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Advocacy program preps families to cope with problems

By Sidney Rugan | SPECIAL TO THE POST | May 08, 2014

Most families face challenges at times, but for military families, those struggles can be greater than those of civilians. To help military families in times of need, Fort Riley offers the Family Advocacy Program, or FAP.

FAP offers a variety of programs intended to educate and mentor military families as to how to respond to different situations. A few examples of the programs FAP offers, include parenting education, family life education, spouse abuse prevention, safety education, respite care and financial education.

Because FAP offers a wide range of programs, anonymity for the families is a high priority.

“One nice thing about FAP is that people could be having some serious problems, but when you come for help, nobody knows why you are there,” said Toiane Taylor, FAP manager.

One of the greatest struggles a military family may face is adjusting to a deployment of a mother, father or spouse. While the parent or spouse is away, the family has to adjust to his or her absence, which includes adjusting financially, emotionally and physically, Taylor said. FAP provides assistance to those families during their times of need, no matter if the family is in a time of crisis or just needs a little extra help or support, she said.

Not only do families of the deployed Soldier have to make adjustments, but the Soldier also has to adjust as well. Upon return from a deployment, many Soldiers struggle to re-adapt to family life, Taylor said. The sudden changes can be trying and difficult for Soldiers and their families, but with the help of FAP, the situation can be made less challenging, she said.

“One thing that I think Fort Riley does a really good job of is trying to embrace fatherhood,” Taylor said.

Deployed Soldiers often find it challenging to maintain bonds and attachments with their children – more so than that of an average father, she said. FAP is able to aid during and after deployments by offering classes, one-on-one help and advice to help strengthen the relationships and connections between a father and his family, she said.

FAP representatives recognize military families and children make daily sacrifices while supporting the American military. Military families may endure hardships civilian families may never have to worry about, she said, but that is why FAP is there to help – whether in time of a serious crisis or for families who are in need of a little help and advice. 
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