Standards for Military Family Readiness programs

2020 Edition

Family Advocacy Program Services (MIL-FAP) 4: Access to Services

The MFR program handles all reports, referrals, and contacts from prospective customers in a prompt and consistent manner, and:
  1. initiates FAP services; or
  2. makes a referral to a provider or program better suited to meet their needs.
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.
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
  • A description of the access point for reporting suspected child abuse and neglect (MIL-FAP 4.01)
  • Procedures for ensuring 24-hour access to services for survivors of domestic abuse (MIL-FAP 4.02)

Fundamental Practice

MIL-FAP 4.01

A well-publicized, 24-hour access line is available to receive reports of suspected child abuse and neglect.


When the MFR program is not the point of contact for reporting cases of suspected child abuse and neglect, standard implementation is demonstrated by ensuring the mechanisms for reporting are still well publicized by the MFR program.

Fundamental Practice

MIL-FAP 4.02

The MFR program ensures 24-hour access to services for domestic abuse and sexual assualt survivors directly or through a community telephone network or emergency response center that:
  1. employs trained individuals;
  2. returns calls within timeframes set by DoD or Service policy, not to exceed 15 minutes; and
  3. has procedures that address how phone calls are returned without increasing risk to survivors.

Fundamental Practice

MIL-FAP 4.03

MFR program staff:
  1. follow all reporting requirements as required by law and in accordance with DoD and Service policy;
  2. ensure survivors understand the various reporting options that are available to them and the risks and benefits of each; and
  3. consult their supervisor and legal counsel as needed when determining when a report must be made to law enforcement without the survivor’s consent.
Related Standards:
State definitions of child abuse and neglect vary and staff should familiarize themselves with state laws governing whether exposure to domestic abuse, alone, constitutes child abuse and neglect.

MIL-FAP 4.04

Reporters of family violence are informed about:

  1. the MFR program’s responsibilities, including protection of the reporter’s identity and the family’s confidentiality to the extent authorized under law or regulation;
  2. what information the reporter will or will not have access to regarding the status of the report including any limitations imposed by the Privacy Act;
  3. the process that will be followed to respond to the report; and
  4. any ongoing role of the reporter.



Fundamental Practice

MIL-FAP 4.05

Upon initial contact, alleged offenders are informed of:
  1. the allegations being reviewed; and
  2. the process that will be followed to respond to the report.


NA The MFR FAP provides education, information and referral, and safety planning only and is not authorized to provide clinical treatment services.
NA The MFR program does not provide services in cases meeting DoD criteria for domestic abuse or child abuse and neglect.

Fundamental Practice

MIL-FAP 4.06

The MFR program’s procedures for initial contact:
  1. support timely initiation of services; and
  2. give priority to urgent needs or prospective customers at greatest risk.


MIL-FAP 4.07

The MFR program:
  1. recognizes when customers have needs or concerns the MFR program is not prepared to address; and
  2. connects those customers with resources, services, and supports.


MIL-FAP 4.08

Prospective customers who contact the MFR program receive information necessary to make an informed decision about using the MFR program’s services including:
  1. what services will be available and when;
  2. how the MFR program’s services can support the achievement of desired outcomes;
  3. the benefits, risks, alternatives, and consequences of planned services; and
  4. what information will be shared with the agency that made the initial referral, if applicable.
Related Standards:

MIL-FAP 4.09

A system is in place to document initial customer contacts regardless of whether a case is opened.