Army Community Service

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Learn About Army Life

Army Family Team Building (AFTB)

Army Family Team Building is a series of training modules taught through your local Army Community Service or Family Programs office that covers topics such as basic information about the Army, personal growth and leadership skills. AFTB improves personal and Family preparedness which enhances overall Army readiness and helps America’s Army adapt to a changing world.

AFTB helps you to cope with and enjoy the military lifestyle. Many of the courses can be applied toward resume and career building, self-development and leadership skills. AFTB provides the knowledge and self-confidence to take responsibility for yourself and your Family. The training is available to Soldiers, Family members of all Soldiers, Department of Defense civilians and volunteers.

My Army OneSource: Army Family Team Building

Contact your AFTB Program Manager more information!

New to the Community?

Information and Referral Program

A comprehensive resource file provides information on both military and civilian agencies to Soldiers, Family members and DA civilians. Trained personnel will assist clients to find the appropriate and available resources.

Where available, this program offers a special Host Nation Services which includes un-certified translations of host nation language correspondence and bills. 

For further assistance or help, feel free to contact ACS.

Relocation Readiness Program

Welcome to Relocation Readiness! Moving is a part of life for Soldiers, Government Civilians and their Families. The Army Community Service Relocation Readiness Program provides assistance to the Total Army Family. We are dedicated to ensuring our clients are capable of surviving and thriving through the PCS and ETS processes. We have developed this program to assist you in finding information and resources to make you more resilient and agile as you navigate your next move.

Your first stop once you are notified of a pending PCS or ETS move should be your local ACS (Family Center) where you can meet with a Relocation Readiness Program Manager who will serve as a subject matter expert in assisting you through the process.

Household Goods Lending Closet

When relocating to a new installation, you can borrow basic household good such as: 

  • Pots and pans 
  • Dishes 
  • High chairs and car safety seats
  • GPS
  • Pre-paid cell phones
  • Kitchen appliances

Contact the ACS Relocation Manager for more information.

Adjusting to My New Country* 

Host Nation Orientation, where applicable, offers all in-processing personnel and their Families orientation on the local culture, language, transportation and tourism offerings. 

Contact your Relocation Program Manager for more information.

 *If applicable.

Career Guidance and Employment Opportunities 

The Employment Readiness Program (ERP) provides services to military Spouses, active duty Military, active Reserve and National Guard, Wounded Warriors, Retirees, DoD Civilians, and all Family Members. Services include:

- Up-to-date resource information on available local, national and international employment opportunities, job market trends, and education and volunteer resources.

- Classes and seminars on self-assessment and career exploration, resume writing, interviewing techniques, dressing for success, networking, and entrepreneurship.

- Resume critiques

- Career counseling and individual career assessments.

- Job fairs and other hiring events.

- Teen/youth employment Information

- Computers with internet access, resume writing software, and typing tutorials

Contact your Employment Readiness Program Manager for more information.

Financial Readiness Program

The Army is here to help provide you with information on matters dealing with money. From financial calculators to tax preparation, these tools can help you on your way to financial success.

Volunteer

Army Volunteer Corps can link volunteers with local volunteering opportunities.

What can volunteering do for you?  

  • Gain a sense of satisfaction and achievement by meeting challenges
  • Learn about the Army, its sister services, and the community
  • Acquire new skills and expand existing ones
  • Obtain work experience
  • Build new friendships and become a cohesive part of the community

Army OneSource: Find Volunteer Opportunities In Your Community

Contact your Volunteer Corps Coordinator for more information.

Family Members with Special Needs

The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is a mandatory enrollment program that works with other military and civilian agencies to provide comprehensive and coordinated community support, housing, educational, medical, and personnel services to Families with special needs. Soldiers on active duty enroll in the program when they have a Family member with a physical, emotional, developmental, or intellectual disorder requiring specialized services so their needs can be considered in the military personnel assignment process.

Family members must be screened and enrolled, if eligible, when the Soldier is on assignment instructions to an OCONUS area for which command sponsorship/Family member travel is authorized, and the Soldier elects to serve the accompanied tour. This screening consists of medical records review for all Family members, and developmental screening for all children 72 months of age and younger.

