The Homefront GroupA Veteran Family Support Group Presented By: LeAnne Rozner and Dominic Moreno John F. Kennedy University
The Homefront GroupPsychoeducational Support Group for spouses and family members of military veterans.
Family members and friends of Veterans provide valuable support to those who have served our country. Often they are the first to notice if he or she is having a tough time. They may feel as if the Veteran is not the same person they once knew. They may feel at a loss if there seems to be no clearreason for what the Veteran is going through or they are not sure what to do about it.
This psychoeducational support group will help educate family members of Veterans about their loved one’s experiences in combat and the effects those experiences may have on his or her physicaland psychological well-being after they return home. It will also help to connect families to the networkof resources available to Veterans and their families.
This group will help build community andconnection between family members of veterans and provide a nurturing atmosphere to attend to thestresses of active duty, post-service, and transition. It builds on the active duty community shared by military families.
The group will begin at the JFKU Community Center in Pleasant Hill, located in Contra Costa County, California.Competition: Concord Vet Center provides individual and group readjustment counseling to veterans, counseling for military sexual trauma, bereavement counseling for family members, and limited couple/family therapy.Online Resources for Families: Make The Connectionhttp://maketheconnection.net Coaching Into Carehttp://www.mirecc.va.gov/coaching/
This group will start at the Community Center withsupport from VA Martinez and Concord Vet Center. It is our goal to roll out this group format and concept in catchment areas served by VA Vet Centers in other counties and states. This concept can also be adapted for SBP with child/adolescent groups in schools and family style groups for FRP.
THE HOMEFRONT GROUP A Veteran Family Support Group 12-week Psychoeducational Support Group Group is open to adult family members, spouses, and partners of Veterans Group is open and on-going; Members can attend one or all sessions, but it is recommended that they attend the entire 12- week series to get the most benefit Session Length – 1hour 30 min Number of members – Between 10-12 Where will your group be held? JFKCC Fee –$5 (per family member) Typical group format: Psychoeducational component followed by Q&A and discussion/ processing of reactions to material, and sharing of personal experiences related to topic discussed.
For whom is this group designed? Adult family members, parents, spouses/partners, and loved ones of active duty military personnel and Veterans. Members may or may not be eligible for VA mental health services.
Screening Questions for Prospective Members: Has your loved one served in combat? When? Where? How long? Was your Veteran injured or killed in combat? Is your Veteran currently experiencing difficulties? Describe… Is your loved one currently receiving services from the VA? Are you currently experiencing difficulties? Describe… Are you currently receiving services from the VA? How do you support your loved one in transition out of service? Have you experienced stress over you and your loved ones military service?
What kind of evaluation procedures will you use to determine if someone is appropriate for your group? An interview conducted by the group leaders, comprised of questions pertaining to experience , duration, and relation to Veteran, will assist in the determination of the appropriateness of a client for the group.
What would rule out someone’s ability to participate in your group? As this is not specifically a Depression or Grief and Loss Group, family members who have suffered the loss of a loved one who was KIA or has committed Suicide may be limited in their ability to participate.
What are the main goals of the group? To educate family members To help them make connections with others having similar experiences To prevent families from developing psychological problems before, during and after deployment. Having knowledge, coping skills, and social support will positively influence family members’ ability and attitude to handle the uncertainties of deployment and better prepare them for reintegration of their loved one into their daily life after deployment.
Evaluation of Benefits We will develop a qualitative pre-group and post-group evaluation tool to gain insight into what areas the client feels most challenged and in what areas the client has felt most growth. The pre-group evaluation may be utilized as an initial baseline for the client and may assist the therapists in developing a more personalized strategy for supporting the client.
What are the qualifications of the group therapists? At least one of the therapists must be of the following categories: Veteran or Veteran (Active Duty) Family Member Both should have education, training, and experience in developing psychoeducational curriculum and facilitating support groups. Both should be MFT trainees or interns under supervision, or LMFT, LPCC, LCSW.
How do you view the role of the group therapist in your group? Educator, facilitator of self-discovery, and partner in recovery.
We address the emotional, social, moral, and spiritual injuries and the family challenges experienced during all stages of deployment, especially reintegration. Some topics to be covered: Preparing for Deployment, PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Depression, Substance Use/Abuse, Military Sexual Trauma, Managing Transitions, Death of Family or Friends, Self-Care, Changing Relationships, Spirituality, Treatment & Resources
Legal and Ethical Issues Limits of Confidentiality (including harm to self, harm to others, child abuse, and elder abuse), Scope of Practice issues regarding psychiatric/medical support. Potential threats to confidentiality that may occur in a group setting. Trainee/Intern status of group leaders. Attending to client welfare if/when issues arise that may be better treated outside of the group process.
Relevant Research The VA agrees with the concept of focusing attention on the supporting system in the Veterans life. Similar groups (while not many) have shown success in attendance by family members of Veterans and military service members. http://www.military.com/spouse/content/military-life/military- resources/military-support-groups-and-centers.html
Marketing Strategy We will utilize the already established infrastructure of the VA and Vet Center Program to attract referrals for families of veterans already receiving support services through these agencies. Potentially utilize social media to expand referral population. Post flyer and ads in locations being used by veteran families. Local newspapers/news sites community calendar listings. NAMI and other email databases or newsletters. CalVets, DVC Veterans and other local community based groups for Veterans. VA Chaplains and other community spiritual leaders.
Marketing Plan4-5 months prior to start of groupCreate Publicity Materials:Create flyers, posters, brochures, press release, and lettersCreate a Facebook page for the group.2-3 months prior to start of groupInform Referral Sources:Announce presentations & workshops on FBPresent at JFKUCC, Vet Centers and VA Mental Health Centers, Veteran groups,CMHC, and other organizations.1-2 months prior to start of groupSocial networking & Community Calendars:Submit group announcement to: Resource guides for Veterans and their families ,community calendars, local publications, and newsletters targeted to Veterans and theirfamilies.1 month prior to start of groupSend reminder letters to inquiries and referrals received.Invite FB friends to upcoming events/group meetings.