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Family Advocacy Program

General Program Description

The Family Advocacy Program is the congressionally designated program responsible for the prevention of, and response to, child abuse and neglect and domestic abuse/intimate partner violence in military families. The Family Advocacy Program works in collaboration with military and civilian medical providers, social service agencies, law enforcement, legal personnel, chaplains, and child and youth programs to provide a coordinated community response. The goal of the Family Advocacy Program is to promote the prevention, early identification, reporting and treatment of child and spouse abuse.

Program services vary by installation and generally include the following:

  • Public awareness campaigns, education and support for couples and parents
  • Parenting support at every age and stage, including New Parent Support Program home visits for expectant parents, new parents and families with young children
  • Safety planning, advocacy and support for domestic abuse victims
  • Clinical treatment for offenders and all affected family members, as appropriate

Prevention, Education and Outreach

Family Advocacy Program prevention, education and outreach services vary by installation and may be offered in coordination with military or civilian partners. Contact your installation Military and Family Support Center or Family Advocacy Program for local listings. Sample services include the following:

  • Life skills education and skill-building training on topics including stress and anger management
  • Seminars on healthy relationships, couples communication and conflict resolution
  • Parenting support, including the New Parent Support Program, playgroups, and in-person and online learning opportunities for families at every age and stage
  • Counseling or referrals to services tailored to meet specific family needs and schedules

To learn more about the signs of abuse, steps that can be taken to prevent or stop it and more, connect with Military OneSource.

Child Abuse and Neglect and Domestic Abuse Information and Reporting

Child abuse and neglect: If you have concerns about a child's welfare or safety, whether at home or in the care of a Department of Defense child or youth program, contact the following for assistance:

  • Your local Family Advocacy Program under the ‘Installation Contacts’ tab on MilitaryINSTALLATIONS
  • Your local child welfare agency, your state's child abuse reporting line or the Child Help National Child Abuse Hotline at 800-4-A-CHILD (422-4453)
  • For concerns about child abuse or neglect in a Department of Defense child or youth program or school, call your installation Family Advocacy Program or the Department of Defense Child Abuse and Safety Violation Hotline at 800-790-1197 in the United States or 571-372-5348 overseas (not a crisis line).

Call 911 or law enforcement if you witness abuse or neglect or a child is in imminent danger.

Domestic abuse: If you or someone you care about needs help, confidential assistance is available. Please contact the following for information, support and services:

  • Your installation Family Advocacy Program ‒ domestic abuse advocates are available 24/7
    • Find your local Family Advocacy Program by visiting MilitaryINSTALLATIONS, entering your installation or postal code and selecting ‘Family Advocacy Program’ under the ‘Select a program or service’ drop-down menu.
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-7233), www.TheHotline.org
  • Pathways to Safety (international toll-free at 833-SAFE-833)

Call 911 or law enforcement if you witness domestic abuse or someone is in immediate danger.

Domestic Abuse Reporting Options

Restricted report: Domestic abuse victims may request a restricted report, which allows for confidential medical care, counseling, advocacy and support services, such as safety planning and legal assistance, without command notification or a law enforcement investigation. You must contact a military health care provider, domestic abuse victim advocate, or Family Advocacy Program professional to request the restricted reporting option.

Unrestricted report: If a domestic abuse victim requests an unrestricted report, the sponsor's commander is promptly notified, law enforcement is involved and administrative action against the offender may be taken. The victim remains eligible for all victim advocacy services, including safety planning, legal assistance and specialized support. Contact military law enforcement or the Family Advocacy Program to make an unrestricted report. In an emergency, call 911.

Eligibility Requirements

Family Advocacy Program services are available to service members and family members eligible for care in a military treatment facility. Intimate partners and others may qualify for limited support and referrals as appropriate. Contact your installation Family Advocacy Program for details.


Associated Links

Army Family Advocacy Program
Helps Soldiers and Families recognize and meet the unique challenges of military lifestyles.

National Domestic Violence Hotline
Provides 24/7 lifesaving tools and immediate support to enable victims to find safety and live lives free of abuse.

Love is Respect
Mobilizes parents, educators, peers and survivors to proactively raise awareness on healthy dating behaviors and how to identify unhealthy and abusive patterns.

Centers for Disease Control Division of Violence Protection
CDC is committed to stopping violence before it begins.

Parenting for Service Members and Veterans
Free online course provides military and veteran parents with information and strategies to improve their parenting skills.

FOCUS Resiliency Training for Military Families
Consists of skill-building sessions specifically designed to help active duty Service Members, Veterans and their families stay strong and supportive of each other during stressful times.

CDC Parenting
Browse a list of common topics that parents are looking for.

Military OneSource
Provides access to 24/7 counseling, information and referral for service families, and if relocating, search for Culture Grams that can provide useful information about your new duty location.

Zero to Three -- Early childhood information
Learn about early child development.

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