Family Advocacy: Keeping families together

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

Whether it’s packing up and moving every few years, dealing with deployments, or combatting everyday work stressors, military members and their families face a unique set of challenges. 

The 49th Medical Group’s Family Advocacy Program staff wants military families to know one thing: You don’t have to face these stressors alone.

“The Family Advocacy Program is basically here to support our military members and families, keep the members self-reliant and support them on their missions in the Air Force,” said Jerod Wiley, the 49th MDG Family Advocacy Program outreach manager. “We are here to help families – that’s the big thing. Seventy-five percent of what we do is prevention – helping families out, letting them know all the resources we provide.”

Some classes offered through the Family Advocacy Program are Couples L.I.N.K.S, Love and Logic, Moms 101, Dads 101 and Bundles for Babies.

“We do a lot of parenting classes, specifically Moms 101 and Dads 101,” said Wiley. “Our classes are for new and seasoned parents to help them with their little ones.”

Additionally, they offer Anger Management classes to teach people to recognize triggers and reduce individual anger levels.

“If an Airman is out on the flight line and he or she is having trouble coping with coworkers and they’re getting angry, there’s an anger management class they can go to,” said Wiley. “It’s a six-week course that they can take and learn some new coping skills.”

Despite the negative stigma associated with the Family Advocacy Program, their main mission is to help members and families.

“People see Family Advocacy and they think we’re the bad guys,” said Wiley. “We’re here to keep the family together. We’re not punitive. We don’t get involved until we are notified – we don’t go out hunting for people. We are just here to help.”

For information on the Family Advocacy Program, visit http://www.holloman.af.mil/Units/FamilyAdvocacy.aspx .