Standards for Military Family Readiness programs

2020 Edition

Family Advocacy Program Services (MIL-FAP) 2: Family Violence Prevention Services

The FAP implements comprehensive education and awareness programs and activities designed to prevent family violence.


Examples of topics that may be addressed by prevention services include parenting; anger management; conflict resolution; problem solving and decision making; stress management; interpersonal relationships and communication; and safety. 


2020 Edition




Customers receiving Family Advocacy Program Services gain new competencies, improve individual and family functioning and resiliency, make connections in their community, and reduce their risk for family violence.
Related Standards:
Note: Implementation of the MIL-FAP 2 standards will be reviewed and rated based on how MFR staff implement education and awareness programs designed to prevent family violence. For some MFR programs, family violence prevention may be included as part of its broader Personal and Family Life Education services (MIL-MLSE 8).
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the programs’ practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions; exceptions do not impact service quality and/or overall performance.
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance 
A rating of (2) indicates that a programs’ infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement. The majority of the standard's requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented.  Minor inconsistencies and practices that are not fully developed are noted, however, these do not significantly impact service quality and/or overall performance.
Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that significant aspects of the programs’ observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement. The program has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework. Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  Service quality or program functioning may be compromised. Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation and Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all. Observed infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.

Please see Rating Guidance for additional rating examples. 
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Interview:
    1. MFR program director
    2. Relevant staff (MIL-FAP 2.02)
    3. Customers

MIL-FAP 2.01

Prevention services are provided in a variety of formats including:

  1. educational classes, workshops, and seminars;
  2. New Parent Support Program, as applicable;
  3. one-on-one counseling sessions; and
  4. public awareness campaigns.


Note: Services may be provided directly by the FAP or through referral to another provider or program.

MIL-FAP 2.02

The MFR program implements prevention services that:

  1. focus on identifying and reducing risk factors and enhancing protective factors;
  2. are evidenced-based and offered at a frequency and duration appropriate to the type of intervention;
  3. are tailored to the needs and characteristics of the target audience, taking into account the environmental context in which customers live; and
  4. promote active participation.


When designing services for a specific group is not possible or appropriate, implementation of element (c) can be demonstrated by using inclusive language and acknowledging differences within the target audience such as gender, race, and age. Examples of environmental context include the family unit, the community, and the military.
The literature emphasizes that, regardless of the issue or topic being addressed, prevention programs are more effective when they are sustained over time and have multiple points of contact with reinforcing messages. In fact, some literature suggests that programs with no continuity may be detrimental as they do not offer the opportunity for appropriate follow-through.
Interventions that focus only on identifying deficits have limited effectiveness. Instead, programs should focus on identifying and building upon existing assets and resources to ensure customers have the skills and resources they need to respond with resilience to future challenges.

MIL-FAP 2.03

As part of its public awareness campaign, the MFR program educates community members, mandated reporters, professional groups, and relevant organizations about:
  1. risk factors for family violence;
  2. protective factors associated with reduced risk of child abuse and neglect, increased family strengths, and optimal child development;
  3. the effect that exposure to domestic abuse can have on children;
  4. recognizing and responding to signs of family stress;
  5. recognizing the signs of family violence;
  6. problems experienced by the survivors of family violence;
  7. reporting procedures for suspected child abuse and neglect including requirements and means of reporting to multiple agencies or jurisdictions, when applicable;
  8. reporting options for survivors of domestic abuse; and
  9. who to call when you wish to access services.


Examples of military and civilian providers that can be targeted by public awareness campaigns include law enforcement and legal services; behavioral and physical health care providers; child protective service agencies; shelters; child care providers; MFR program staff; commanders; officers and senior noncommissioned officers. Examples of public awareness campaign strategies include: telephone calls, mailings, information packets, brochures, electronic media, and announcements at local programs and events.
Protective factors are individual, family, or community characteristics or conditions that reduce risk and promote child and family health and well-being, even in the presence of adversity. Strengthening Families™, a research-informed approach to program design and service delivery for child and family service programs identifies five protective factors, including knowledge of parenting and child and youth development, parental resilience, social connections, concrete supports, and the social and emotional competence of children.
Research has shown the impact of exposure to domestic abuse can be as harmful to children in the home as being abused or neglected themselves. Exposure to domestic abuse can result in physical harm, neglect, and psychological effects such as anti-social behaviors, poorer academic performance, and fearful or inhibited behaviors. Over the long-term, exposure can result in depression, trauma-related symptoms, low self-esteem, substance abuse, and violent behavior. The effect that exposure to domestic abuse may have on a child will vary given the presence of protective factors, severity of the violence, the age of the child, the length of time they were exposed, and whether or not the child experienced other adverse events such as child abuse and neglect.

One common disincentive to reporting domestic abuse is fear of negative career consequences that could put the family in economic jeopardy. Many military spouses are dependent on the Service member for housing, economic support, and other services such as insurance and health care. When the Service member is the survivor of domestic abuse, they may fear that they will be viewed as weak or undeserving of promotion.