a deployed Soldier uses video chat to speak to his family

Family Readiness Groups

A Family Readiness Group (FRG) is an organization of family members, volunteers, soldiers and civilian employees belonging to an Army command. They provide support, assistance and a network of information among its members, the unit and community agencies. Unit FRGs consist of all assigned and attached soldiers, their spouses, children, extended families, fiancés, boyfriends or girlfriends and retirees. Even interested community members are welcome as well. 

For spouses and family members, being active in an FRG will help give a sense of belonging to the unit and the Army community—the Army family. It will also provide you with a way to develop friendships, share important information, find needed Army resources and share moral support during any unit deployments. It is during the preparation for deployment, during the deployment itself, and in the homecoming that FRGs best show their full value. 

The FRGs help every family to keep up to date on what is going on, and in addition to sharing information, the group chooses goals and activities centered on supporting soldiers and families. It’s a great way to learn about your soldier’s unit and his or her coworkers, to obtain accurate and up-to-date unit information, to meet with other spouses and to enjoy planned social activities. In many organizations, the FRG meets regularly, and some commands distribute newsletters to keep everyone informed.

Family Advocacy Program (FAP)

The FAP is dedicated to the prevention, prompt reporting, intervention, and treatment of spouse and child abuse. Programs under FAP assist commanders, soldiers and their families. These services include crisis intervention, educational training for prevention of spouse and child abuse, workshops focusing on prevention of domestic violence, parent information and referral assistance, and classes designed for different age groups to teach positive approaches to parenting. It also includes access to trained victim advocates who provide support, information, and referral resources to victims of family violence and sexual assault.

Family Separation Allowance

Being separated from your loved ones can take a much greater toll on a family than just an emotional one. To try to care for families during these trying times, there is the Family Separation Allowance (FSA). This is a benefit typically payable to soldiers with dependent family members when the soldier is required to be away from his or her family for greater than 30 days due to military orders. In order to be payable, the separation must be “involuntary,” i.e., a dependent is not allowed to accompany the soldier at government expense. The rationale for Family Separation Allowance entitlement is that forced family separation results in added household expenses when the soldier is absent for a period greater than 30 days.