Soldiers are responsible for keeping their EFMP enrollment current as exceptional Family member (EFM) conditions change or at least every three years, whichever comes first.

The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) provides an all-inclusive approach for community, educational, medical, housing and personnel services for Families with special needs. An exceptional Family member may be a child or an adult with any physical, emotional, developmental or intellectual disorder that limits the individual's capacity to engage in pursuits with peers or that requires:

  • Special treatment
  • Therapy
  • Education
  • Training

Respite Care Information Army One Source: Exceptional Family Member Respite Care Program

Enrollment and Screening Information US Army Medical Department: Exceptional Family Member Program

Contact your ACS EFMP Manager for assistance.

SNAP (Special Needs Accomodation Process)

The Special Needs Accommodation Process (SNAP) is a multidisciplinary team established to ensure the most appropriate placement of children with special needs. The team meets to review any new applications that indicate any possible special needs to review concerns regarding children already placed in Child and Youth Services (CYS) programs.

Who may be referred to the SNAP?
Any child who has a special need who is eligible to use CYS. Categories of eligibility include: children of contractors, civilians, employees, active duty military, and military retirees.

Children who have:

  • asthma
  • attention deficit disorder
  • diabetes
  • autism
  • epilepsy
  • down's syndrome
  • seizure disorders
  • physically challenged
  • learning disabilities
  • sensory impairment (hearing/vision)
  • developmental replays
  • speech/language impairment


Who are SNAP members?
Exceptional Family Member Program Managers, Army Public Health Nurses, Child and Youth Services Training and Curriculum Specialists, Child and Youth Services Coordinators, Child and Youth Services Program Directors or Trainers, and Appropriate Experts Parents/Sponsors/Guardians.

May I be present when my child is reviewed?
Yes! It is mandatory that a least one parent or legal guardian attend. According to the EFMP regulation, AF 608-75, 22 Nov 2006; children will NOT be able to start in any CYS programs until the review is completed. You will be informed of the date, time, and location of the SNAP meeting. In order to assist the team, you may be asked to bring specific information such as:

Medical documentation detailing developmental delays, illnesses, the severity of allergies (exposure, reactions, and treatments), prescription medications, and your expectations of services to be provided by the CYS staff as well as Educational and Developmental Intervention Program Information regarding developmental evaluations, services provided, etc.

Normally, a SNAP review will take between 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. A SNAP review needs to be held only once a year unless there are changes in the child's special needs, i.e. medications, treatment, diagnosis, etc.

If I am not happy with my child's placement in childcare programs, may I request another meeting?
Certainly! The team reconvenes if a child's needs change, if the parents desire a different program placement, or if a child seems to be experiencing difficulties in the current placement. Parents may request a SNAP review at any time by contacting the Exceptional Family Member Program Manager.

Are providers trained to care for my child's need?
All CYS providers are trained and experienced to meet the needs of children with special needs. If your child presents a situation new to the staff, they will receive specialized training before your child is entrusted to their care.

When does SNAP meet?
Once a month. Call for dates and locations. 

Survivor Outreach Services

Our Fallen Warriors have paid the ultimate sacrifice. The Army has a commitment to their Families. Families deserve our respect, gratitude and the very best we can provide. The purpose of SOS is to deliver on that commitment:

-          By providing access to support, information and services

-          Closest location to where the Survivor resides

-          When and for as long as they desire

SOS offers support through:

Benefits Coordinators. No one is ever fully prepared to lose a loved one, which is why we have Benefits Coordinators. Benefit Coordinators are located at the Casualty Assistance Center and are there to assist and guide you as you make the many decisions necessary following the death of a Soldier. Benefits Coordinators help identify your specific benefits and entitlements and ensure you receive what is legally yours. They assist you in completing paperwork and navigating the various agencies Survivors encounter. Benefits Coordinators remain current on changes in the law and have a wealth of information available to support you during this very difficult time.

