Pacific region AFAP looks at child care, advocacy services

| May 26, 2011 | 0 Comments
Three delegates participate in a working group at USARPAC's AFAP Conference, held May 2-5, at Ford Island. Delegates included Soldiers, family members and Army civilians. (Aileen Humphreys | U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

Three delegates participate in a working group at USARPAC's AFAP Conference, held May 2-5, at Ford Island. Delegates included Soldiers, family members and Army civilians. (Aileen Humphreys | U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

U.S. Army-Pacific
Public Affairs

FORD ISLAND — Delegates gathered from Alaska, Hawaii and Japan for the U.S. Army-Pacific’s Army Family Action Plan, or AFAP, Conference, here, May 2-5.

AFAP encourages the Army family to identify issues and offer recommendations that can improve the quality of life for the Army community.

The week began with opening remarks from Jeannine Wiercinski, wife of Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, commander, USARPAC, conveying the importance of the work that delegates would accomplish. She also talked about all the changes the Army has undergone since she first became an Army spouse.

Pacific Region garrison-level AFAP conferences had submitted nine issues for USARPAC action.

Delegates then identified which issues to forward to the Department of the Army AFAP Conference.

Delegates represented single Soliders, married couples, active duty Soldiers, Army National Guard, retirees, wounded warriors, survivors, family members and Army civilians, said Capt. Allison Morse, program manager, AFAP, USARPAC.

During the USARPAC AFAP, delegates inspired robust discussions and brought to light concerns from across USARPAC.

Through their dedication and efforts, they addressed existing challenges and provided recommendations on how to resolve them, said Nancy Rice, well-being specialist, USARPAC.

The first issue addressed was recruiting and providing incentives for family child care, or FCC.

Delegates discussed homes to provide care for special needs children who may need attention beyond what center-based care provides.

Delegates recommended specialized training for FCC providers and incentives for those who receive training to care for special needs children.

The second issue involved expanding victim advocacy services to children under the age of 18.

Army regulations currently limit advocacy services to spouses only.

The recommendation is for victims under the age of 18 to be enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, or DEERS, and to be assigned a child victim advocate.

The third issue addressed family victim advocates for dependents 18 years and older.

As with the second issue, only spouses are authorized advocacy services, so the recommendation is to provide victims, who are enrolled in DEERS and older than age 18, with victim advocate services.

“The delegates worked diligently over the week, and I believe that their efforts will positively affect the quality of life for the total Army family,” Morse said.

At the end of the conference, Lt. Gen. Wiercinski thanked participants for their hard work. He said issues will be forwarded for inclusion in the 2012 DA AFAP Conference.

 

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