Army Community Service
- Army Emergency Relief
Army Emergency Relief (AER) is a private, non-profit organization established to assist Soldiers and their Family members in emergency financial situations due to no fault of their own. Financial assistance is given in the form of an interest-free loan, grant, or combination of the two. Loans are repaid by an allotment.
- Army Family Action Plan
The Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) is an Army-wide program that serves as a platform for Army Issues pertaining to the total Army quality of life. It gives the community a voice to relay what is going well and what is not with how the Army conducts business with all members of the Army including Active Duty, National Guard, Reserve Components, Retired Military, Family Members, Survivors and Civilian Employees.
Army Family Action Plan Issue Guidelines
Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) is input from the people of the Army to Army leadership. It is a process that lets all members of the Army Family say what’s working and what isn’t, and what they think will fix it.
An AFAP issue is any idea, suggestion or concern you have regarding the quality of life within the Army. An issue can be one that affects only the Natick Soldier Systems Center community, or one that has effect Army-wide. A potential solution must contribute positively to Army goals, and must be something that can be judged as attainable.
Each issue submitted is reviewed by the NSSC AFAP Steering Committee and either addressed locally or forwarded on to the annual Focus Group held in the late fall.
Please keep in mind that reviewers should be able to understand the issue, why it is an issue, and how it could be resolved. A well written issue containing a title, scope, and recommendation(s) will likely be more understandable to the reviewers, which results in a better chance of being a high priority issue.
The AFAP Steering Committee accepts issues for review year round.
If you have more than one issue, please complete an issue submission form for each.
For additional information please contact us!
- Army Family Team Building
Army Family Team Building is a series of training modules available online that cover topics such as basic information about the Army, personal growth skills and leadership skills. AFTB improves personal and Family preparedness which enhances overall Army readiness and helps America’s Army adapt to a changing world.
AFTB helps you to not just cope with, but enjoy the military lifestyle. Many of the courses can be applied toward resume’ and career building, self-development and leadership skills. AFTB provides the knowledge and self-confidence to take responsibility for yourself and your Family. The training is available to Soldiers, Family members of all Soldiers, Department of Defense civilians and volunteers.
Visit Army OneSource
- Exceptional Family Member Program
The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is a mandatory enrollment program that works with other military and civilian agencies to provide comprehensive and coordinated community support, housing, educational, medical, and personnel services to Families with special needs. Soldiers on active duty enroll in the program when they have a Family member with a physical, emotional, developmental, or intellectual disorder requiring specialized services so their needs can be considered in the military personnel assignment process.
Family members must be screened and enrolled, if eligible, when the Soldier is on assignment instructions to an OCONUS area for which command sponsorship/Family member travel is authorized, and the Soldier elects to serve the accompanied tour. This screening consists of medical records review for all Family members, and developmental screening for all children 72 months of age and younger.
Soldiers are responsible for keeping their EFMP enrollment current as exceptional Family member (EFM) conditions change or at least every three years, whichever comes first.
The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) provides an all-inclusive approach for community, educational, medical, housing and personnel services for Families with special needs. An exceptional Family member may be a child or an adult with any physical, emotional, developmental or intellectual disorder that limits the individual's capacity to engage in pursuits with peers or that requires:
- Special treatment
Respite Care Information Army One Source: Exceptional Family Member Respite Care Program
Enrollment and Screening Information US Army Medical Department: Exceptional Family Member Program
- Mobilization and Deployment Readiness
Mobilization and Deployment Readiness
The MOBDEP mission is to provide training, information and assistance to Soldiers, Civilians and their Families to maintain individual readiness throughout the entire deployment cycle. Deployments can be challenging—a highly emotional and stressful event for Soldiers, Civilians and their Families. MOBDEP is here to provide resources, guidance, and assistance in preparation for deployment.
"ARMY STRONG, FAMILY STRONG“
Master Resiliency Training
Master Resilience Training (MRT) is a key component of the Comprehensive Solider Fitness (CSF) Program. The concept behind the CSF program, as it relates to resiliency, is simple: being Army Strong is much more than being physically fit; it is about mental and emotional strength as well.
What does the MRT Program do?
- Enables Family members to "bounce back" from adversity and grow from current or past adversities Army Families face
- Introduces Family members to their true potential
- Focuses on "Hunting the Good Stuff"
- Develops the ability to understand the thoughts, emotions and behaviors of self and others
- Enhances effectiveness and well-being by teaching competency skills
What skills does the MRT Program focus on?
- Mental Agility
- Strength of Character
Army Community Service provides fun, interactive sessions that enhance your ability to grow and thrive in the face of military life's challenges by applying everyday skills.
- Relocation Readiness Program
Moving is a part of life for Soldiers, civilian government employees and their Families. The Army Community Service Relocation Readiness Program is here to help with a comprehensive support system, whether it’s your first move or the last of many. We have all kinds of information and resources to help you and your family navigate your next military move.
Your first stop should be your local Army Community Service Family center to meet with a Relocation Readiness Program Manager who can get you started.
New to Natick? Preparing to move? Turn to RELO for all your relocation and information needs. Services include:
- Information and Referral Services
- Relocation Readiness Program
- Household Goods Lending Closet
- Sexual Harassment/Assault Response & Prevention Program
Natick SHARP 24/7 Hotline +1 (508)395-9141
The SHARP Program's mission is to reduce with an aim toward eliminating sexual offenses within the Army through cultural change, prevention, intervention, investigation, accountability, advocacy/response, assessment, and training to sustain the All-Volunteer Force.
