Standards for Military Family Readiness programs

2020 Edition

Human Resources (MIL-HR) 2: Training and Professional Development

The training and professional development program provides government employees and volunteers when applicable with the skills and information needed to fulfill their job responsibilities.


The trainings outlined in the MIL-HR 2 standards may be provided using a variety of educational methods including traditional classroom learning, one-to-one supervision, mentoring, peer support, coaching, and formal education. The MFR program may also accept previous experience as evidence of completed trainings when, for example, individuals move from one family program to another. It is up to the MFR program, in accordance with applicable regulation,  to establish the mechanisms by which it will  assess and track staff completion of the applicable trainings identified in the MIL-HR 2 standards. These records should be maintained on site as required by MIL-HR 6 and made available to the Peer Review team as evidence of standard implementation.
2020 Edition

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A qualified, trained, and supported workforce contributes to the delivery of quality services that promote customer satisfaction and positive service delivery results. 
Note: The standards in MIL-HR 2 do not apply to contractors.
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 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 standards 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 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(s) 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. The programs’ observed administration and management 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
  • Description of the training and professional development program and/or acopy of the training and professional development plan, when available (MIL-HR 2.01)
  • Outline of required trainings for different positions or job categories (MIL-HR 2.01)
  • Interview:
    1. MFR program director
    2. Relevant staff

MIL-HR 2.01

The MFR program implements a training and professional development program that provides opportunities for learning and skill enhancement and:
  1. is reviewed annually and revised in accord with an assessment of the MFR program’s training and development needs;
  2. outlines specific expectations regarding training required of staff in different positions and job categories, including timing and frequency of required trainings;
  3. provides the opportunity for staff to fulfill the continuing education requirements of their respective professions, when applicable; and
  4. provides opportunities to support advancement within the MFR program and profession.
Related Standards:


The intent of element b is to ensure the MFR program’s training program clarifies which training topics are provided once as part of orientation, and which are offered on an ongoing basis as part of an in-service training. Training requirements, including the timing and frequency of initial and ongoing trainings, may be laid out by oversight entities.
Research suggests that insufficient training programs can cause both a recruitment and retention problem for employers. Workers may choose to leave their employment when they have not been adequately prepared and supported for the position they have been hired to fill.

MIL-HR 2.02

Staff receive training on:
  1. DoD standards of conducts;
  2. military culture;
  3. the effects of the military lifestyle on Service members and their families;
  4. the MFR program mission;
  5. the variety of services and supports available to Service members and their families across the Family Readiness System and their shared responsibility for the readiness of families served; 
  6. the MFR program’s place within and relationship to the military and civilian community; and
  7. coordinating services and collaborating with other providers or disciplines. 
Related Standards:

Fundamental Practice

MIL-HR 2.03

Staff who have regular contact with customers receive training on legal issues that affect service delivery, including:
  1. mandatory reporting and the identification and documentation of suspected abuse and neglect, as applicable;
  2. applicable laws requiring disclosure of confidential information for law enforcement purposes, including compliance with a court-order, warrant, or subpoena;
  3. duty to warn, pursuant to relevant professional standards and as required by law; 
  4. the MFR program’s policies and procedures on privacy and confidentiality specific to the service delivery model; and
  5. the legal rights of customers.

MIL-HR 2.04

Staff receive training on the MFR program’s technology and information systems, as appropriate to their position and job responsibilites,including:
  1. equipment and software;
  2. documentation techniques;
  3. protocols for protecting, transmitting, and using confidential, electronic information;
  4. data entry and data integrity; 
  5. how to access needed technical assistance; 
  6. what to do in the event of a system disruption;
  7. the maintenance and security of customer files; and 
  8. refresher trainings on new technologies and any changes or updates made to existing systems.
Related Standards:

MIL-HR 2.05

Direct service staff receive training on positive engagement with customers, including but not limited to:
  1. engaging and building rapport with customers when communicating electronically;  
  2. involving customers as active partners in assessment, service planning, and service delivery;
  3. recognizing and building upon customer strengths and successses;
  4. setting ethical boundaries with customers; and
  5. trauma-informed engagement, screening, assessment, and service delivery practices as appropriate to the type of services being provided. 
Related Standards:
A trauma-informed approach to service delivery is one that recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma and responds by emphasizing the following:
  1. safety; 
  2. trustworthiness and transparency;
  3. peer support; 
  4. collaboration and mutuality; 
  5. empowerment, voice, and choice; and 
  6. cultural, historical, and gender issues. 

MIL-HR 2.06

Direct service staff receive training on providing services in a culturally responsive and affirming manner, including:
  1. the cultural and social characteristics of customers;
  2. skills and available resources for working with non-English language speakers;
  3. the role cultural identity plays in motivating behavior; and 
  4. understanding bias or discrimination, including implicit bias.
Related Standards:

MIL-HR 2.07

Direct service staff receive training on assisting customers with the following:
  1. accessing financial assistance, including public assistance;
  2. accessing military benefits for which they may be eligibile; and
  3. advocating on their own behalf.

