Family Support Programs

Military families represent a diverse population but often have similar questions and concerns about the military lifestyle. Despite the well-known challenges of separation and changes for military families, there can be positive experiences. FFSC has answers to your questions about parenting, benefits, life skills, military lifestyle challenges, employment, deployment, relocation, personal finance, schools, special needs and much more.

--> New Parent Support 

--> Family Life Education

--> Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)

--> Spouses


New Parent Support

The New Parent Support Home Visitation Program (NPSHVP) is designed to promote positive family interactions, nurture child development, and prevent child abuse. NPSHVP is voluntary and offered worldwide for families of active duty service members of any rank or age. Enrolling in NPSHVP is as easy as calling any Fleet and Family Support Center.

Home Visits
During a home visit, a New Parent Support staff member will help you learn parenting skills in your home, check on your baby’s growth and development, and offer suggestions to deal with the changes a new baby brings to your family.

New Parent Support Resource Awareness Workshop is a four-hour workshop that assists expectant service-women as they make the transition into parenthood. Topics discussed include the Navy’s policy on pregnant service-women, Navy Family Care Plans, housing information, Navy Marine Corps Relief Society and information about their Budgeting for Baby program, NPSHVP and Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS), and information on career planning. Registration is open to first time expectant service-women.

Baby Boot Camp is provided by Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth. The workshop provides information about discomfort in pregnancy, baby care, baby basics, infant CPR, home safety, NPSHVP, (SBS), and feeding your infant.

Positive Parenting is a workshop offered once a months at the New London Subase Library (MWR) to provide helpful information to expectant parents or with children ages birth to 4 on important topics such as: ages and stages, age appropriate discipline, nurturing touch, how to engage your child in cooperative behaviors, managing expectations,  family structure, and healthy attachment.

--> back to top of page

Family Life Education

To help active duty military members (single and married) and their family enhance their effectiveness at home or work, Fleet and Family Support Centers' professional counselors and educators offer Life Skills services and programs that foster good relations, healthy families, and strong marriages.

Classes, Workshops & Training

Ready Navy
When an emergency strikes, knowing what to do can save lives, property, and time. One of the most important tools you or your family can have to protect yourself in possible emergencies is a Family Emergency Plan. It is important to plan ahead as a family for all types of emergencies and responses. Everyone in the family should understand what to do, where to go, and what to take in the event of an emergency. Learn how to prepare, respond, and recover with Fleet & Family Support Center's Operation Prepare public awareness program.

Welcome To The Military
Are you newly married or getting married soon? Are you new to the area or to the military? Join us at this one-session workshop which provides a wide variety of helpful information about military life, including the challenges of deployment, expectations of the military, preparation for a mobile lifestyle, pay and allowances, housing, medical and dental care, recreational activities, TRICARE, financial planning, and more.

Personal Communications
Would you like to improve your personal communication skills? This educational group can make a difference! Participants learn about different communication styles, conflict resolution, and ways to develop more effective speaking and listening skills. Open to active duty military and family members.

Building Healthy Relationships
The purpose of this training is to provide tools to enhance healthy relationships and educate military personnel and their families how to successfully nurture intimate relationships. Topics include emotional record keeping, expectations, communication and developing healthy habits.

Children and Divorce
This four-hour workshop addresses the pain and loss of a family breakup from the child’s perspective. Topics of discussion include typical reactions of children of different ages, things children need to hear, and what parents can do to help them through the pain. Suggestions for the non-custodial parent are also provided. This class meets the Virginia State Law mandate requiring divorcing parents of minors to attend four hours of parent education.

Couples Workshop
Do you have trouble communicating with your partner? Do you find yourselves arguing a lot? This two-session workshop will help you improve your day-to-day communication, learn how to fight fair, problem-solve, and strengthen your relationship. Open to military beneficiaries and their partners.

Dads and Discipline
The culture of fatherhood is changing as dads become increasingly involved with their children. Dads are often seen as “disciplinarians,” yet come to the job with no specific training. This interactive, single-session class provides an opportunity for fathers to gain valuable, practical information about parenting. Participants will discuss parenting styles and learn effective discipline techniques to help raise responsible, well-behaved children.

Dual Military Parenting
Dual Military Parents face unique challenges in balancing military careers and family responsibilities. This workshop is intended to assist Dual Military Parents navigate their unique military family lifestyle. Discussion topics include Building Healthy Relationships, Deployment Readiness, Parenting in a Military Family, Family Care Plan, Career Planning, and sharing challenges and successes with Dual Military Parents.

Enhancing Stepfamilies
This single-session workshop includes discussions on the myths of stepfamily living, the different roles a stepparent may assume, the stages a stepfamily goes through as they develop, and tips for handling discipline. The discussion also includes information on step parenting in a military family.

Foreign-Born Spouses Support Group
Feeling lonely, homesick, or isolated? Just want to talk to someone from your part of the world? Join other foreign-born military spouses to network and share resources, discuss the American way of life, develop friendships, receive monthly newsletters, and learn about the many resources available to make your new life experience positive.

Love Thinks
Are you tired of the same dating traps like becoming involved too quickly, dishonesty from the start, or overlooking problem areas? Learn how to avoid common dating missteps when developing a new romance by attending “Love Thinks,” a program for single or newly-dating military members who are tired of playing dating games and are ready to keep it real.

New Parent Resource Awareness Workshop
This four-hour workshop assists expectant servicewomen as they make the transition into parenthood. Topics discussed include the Navy’s policy on pregnant servicewomen, Navy Family Care Plans, housing information, Navy Marine Corps Relief Society and information about their Budgeting for Baby program, child care resources, FFSC programs and services, the WIC program, and information on career planning. Registration is open to first time expectant servicewomen. Their partners are strongly encouraged to attend with them.