Financial Counselors. In times of emotional distress, figuring out what to do about finances can create a heavy burden. Survivor Outreach Services Financial Counselors provide professional financial information and services in areas such as investing, estate planning, tax issues and basic budgeting. Our Financial Counselors will be there when you need them, for as long as you need them. They are committed to assisting you in creating your financial security and ensuring you receive the necessary information to make sound financial decisions.

Support Coordinators. The Survivor Outreach Services Support Coordinator provides long term support to you and is your link to the Army Family for as long as you desire. Wondering what direction to go in now? Your local Support Coordinator can help as you journey through this transition by providing direct services as well as information, referrals and recommendations. They can also connect you with support groups, bereavement and financial counselors, as well as help you request copies of documents, obtain answers to questions and direct you to additional Survivor resources.

For more information contact your local SOS Support Liaison.
My Army OneSource: Survivor Outreach Services

Warriors in Transition assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU)

Soldier and Family Assistance Center (SFAC) services will be tailored and responsive to the needs of the WT and their Families. Most services will be present in the SFAC location in order to maximize the convenience to the WTs and their Families. Other services requiring less than a full-time presence will be brought forward to the SFAC at designated times. Still other services will be provided through priority off-site appointments coordinated by the SFAC staff. SFAC sites will provide a warm, relaxed environment where Soldiers and their Families can gather to foster physical, spiritual and mental healing.

The services identified to date to be present or coordinated in the SFAC are:

-          Entitlement and Benefits Counseling

-          Military Personnel Services, such as ID cards

-          Educational Services

-          Transition/Employment Assistance

-          Social services to include financial counseling, stress management, translator coordination and Exceptional Family Member services

-          Travel pay for Family members on Invitational Travel Orders (ITO)

-          Substance Abuse information and referral for Family members

-          Coordination of Legal and Pastoral Services

IMCOM: Soldier and Family Assistance Center (SFAC)

Contact your local SFAC Representative for more information.

Violence Prevention and Education

The US Army Family Advocacy Program is dedicated to the prevention, education, prompt reporting, investigation, intervention and treatment of spouse and child abuse. The program provides a variety of services to soldiers and families to enhance their relationship skills and improve their quality of life. This mission is accomplished through a variety of groups, seminars, workshops and, counseling and intervention services.

  • Emergency Placement Care Program (EPC)
  • Victim Advocacy Program (Domestic Violence)
  • Sexual Harassment and Assault Response Program (SHARP)
  • FAP education and prevention
  • New Parent Support Program (NPSP) 
  • Support groups and enrichment classes

Contact the Family Advocacy Program Manager to begin.

Sexual Harassment Assault Response and Prevention: 

SHARP 24-hour Response Hot Line: +1 (877)995-5247


Victim Advocacy Program

The Victim Advocacy Services Program provides comprehensive assistance and support to victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault, including crisis intervention, safety planning, and assistance in securing medical treatment for injuries, information on legal rights and proceedings, and referral to military and civilian shelters and other resources available to victims. Victim Advocacy services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to Soldiers and Family members.

 

New Parent Support Program

The Army’s New Parent Support Program is a key secondary prevention program within the Family Advocacy Program which falls under the umbrella of Army Community Service. Established in 1995, this voluntary participation program helps Soldiers and Family members who are expecting a child, or have a child or children up to 3 years of age, to build strong, healthy military families. Through a variety of supportive services including home visits, support groups and parenting classes, the NPSP helps Soldiers and Families learn to cope with stress, isolation, post-deployment reunions and the everyday demands of parenthood.

Deployment or Mobilization Assistance

Welcome to Mobilization and Deployment! Our mission is to provide training, information and assistance to Soldiers, Civilians and their Families to maintain individual readiness throughout the entire deployment cycle. Deployments can be challenging—a highly emotional and stressful event for Soldiers, Civilians and their Families. Fortunately, Mobilization and Deployment is here to provide guidance, resources and training for all; Soldiers, Civilians and their families; to include parents, Family Readiness Group members and Rear Detachment cadre and ACS/Reserve staff throughout the Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) cycle. Whether supporting deploying units by providing pre-deployment information and material to Soldiers, Civilians and their Families; to providing reintegration and RESET training as they reconstitute their Family unit, the Mobilization and Deployment Team is here to support you! Our TEAM is always ready to provide quality service for our Soldiers, Civilians and their Families.