- Victim Advocacy Program
The Victim Advocacy Program (VAP) provides emergency and follow-up support services to adult victims of domestic abuse. Advocacy services are available to Service members, their current or former spouses, an individual with whom the Service member shares a child, and significant others of Service members who live together. Our services are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Our trained professionals are here for crisis response, information on reporting options, medical treatment options, law enforcement’s response, emergency services, safety planning, obtaining military and civilian protective orders, and accompaniment to medical forensic exams and medical appointments, as well as accompaniment to court for orders of protection hearings and trials. Advocates work closely with their civilian counterparts and ensure a personal and smooth transition for victims who do not qualify for ongoing advocacy services within the military community.
If you need help or want more information, contact the Victim Advocacy Program Manager at your local Army Community Service Center.
The Army is fully committed to ensuring victims of domestic abuse are protected; treated with dignity and respect; and provided support, advocacy and care. The Army strongly supports effective command awareness and prevention programs, and holding offenders accountable.
There are two types of reporting options: Restricted Reporting and Unrestricted Reporting. Personnel should report all suspected cases of domestic abuse promptly, which quickly activates victim services and accountability actions. However, we understand things might not always work that way. Victims might need medical attention or victim services without command or a law enforcement response. Therefore, the Army has implemented a Restricted Reporting Option for victims to confidentially disclose allegations of abuse and receive needed medical treatment and services.
Allows someone who meets VAP criteria and who is experiencing violence in his/her relationship to confidentially disclose the abuse to a Victim Advocate, a Victim Advocate Supervisor, or a Healthcare Provider. When an individual chooses a restricted report, law enforcement is not involved and there is no investigation of the abuse. In addition, the Soldier’s Command is not notified of the abuse and is unable to offer assistance and protection.
The restricted reporting option allows an individual to receive medical treatment, advocacy services and clinical and pastoral counseling. This option allows one to receive needed services, control the release of his/her personal information, and time to consider his/her options.
Under this reporting option, the offender is not held accountable and the abuse may continue. If an assessment reveals a high risk for future injury, a restricted report may not be granted.
Victims of domestic abuse who want to pursue an official investigation of an incident should report the abuse to law enforcement, or the alleged offender’s Commander. The unrestricted reporting option provides a victim with the widest array of services available including but not limited to command involvement, law enforcement involvement, medical treatment, advocacy services, and counseling services.
Not all incidents of domestic abuse are the same, and each person who experiences domestic abuse handles the situation differently.
Commanders play an integral part in ensuring the safety, health, and well being of our Army Families. Commanders who learn of an incident of domestic abuse are required to notify law enforcement.
- The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for your dignity and privacy.
- The right to be reasonably protected from the accused offender.
- The right to be notified of court proceedings.
- The right to be present at all public court proceedings related to the offense, unless the court determines that your testimony would be materially affected if you, as the victim, heard other testimony at trial.
- The right to confer with the attorney for the government in the case; the right to available restitution; the right to information about the conviction, sentencing, imprisonment, and release of the offender.
A violent relationship puts you and your children at risk for injury and even death. Developing a safety plan tailored to meet the needs of your family will enable you get out of a potentially dangerous situation. If your children are old enough, mature enough, or even responsible enough to assist you during a violent or potentially violent episode of domestic abuse, you may consider including them in your plan to keep everyone safe. A good safety plan considers which steps to take if you choose to stay in the relationship or if you choose to leave.
Here are some tips during the explosive phase of domestic abuse:
- Move to a room with easy access to an exit. Don't go to the kitchen, bathroom or near possible weapons.
- Know the quickest route out of your home. Practice escaping that way.
- Know the quickest route out of your workplace. Practice escaping that way. Domestic violence does not just occur in your home.
- Pack a bag and have it ready. Keep it hidden but make it easy to grab quickly.
- Tell your neighbors about your abuse and ask them to call the police when they hear a disturbance.
- Have a code word to use with your kids, family and friends. They will know to call the police and get you help.
- Know where you are going to go, if you ever have to leave.
- Use your instincts.
- You have the right to protect yourself and your children.
Develop a Safety Plan
Safety Plan (English)
Safety Plan (Spanish)- Plan de seguridad (español)
Military Protection Orders (MPO)
Unit Commanders may issue a Military Protective Order (MPO) to ensure the safety of service members, family members, and other individuals from the threat of domestic violence. An MPO is a written lawful order issued by a commander that orders a Soldier to avoid contact with his or her spouse or children. The commander should provide a written copy of the order within 24 hours of its issuance to the protected person, the Military Police and civilian law enforcement. An individual should report violations of the MPO to law enforcement.
Civilian Protection Orders (CPO)
A Civilian Order of Protection is an order signed by a Judge that directs an individual to stop abusing, stalking, harassing and/or committing acts of sexual violence against an individual. An individual may file a CPO against current or former spouse, someone that an individual shares a child in common, an individual with whom you have shared a residence with, someone related to you by blood or marriage or someone with whom you have dated or had intimate relations.
- United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women
- National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence
- Stalking Resource Center
- Statewide directory for laws, courts, emergency shelters, orders of protection
- Battered Women's Justice Project
- The Family Violence Prevention Fund
- Women's Justice Center– Also is Spanish
- Mind, Body, Spirit Empowered - Materials translated into many languages
- Marriage and Equality – Materials translated into many languages
Natick SHARP 24/7 Hotline +1 (508)395-9141
Hours of Operation
|Monday||9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.|
|Tuesday||9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.|
|Wednesday||9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.|
|Thursday||9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.|
|Friday||9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.|
The mission of ACS is to facilitate the commander's ability to provide comprehensive, standardized, coordinated and responsive services that support Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians, and Families regardless of geographical location and to maximize technology and resources, eliminate duplication in service delivery and measure service effectiveness.