Masters Capstone Project
Master of Social Work (MSW)
This intervention addresses the current, complex needs of Army military families and the ability of Family Readiness Groups (FRGs) to address and support those needs as a resource. It is a curriculum to reduce stress on all FRG members by providing a menu for commanders and leaders to select from, conduct meetings and thus, empower its members. The curriculum also implements common outcome indicators and measurable goals to assess if families are obtaining needs and fulfilling the FRG mission. Army personnel including a battalion commander, two company commanders, one Family Readiness Support Assistant (FRSA), one soldier and three spouses from different units located on Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), Washington were requested to participate in an anonymous interview to offer their perspectives and experience in participating in FRGs. After conducting a review of current literature and key informant interviews, evidence suggests Army commanders need more consistent methods of supervising their Family Readiness Groups; and in doing so commanders will be able to promote unit cohesion, confidentiality and support for optimal FRG member participation and outcomes. Findings also demonstrate the unit commander’s ability to foster a positive or negative FRG climate. Reasons for varied success in achieving a positive FRG climate are discussed, to include command inability to devote more time to FRG mission due to competing operational tasks and lack of evaluation and/or supervision from higher. Feminist and Social Network Theories are applied as a framework to give historical context, current understanding of the problem and address future implications and interventions at the micro, mezzo and macro levels.
McBride, Lauren K., "Army Family Readiness Groups (FRGs): Are They All That They Can Be? A Curriculum Menu and Guide to Conduct FRG Meetings on Joint Base Lewis-McChord" (2014). MSW Capstones. 11.