Office of Work-Life Programs -
Family Advocacy Program
Who is Eligible for this Program?
The Family Advocacy Program is available to the following
- Active Duty (including activated Reserve personnel) and
- Retired personnel and their dependents as requested and
to the extent resources permit
- Intimate Partners of Active Duty members who are not
beneficiaries [Services are limited to assistance from
Family Advocacy Specialists and information and referral.]
Purpose of Program
The Family Advocacy Program is a Congressionally-mandated
(Chapter 10 United States Code Section 1058) program that addresses
prevention, identification, reporting, investigation, and treatment of
intimate partner and child maltreatment and assigns responsibilities for
a coordinated community response within the Coast Guard in collaboration
with services outside the Coast Guard. Services are provided to minimize
the occurrence of maltreatment and to support Coast Guard commands by
retaining productive members.
All discussions between a person using the Family in Need of Services
program under the Family Advocacy Program and the Family Advocacy Specialist
are strictly confidential. Discussions between a person using Family
Advocacy Program maltreatment services, where the person has not qualified
for the restricted reporting option, are confidential with the following
- The Family Advocacy Specialist is required to report all
cases of abuse to Coast Guard Investigative Service.
- The Family Advocacy Specialist is required to notify all
involved active duty members’ commands. Normally the
information shared is limited to alleged incident details,
the assessed risk for future incidents, and recommendations
for protection and alleged offender treatment.
- All reports of child maltreatment must be reported to
the state agency responsible for investigating such reports.
All discussions between a victim of intimate partner maltreatment who has
been provided the restricted reporting option and the Family Advocacy
Specialist are strictly confidential as long as the victim or other involved
persons are not in imminent danger of serious harm.
- Restricted Report. A report of an incident of intimate partner maltreatment made by an ADULT victim who requests FAP and/or medical services while also requesting that the maltreatment NOT be reported to the Coast Guard Investigative Service, the Incident Determination Committee, or the alleged offender’s or victim’s command. In the Coast Guard, requests for restricted reporting can be received by a Coast Guard healthcare provider, a Family Advocacy Specialist, or other Health, Safety Work-Life Regional Practice staff member when performing Family Advocacy Specialist duties, or a Victim Advocate.
- Unrestricted Report. A report of an incident of intimate partner maltreatment by any person, including an adult victim, that uses current reporting channels, e.g., the chain of command, military or civilian law enforcement, or military criminal investigative organization, and the FAP for intervention. All child maltreatment cases are unrestricted.
The following definitions apply to the Family Advocacy
- Alleged Offender. An individual who reportedly
physically or sexually abused, emotionally maltreated, or neglected his
or her child, a current or former spouse, intimate partner with whom the
individual has shared a domicile, a domestic partner of a military
member, or an intrafamilial or extrafamilial caregiver who allegedly
physically or sexually abused, emotionally maltreated, or neglected a
child in his or her care.
- Child Protective Services (CPS). A generic term
used for the agency charged by statute to investigate allegations of
child abuse and neglect. Reports can be made to the appropriate CPS
agency by calling the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD.
- Family Advocacy Specialist (FAS). The staff member
at Health, Safety, and Work-Life Regional Practices specifically trained
to assist individuals and commands when maltreatment incidents occur.
- Family In Need of Services (FINS). FINS is a
category of FAP services for those cases in which there was a reasonable
suspicion of maltreatment that was later determined to not meet the
criteria for maltreatment but the persons involved request continued
services. FINS clients may also include individuals and families who are
impacted by other types of abuse that are not reviewed by the Incident
Determination Committee, including elder, sibling, and out-of-home
abuse. These services can include individual, marital, or family
therapy, anger management groups, other forms of counseling/education
related to family issues, and information and referral services. Note:
FINS cases are strictly confidential and information about them is not
shared without the expressed permission of the clients involved.
- Incident Determination Committee (IDC). A Coast
Guard team of designated individuals tasked with the evaluation of
reports of child and intimate partner maltreatment to determine whether
they meet the relevant DoD/Coast Guard research-based criteria for the
type of maltreatment alleged. Each IDC is the responsibility of the
commanding officer of the Coast Guard base or other command to whom the
Health, Safety, and Work-Life Regional Manager reports.
- Maltreatment. A generic term used to include all
forms of child and intimate partner abuse and neglect. The 8 types of
maltreatment incidents that are reportable to the FAP Incident
Determination Committee include: physical, sexual, and emotional child
abuse; child neglect; intimate partner physical, sexual, and emotional
abuse; and neglect of spouse. Maltreatment as defined here is not meant
to encompass conduct defined for the same term in the Manual for
Courts-Martial, United States (2012 edition).
- Victim. A child who is the subject of an alleged
incident of child abuse, or a person who is the subject of an alleged
incident of intimate partner maltreatment by a person who is the current
or former spouse or with whom the alleged abuser shares a child in
common, or is a current or former intimate partner with whom the alleged
abuser shares or has shared a common domicile, or is a domestic partner
of a military service member.
- Victim Advocate. A Coast Guard-assigned advocate
for the victim; a person who can provide emotional support to the victim
during interviews, medical procedures and legal proceedings. Sexual
Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program,
COMDTINST M1754.10 (series) provides guidance regarding victim
Services and Resources Available
The following services and resources are available within the Family
- Advocacy and safety planning services
- Domestic Violence Assessment and Rehabilitation
- Clinical Assessments and Treatment Planning
- Referrals to programs such as Anger Management, Domestic
Violence Treatment Programs, Parenting Classes, Couples
Communications, and Substance Abuse Programs
- Ongoing Case Management and Risk Monitoring by the FAS until
situation is resolved
- Other services/resource required to address the situation
Requesting Services or Resources
These services or resources can be obtained by contacting the
Family Advocate Specialist at your
Regional Work-Life Staff. Work-Life Staffs are
located at Health, Safety and Work-Life Regional Practices throughout the
Related Program Information
Where possible victims of intimate partner violence can
request and receive the Restricted Reporting option (see
definition above) so they can receive needed services without initiating
the requirement that the member’s command and Coast Guard Investigative
Service be notified. See Intimate Partner Maltreatment (IPM) Reporting
Options brochure for more information (on CG Portal - search: HSWL SC; path Divisions > Work-Life Division > Family
Advocacy Program > Tools and Resources).
The following references provide details of the Family Advocacy Program:
List of resources regarding Child Abuse and Victims of Domestic Violence
Point of Contact
If you are unable to contact the Family Advocacy Specialist at the Health,
Safety and Work-Life Regional Practice Office in your area, or need
additional assistance beyond the information provided here, please contact
Mr. Young Hoang at
(202) 475-5161 or email at