"ARMY STRONG, FAMILY STRONG"

Army Emergency Relief (AER) Overview

Overview

Army Emergency Relief (AER) is a private, non-profit organization established to assist Soldiers and their Family members in emergency financial situations due to no fault of their own. Financial assistance is given in the form of an interest-free loan, grant, or combination of the two. Loans are repaid by an allotment.

Education Programs

AER’s Education Program is a secondary mission to help Army Families with the costs of education. The three separate scholarship programs are:

Stateside Spouse Education Assistance Program
• Applicant must be the Spouse or widow(er) of an active duty or retired Soldier and reside in the United States. 
• Stateside applicants must be full time students. 
• First undergraduate degrees only.
• Active duty military personnel are not eligible.

Overseas Spouse Education Assistance Program Major General James Ursano Scholarship Fund for Dependent Children.

Overseas Spouse Education Assistance Program 
• Applicants must be a Spouse of an active duty Soldier assigned in Europe, Korea, Japan, or Okinawa. 
• Applicants must physically reside with the Soldier at the assigned location. 
• First undergraduate degrees only.
• Off post students are not eligible.
• Spouses may be part time or full time students.

Major General James Ursano Scholarship Fund for Dependant Children 
• Dependent children, stepchildren, or legally adopted children of Army Soldiers on active duty, retired or deceased while in active duty or retired status.

The children of Grey Area Reservists/National Guard are eligible as well.

Scholarship awards will be awarded up to half the cost of tuition. Scholarship awards are based on financial need, as evidenced by income, assets, Family size, and special circumstances.

Applications and instructions are available for all the scholarships on the AER website at www.aerhq.org

AER Resources and Forms

View all AER forms. 

ACS Program Contact Information
Program Name Address  DSN  Commercial Hours
Army Emergency Relief

Normandy Dr.,
Bldg. 1317, Rm. 5

(312)470-3513 +1 (760)380-3513 By Appointment Only 
Army Family  Action Plan Normandy Dr.,
Bldg. 1317
(312)470-2382 +1 (760)380-2382 8 a.m.-4 p.m. M-F
Army Family Team Building Normandy Dr.,
Bldg. 1317
(312)470-2382 +1 (760)380-2382 8 a.m.-4 p.m. M-F
Army Volunteer Corps Program Normandy Dr.,
Bldg. 1317
(312)470-8422 +1 (760)380-8422 8 a.m.-4 p.m. M-F
Exceptional Family Member Program Langford Lake Rd., Bldg. 109 (312)470-3698 +1 (760)380-3698  8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. M-F
Employment Readiness Program Langford Lake Rd., Bldg. 109 (312)470-5165 +1 (312)380-5165 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. M-F
Family Advocacy Program The Forum, Normandy Dr., Bldg. 1200 (312)470-5467 +1 (760)380-5467 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. M-F
Financial Readiness Program Normandy Dr.,
Bldg. 1317, Rm. 5
(312)470-3513  +1(760)380-3513 7:30 a.m.-11 a.m./1-4 p.m. and 3:30-4 p.m. Emergencies or Appointments Only 
Military Connection & Resource Center       7:30 a.m.–4 p.m. (closed for lunch 12– 12:30 p.m.) M-Th  
Military Family Life Consultants        
Mobilization & Deployment Readiness Langford Lake Rd., Bldg. 109 (312)470-2399 +1 (760)380-2399 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. M-F
Relocation Readiness Program Langford Lake Rd., Bldg. 109 (312)470-3598 +1 (760)380-3598 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. M-F
Soldier & Family Assistance Center Normandy Dr.,
Bldg. 1317
(312)470-4655 +1 (760)380-4655 8 a.m.-4 p.m. M-F
Survivor Outreach Services 512 Barstow Rd., Barstow, CA 92311   +1(760) 256-5751 7:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) 

Normandy Dr.,
Bldg. 1317, Rm. 9

  1 (800)472-2321