Deployments are difficult for everyone involved. During crises it can help to have support. Air Force Family Readiness is a service organization that helps service members and their dependents with information and referrals for counseling, benefits, entitlements and resources for duty relocations, employment and much more.
About Family Readiness
Air Force Family Support Centers have been renamed as Air Force Family Readiness. Funded by the Department of Defense, it assists single and married Active Duty members, Department of Defense Civilian Personnel, Guard and Reserve members while on active duty, military retirees, and eligible family members.
Their mission is to support "individuals, families, and leadership with programs and services to strengthen communities, encourage self-sufficiencey, enhance mission readiness and easy adaptation to the Air Force way of life," according to Wright Patterson Air Force Base Family Readiness.
Core mission areas include:
- Information and referral
- Family services
- Readiness - Assist with pre-deployment planning
- Financial services
- Employment services
- Volunteer opportunities
- Relocation services
- Transition assistance
- Spouse support
While each Air Force Family Readiness office can differ in the services they provide, many of them have the following services:
- Benefits and entitlements information
- Briefings about deployments
- Employment search assistance
- Financial management
- Emergency financial assistance
- Relocation assistance
- Integration into the local community
- Referral services to third-party support agencies
- Transition assistance when retiring from the military
Programs for Military Families
Key Spouse Program
The Key Spouse Program offers peer-to-peer support for airmen and their dependents. The program is overseen by a Commander and a First Sergeant, but staffed by volunteers. These volunteers can be a spouse of an officer, an enlisted Airman, a Department of Defense civilian or other qualified person.
The primary role of Key Spouses is to bridge communication between Airmen and dependents separated by deployments. They communicate with the Unit Commander and First Sargeant to transfer important information such as family emergencies or service member injuries. Key Spouses also serve as role models for military families and remain available for support.
The Wounded Warrior program is solely funded by donations. It helps injured veterans remain on active duty or provide services through the AFW2 program if discharge is needed.
Services included in the AFW2 program are:
- Advocacy to ensure wounded service members receive assistance needed
- Connect military members and dependents with the Joint Family Support Program
- Coordinate benefits counseling and services with Department of Verterans Affairs, Department of Labor, Social Security Administration, Tricare and Department of Defense.
For more information about Wounded Warrior, call Military OneSource Resource Call Center at 1-800-342-9647.
Where to Find Family Readiness Offices
Family Readiness offices are generally offered through your base or reserve command. You can also speak to your First Sergeant or Commander for more information.
Take Advantage of Assistance
The military offers a wealth of information and supports to help both service members and their dependents. They acknowledge military life is difficult and they want to make it easier on everyone by providing as much help as possible. Take advantage of it because you deserve it.