About Family Programs
Family Program Mission
The Washington National Guard Family Program aims at supporting and educating families along the path of their National Guard life. We are committed to promoting family preparedness and readiness through education and information referral on community resources, conducting family and service member outreach, forming partnerships and alliances, leveraging resources, providing training for the volunteer force, and constantly capitalizing on new capabilities concepts, and technological advances.
Our Family Program is primarily an information and referral resource to support Service Members and their families by training to build family self-reliance and coordinating programs and services that assist family members before, during and after deployment.
Airman & Family Readiness Program Managers (A&FRPM)
These program managers support Airmen in Western and Eastern Washington with the same resources and referrals as the FACs. They are embedded with the Air National Guard Wing Commands to provide tailored guidance to Commanders on family readiness issues.
Family Assistance Specialists (FAS)
The Washington National Guard has 12 Family Assistance Specialists (FAS) and are set up throughout the state to provide direct assistance to family members and Service members. Each FAS has developed a relationship with the local community in order to provide resource and referral services to the National Guard community as needed.
Essential services provided by a FAS include:
- Information and referral
- Outreach and referral
- ID cards and DEERS enrollment
- Financial and legal services
- Crisis intervention and referral
- Monthly outreach calls to deployed families
Family Readiness Support Assistant (FRSA)
The Family Readiness Support Assistant (FRSA) provides assistance to the Commander to help execute the Command’s family readiness responsibilities. In addition, FRSAs provide guidance and hands-on assistance in establishing, maintaining, and energizing Family Readiness Groups.
To accomplish this mission, the FRSAs coordinate subject matter experts or provide training to units, Family Readiness Groups, and Command Staff, including coordinating Yellow Ribbon events. FRSAs also serve as conduit for command information and coordination pertaining to Family readiness.
Family Readiness Group (FRG)
A Family Readiness Group (FRG) consists of unit Family Members, Soldiers, volunteers and community members to provide mutual support and assistance. It is a network of communication both to and from the Family Members, a source of morale for the unit and an education conduit.
FRGs are designed to:
- Help families become more knowledgeable and self-reliant
- Reduce stress and promote Soldier and family readiness
- Provide an opportunity for families to meet
- Contribute to the well-being, morale and spirit of the unit
- Help Guardsmen cope with common issues and the challenges of military life
Benefits of the FRG
- For family members -- The FRG provides a connection to the unit through which families get important information, develop friendships, and receive moral support. In feeling connected and supported, families are more likely to have positive attitudes about military life, the unit, and its mission. The FRG’s efforts to educate and support families also help families become more resilient and able to cope with deployments.
- For Soldiers -- Soldiers can be assured that while they are deployed, the unit has provided an avenue for their family members to get reliable information and help when needed. This support can help reduce Soldiers’ stress and enable Soldiers to focus on the mission.
- For commanders -- The FRG leader’s feedback, based on the FRG’s connections and contact with families, enables the command to keep a pulse on family needs and issues so that command can respond in a timely manner. By being able to communicate with and support families more effectively, the command can increase family readiness and deployment preparedness.
- For the military and civilian communities -- An FRG that is able to refer families to appropriate community service agencies in a timely manner can reduce the occurrence of crisis situations. Further, to the extent FRGs can learn about resources available in different communities, military and civilian communities can support soldiers and families wherever they live.
Child & Youth Program Coordinators (CYPC)
The Washington National Guard boasts a robust child and youth program which provides specialized training, summer camps, and conferences tailored to different age groups (generally age 5 to 18). Children of Service Members are able to participate in a wide variety of events throughout the year, designed to build more resilient youth.
- Army Family Readiness Handbook (PDF)
- Family Readiness Toolkit (PDF)
- Guide to Reserve Family Member Benefits (PDF)
- Resource Help List (PDF) * Family Group Leaders Handbook (PDF)
- Pre-Deployment Check List (PDF)
- Pre-deployment Family Readiness Processing (PDF)
- Mobilization Information and Resources Guide (PDF)
- What My Family Should Know (PDF)
Programs for Families