Families Overcoming Under Stress (FOCUS) provides a wide range of effective prevention services customized to the needs of military service members and their loved ones. Since the program’s inception in 2008, FOCUS has established that a family-centered program is both feasible and effective for military families, couples, and recovering warriors.
Programs offered through FOCUS include:
FOCUS Resilience Training – Resilience Training is designed to strengthen couples and families in readiness for tomorrow. FOCUS provides personalized training in the context of each family’s story and individual goals. It teaches families practical skills to help them meet the challenges of military life such as deployments, stress, injury, and other transitions.
FOCUS is a multi-session resilience training program for active duty military families and couples. Sessions are organized around the development of a family timeline which is used to help families manage feelings, improve communication, and learn problem solving and goal setting skills. By helping the family tell its story, family members build on existing strengths to enhance family unit cohesion and overall functioning. FOCUS resilience training is generally 6 to 8 sessions but can be delivered flexibly, depending on the family’s needs.
Consultations – Consultations offer education to community providers and partners, as well as to parents and couples. These provide guidance and professional expertise on a specific topic surrounding the impact of military life on the family. These 30-60 minute meetings cover family and child centered topics such as behavior changes during deployment or reintegration, or family- or couple-level preparations for future transitions. Consultations are also provided around specific trauma, grief, or loss issues. Following the consultation, families can choose to participate in FOCUS resilience training or be linked to other appropriate services.
Skill Building Groups – Skill Building Groups provide an introduction to the key skills taught in FOCUS resilience training. These interactive groups are generally 90 minutes in length. The target audience can be flexible from unit member participation to parents, families, or children in specific age groups (school-aged children, teenagers, parents, or entire families).
Educational Workshops – Workshops generally cover a specific topic, such as individual or unit level stress management or developmental reactions to deployment or other transitions. They can be tailored to address topics for any stage of deployment and are approximately 60 minutes long.
Briefs – Briefs typically include an overview of FOCUS, education about the impact of military life on couples and families and the types of resilience training strategies that can be helpful. Briefs range in length from 15 to 90 minutes depending on the request.