Parenting 411
This workshop provides expectant parents with information on what to expect from a newborn, as well as basic parenting skills for service members. Topics discussed are stages of development, how to handle crying, temper tantrums and alternative measures for discipline. Registration is open to first time expectant service members.

Parenting in a Military Family
This workshop explores what it means to discipline children and the ways it can be accomplished most effectively. It includes strategies for encouraging children to behave appropriately, communicating in ways that really work, and increasing cooperation. Participants discuss attention-seeking behaviors and how parents can best respond to them. Additional topics include child development, temperament, expecting and giving respect, and the impact that a military lifestyle has on children.

Parenting Teens
This single-session workshop presents the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional developmental characteristics of teens, and parents’ reactions to the way adolescents handle these changes. Discussion topics include building healthy relationships, avoiding power struggles, and providing guidelines. This is an overview of the in-depth STEP Teens multi-session program.

Single Parenting in the Military
This single-session workshop explores ways for active duty single parents to balance their military and parental responsibilities and looks at the opportunities and challenges of parenting alone in the military. Discussion topics include dealing with changes, co-parenting, talking with your children about his/her other parent, dating, resources for single military parents, and more.

Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP)

  • Early Childhood
    This seven-session class helps parents develop a positive and consistent approach for dealing with the special challenges of children under age six. Topics include understanding developmental sequences and accomplishments of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers; building effective discipline skills, developing skills for communicating effectively with young children, and much more.
  • School-age
    This seven-session program offers participants a wealth of information and skills for parenting 5 to 12-year-olds. Learn ways to help your children become more responsible, respectful, and cooperative. Topics include communication, discipline, the goals of misbehavior, mutual respect, and family meetings.
  • Teen
    This seven-session workshop covers all of the STEP principles plus information on understanding why teens misbehave, peer pressure, excitement, and superiority. Topics include discouraging and encouraging atmospheres; rational and irrational parent responses to emotional scenes; listening and communicating respectfully; and experiencing consequences and exploring alternatives. Realistic video segments on teen experimentation with drugs, alcohol, and sex generate parent discussion of coping strategies explained in the text Parenting Teenagers.

What About the KidsThis is a 1½ -
2-hour workshop located Naval Submarine Base New London designed to educate couples with children who have been or are involved in domestic violence.  The primary objective of the workshop is to educate parents on the impact of domestic violence on the overall development of their children, regardless of the age of the child and whether or not the child actually witnessed the domestic violence.

--> back to top of page

Exceptional Family Member

The Navy’s Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is a quality of life program that supports Sailors who have dependents with chronic medical, dental, mental health, developmental or educational conditions and require special care and services. Enrollment in the EFMP allows Navy detailers to consider the Sailor’s family needs during the assignment process ensuring that necessary resources will be available at the Sailor’s assigned duty station.

Once enrolled, your family member is as­signed one of six categories based upon the frequency and duration of treatment and support that he or she requires. Orders are issued using the category assignment as a guideline. It is important to note that these categories apply to the family member and do not restrict the sea and shore duty requirements of the service member.

EFMP Categories

Category 1: Needs do not generally limit assignments
Category 2: No CONUS assignment restrictions.  OCONUS and remote assignments may be restricted if the qualifying condition cannot be supported due to the availability of required services. If orders are for overseas or remote duty, the family must successfully complete overseas suitability screening.
Category 3: No CONUS assignment restrictions. No assignment to overseas locations based on non-availability of needed services
Category 4: No overseas assignments. CONUS assignments only and must be near major medical areas, including Hawaii and Alaska. The family member’s special medical condition or educational needs require assignment to billets within a 2-hour drive under most conditions to access specialty care. This can be an MTF or a civilian TRICARE facility.
Category 5: Meets criteria to homestead. The family member’s needs are highly specialized, complex or severe, requiring continuity of care. Homestead sites that can support operational and shore rotations may include, but are not limited to, Norfolk, VA; Mayport or Jacksonville, FL; Kings Bay, GA; Groton, CT; Jacksonville, NC; San Diego, CA; Bangor, Bremerton, Puget Sound or Seattle, WA; and the National Capital Region. Additional sites that may be able to support category 5 assignments include Gulfport, MS; Port Hueneme, CA; Point Mugu, CA; and Fort Worth, TX.
Category 6: Temporary Category: The medical or educational condition requires a stable environment for 6 months to 1 year due to ongoing treatment or diagnostic assessments. This category must be updated in 1 year to receive permanent category or be granted disenrollment.

Once enrollment is approved and a category is assigned the Service Member’s record is flagged. Officer and enlisted detailers work with enrolled Service Members to develop a career path that includes normal sea/shore rotations. Maximum consideration will be given to locating Service Members with their families.

EFM Status Updates
The Navy requires Service Members to update EFMP enrollment every three years for categories 1-5 and within one year for Category 6. Service Members are also required to update enrollment whenever a change in family status or special needs occurs. The process for updating is the same as the process for enrollment. It requires current documentation (nothing older than six months) along with forms DD 2792 and DD 2792-1, as appropriate. When a change in duty station is anticipated, it is advised to begin the update process 12 months before the permanent change of station (PCS) date.

Exceptional Family Member POC Training

This half-day training provides information that enables POCs to assist members in their commands. Who should attend: Any newly-designated EFMP POC in the Hampton Roads area.

--> back to top of page


FFSC provides conferences and programs to military spouses in leadership positions and spouses adjusting to new roles that accompany spouse promotions.

--> back to top of page