these efforts include: developed a logic model; reviewed 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 developed a template for web-based content delivery. You can learn about the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program here:

We Are Available!