Fundamental Practice

MIL-HR 2.08

Staff receive training on protocols for recognizing and responding to individuals in crisis including:
  1. listening and communication techniques; 
  2. assessing needs in crisis situations, including identifying individuals at risk of doing harm to themselves or others; 
  3. procedures for making referrals or mobilizing emergency responders;
  4. following up with the individual within 24 hours when appropriate; and
  5. supervisory review of the intervention within 24-hours.


Crisis situations will be defined by the MFR program. Examples include incidents involving victims of violence, individuals experiencing a mental health or medical crisis, child endangerment, potentially volatile situations involving customers or staff, and other individual or family emergencies. This standard is not intended to address situations involving harm or violence or the threat of harm or violence such as hostage situations, physical assault, or active shooters. Please see MIL-ASE 3.01 for more information on training staff on the MFR program’s emergency response plan. 

This standard also does not address the provision of services during an all-hazards incident impacting a wide geographic area. For more information on responding to an all-hazards incident, please see COA’s standards for Emergency Family Assistance (MIL-EFA). 

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is one way to prepare staff to recognize, understand, and respond to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. MHFA is an evidence-based public education program that educates individuals on the warning signs of mental health and/or substance use disorders. The holistic training is intended for a variety of audiences, including homeless shelter workers, school administrators and educators, social workers, and substance abuse and mental health professionals. Program participants learn how to aid individuals in crisis and connect them with appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help resources. Preliminary studies show that MHFA builds mental health literacy, reduces stigma, and empowers individuals to help others.

The National Mental Health Association recognizes that traumatizing events such as sexual assault or other forms of personal violence can trigger PTSD in survivors. Symptoms generally begin within three months of the traumatizing event. As such, it is important that individuals in crisis are provided with information and priority access to mental health resources when requested.

MIL-HR 2.09

Staff providing information and referral receive training on:
  1. interview techniques;
  2. procedures for making referrals or providing information; and
  3. criteria for determining the need for more intensive or specialized services, and steps for making an appropriate referral.


In regards to element (c), examples of more intensive services include making a referral to another program within the MFR program such as EFMP Family Support, the Family Advocacy Program, and non-medical individual and family counseling services as well as referrals to outside providers including crisis intervention services.

MIL-HR 2.10

Staff leading groups receive training on group facilitation, including:
  1. engaging and motivating group members;
  2. understanding group dynamics;
  3. resolving conflicts; and
  4. facilitating group activities.

MIL-HR 2.11

EFMP family support staff receive training on providing services to customers with special needs, including implementing the principles of self-determination and inclusion.
NA The MFR program does not provide EFMP services.

MIL-HR 2.12

Clinical staff receive training on:
  1. assessing risks and safety;
  2. identifying the needs of abused and neglected children and adults;
  3. understanding child development and individual and family functioning;
  4. recognizing and responding to the presence of co-occuring medical or behavioral health conditions; and
  5. implementing the MFR program’s service model including applicable evidence based practices.
NA The MFR program does not provide Family Advocacy Program or Non-Medical Individual and Family Counseling services or the family readiness FAP provides education, information, and referral services only and is not authorized to provide clinical services.

Fundamental Practice

MIL-HR 2.13

Clinical staff working on child or domestic abuse cases receive training on:
  1. recognizing and addressing barriers to escaping abuse or accessing services; and
  2. identifying and responding to the effects of exposure to domestic abuse on children.
NA The MFR program does not provide Family Advocacy Program (MIL-FAP) services or the family readiness FAP provides education, information, and referral services only and is not authorized to provide clinical treatment services.

MIL-HR 2.14

New Parent Support Program staff receive training on:
  1. promoting respect and encouraging the independence of parents; and
  2. educating families about child development, child rearing, and positive personal development.
NA The MFR program does not provide New Parent Support Program services.

MIL-HR 2.15

Employment assistance staff receive training on:
  1. employment screening topics relevant to the identified service population;
  2. working with customers to explore education and career opportunities;
  3. employment assistance for job seekers with disabilities or other special needs; and
  4. common barriers to employment.


Examples of training topics related to employment for customers with disabilities include how to communicate with a customer about his or her disability, the rights and responsibilities of job seekers with disabilities, the barriers to employment for people with disabilities, and support services and resources available to job seekers to help them meet their employment and career goals.
NA The MFR program does not provide employment assistance services directly.

MIL-HR 2.16

Supervisors receive training on employment and labor laws.  

Fundamental Practice

MIL-HR 2.17

When the MFR program serves children and youth without the parent or legal guardian present, staff directly involved in medication control and administration receive training on:
  1. medication control and administration policy and procedures; and 
  2. applicable legal and regulatory requirements.
Related Standards:
NA The program is not authorized to administer or store medication.
NA The MFR program does not serve children and youth without the parent or legal guardian present.