The Family Support team conducts community outreach and mobilization to support and strengthen communities that serve military and veteran families.
Military Supportive Communities Initiative
Many communities throughout Indiana are dedicated to honoring military-connected families. Now a collaboration among MFRI, the Purdue Center for Regional Development and Purdue University Extension Community Development Program enables communities to apply for and receive training from experts in community growth and development. The Military Supportive Communities Initiative (MSCI) helps selected communities organize and mobilize teams that increase their communities’ engagement with and support of the service members, veterans and families who live there.
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Measuring Communities is an online social indicators project designed to strengthen community efforts to support military and veteran families. The Measuring Communities tool is organized according to the Community Blueprint. Data from more than 30 diverse, reliable and nationally-representative data sources provide military-specific information about communities, and interactive maps display information using national and regional military- and veteran-specific data about 10 topics. These include employment, demographics, behavioral health and housing. Communities around the nation are already using this tool to help find gaps in local services, make comparisons with other communities, and strengthen their own efforts. You can, too.
On May 14, 2018, MFRI is launching its first national Measuring Communities report on the state of military and veteran families in the United States. It represents a starting place from which communities can track change, monitor evolving needs and opportunities, and focus their time, effort and resources. The report features a combination of data located on the Measuring Communities tool and data from external sources. This gives additional context and understanding of military and veteran needs. Our goal is for Measuring Communities to help move the needle and increase supports for these families. So make sure you access the tool and get a free copy of the report by visting the Measuring Communities website. For other questions, contact Kathy Broniarczyk, director of outreach and operations.
Battlemind to Home Summit
The Battlemind to Home Summit is a collaboration among MFRI, the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center, the Indiana National Guard, and VA Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Its purpose is to increase community awareness about the challenges and opportunities that are unique to military and veteran families. This year’s featured content will address issues regarding legal needs and support, how to address physical and mental health concerns and the tools needed to create a sense of community within civilian life for military personnel.
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Community mobilization is an integral part of MFRI’s efforts. By bringing together diverse stakeholders and community members, we foster strong relationships among military and veteran families, local governments, businesses and community members. In addition, we enhance communities by providing access to resources, data and training on these families’ needs.
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Star Behavioral Health Providers: An award-winning collaboration
In 2010, MFRI, the Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP), the Indiana National Guard (INNG) and the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) created Star Behavioral Health Providers (SBHP). SBHP trains civilian behavioral health professionals about military-specific issues. It also helps military and veteran families find SBHP providers through an online registry that MFRI maintains and manages. An award-winning initiative, SBHP is now active in nine states. The collaboration was the model for federal legislation that increased civilian behavioral healthcare support for military and veteran families.
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Joining Community Forces Indiana
Joining Community Forces Indiana (JCFI) is a partnership among MFRI, the Indiana National Guard, and the national and state Departments of Veterans Affairs. An outgrowth of the Obama administration’s Joining Forces initiative, JCFI educates nongovernmental organizations, departments of state government, corporations, policy makers, local leaders and works to build and maintain robust working relationships among Indiana communities. Several working groups focus on specific issues. For example, JCFI, MFRI and the Indiana Bar Association sponsored two Indiana Military and Veteran Legal Summits for court system professionals and social service organizations. Nearly 200 attending — including judges, prosecutors, court staff and veteran treatment court mentors — gained information about military and veteran families. This included information about veteran treatment courts. Other working groups focus on suicide prevention and financial literacy. To learn more, contact MFRI Outreach Specialist Rena Sterrett and follow JCFI on Facebook. Learn more about the work of the executive committee.
Strengthening resources with Reaching Rural Veterans
Reaching Rural Veterans aims to strengthen resources and services for at-risk military and veteran families. Launched in Indiana and Kentucky, the pilot was a collaboration among rural area faith-based food pantries and veteran and military family service providers. This initiative reduced food insecurity and helped communities increase supports for veterans.
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