Family Support Services
All military installations have some form of family support center, such as, an Army Community Service Center, Air Force Family Service Center, Navy Fleet and Family Support Center or Marine Corps Community Service Center. These facilities offer a wide range of services that are free of charge to military members and their families. Some of the services offered at these centers are:
Relocation service – provides assistance to those relocating from one installation to another, as well as those separating. Provides information on the local community and surrounding areas.
- Financial management assistance – financial counseling that includes budget preparation, debt management, credit management and investing.
- Career resource center – assists with vocational and career development by offering classes, testing, seminars and individual counseling as well as provides information on local employment opportunities and educational programs.
- Information and referral – evaluates any problems you are facing and provides referrals to the proper professionals or resources you may require.
- Exceptional Family Members Program – provides information relating to local special education programs and medical services available to those families with members having special needs. Includes programs within the surrounding community and not limited to those only on base.
- Counseling services – services for individuals and families in a safe and confidential environment. Referrals will be made to those needing long term assistance. Life skills classes and groups are often available.
- Family Advocacy Program – offers classes addressing prevention of family problems. Provides support and assistance for situations involving child abuse and neglect and spousal abuse.
- Spiritual support services – military chaplains and other religious personnel are on hand for consultation and advisement.
- Emergency financial assistance – financial assistance offered for help with food, rent, utilities and essential vehicle repairs when families experience catastrophic events or when pay is delayed.
- Family care assistance – nurses available for home visits to assist new parents or families with housebound retirees.
- Education loan assistance – provides information of benefits available to the servicemembers and their families in regards to educational assistance. Assistance with loan application.
- Air Force Aid Society – provides financial assistance to Air Force members and their families who are time of distress and those trying to achieve their higher education goals. Active duty and retired Air Force members as well as their dependents and those dependents of deceased Air Force members who died while on active duty or retirement status are eligible. National Guard members and reservists are eligible if on active duty for more than 30 days but only in emergency situations or if emergency arises from active duty tour.
- Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society – provides financial assistance to Navy and Marine Corps members for a variety of situations ranging from costs associated with setting up a household to disaster relief. Not given for the purchase of nonessential items. Also provides interest-free loans and grants.
- Legal assistance – legal aid and assistance offered through the installations legal assistance office. A Legal Assistance Officer will help with such things as personal legal issues, claims and trial defense. Also documentation assistance is offered such as will preparation, power of attorney, and bills of sale, notarization, name changes, civil rights and depositions. Assistance with citizenship, immigration and passports is also offered.
- American Red Cross – provides assistance to sick and injured service personnel and their families in both peacetime and conflict along with social welfare services to needy military personnel and their families. Some of the services provided by the American Red Cross are emergency communications, information, referral and advocacy, humanitarian reassignment and hardship, health and welfare inquires, emergency financial assistance, assistance with developing claims, assistance with claims appeal with the Board of Veterans Appeals
- USO – a private civilian organizations with centers not on military installations that offer recreation services to military members and their families. The have facilities with such activities as game rooms, reading centers, travel and tour centers and snack bars. This organization is also responsible for providing live shows and entertainment to the Armed Forces at military installations, hospitals and overseas. They also offer discounts for movie and play tickets. Just recently they have started assisting military personnel and family members with various social problems like drug abuse, domestic trouble and financial distress.
- Women, Infants and Children (WIC) – provides nutritional assistance to pregnant women and children under the age of 5. Income eligibility is required, however, most military members fit into these parameters.