Family Readiness Support Assistant Feature Story

By Michaela LaCoss | VTNG Family Programs | Dec. 2, 2019

                                                       Season’s Greetings from the FRSA Team!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year to start planning your Unit Holiday Party! Unit Holiday Parties provide an opportunity for soldiers and their families to celebrate the holidays together!
Your Unit Family Readiness Group Leader and Commander will head the planning of the venue, activities, meal, etc. If you have suggestions reach out to your Units FRG Leader or the Family Readiness Support Assistant (FRSA) Team to get connected! We would love your input! These Unit Holiday Parties are for you, so if you have an idea on something you think the families might like, speak up!
Need inspiration? Check out these suggestions! • Plan for a photographer to take pictures that can be emailed to the families or put in a unit scrapbook.
• Set up a craft day for the service members and their children. Find a large enough facility to hold the number of people willing to participate in the activity, and provide crayons, markers, poster board and any other necessary craft items - all depending on the amount of funds the FRG has in its account. There are tons of ideas for low cost arts/crafts/STEM activities on the internet. Remember, Military Kids Vermont (MKVT) may also be able to assist or offer supplies for your youth activities at the Unit Holiday Party!”
• If the unit is deployed, set up this activity prior to redeployment. The children and spouses can decorate welcome home signs for their soldiers.
• The Operation Homefront Holiday Toy Drive will be starting soon, if your Unit’s FRG Leader or a member of the Command Team reaches out to the FRSA Team to let us know the date of your holiday party, we can arrange to have some toys dropped off at your armory for the kiddos – only if the commander chooses to do this!
**Remember, every proposed family event and/or activity must be approved by the Unit Commander**
For more information about Unit Holiday Parties, FRG Contact information or MKVT, please contact the FRSA team!


Senior Family Readiness
Support Assistant

Candice Bryan-Broe 

Office: (802)-338-3652
Camp Johnson
Colchester, VT

Family Readiness
Support Assistant

Michaela LaCoss

Office: (802)-338-4317
86th IBCT
Camp Ethan Allen
Training Site Jericho, VT

The mission of the Family Readiness Support Assistant (FRSA) is to maintain the continuity and stability of Family Readiness Groups (FRGs) as units undergo changes in volunteers and leadership. Operationally, the FRSA provides administrative and logistical support to commanders, rear detachment commanders, and volunteer FRG leaders. Taking the administrative burden off the volunteers allows FRG leaders to concentrate on performing outreach to Soldiers and their Family in the command, thus preserving stability on the home front, during periods of deployment as well as peace time.

Family Readiness Training Information

Michaela offers the following training opportunities upon request (contact Michaela at 802-338-4317 or to request a training date and time). She is available to offer the training listed below between 9 am and 3 pm on regular work days.  She also has availability most Monday and Tuesday evenings after 5:30 pm.

Overview of Key Caller Role/Phone Tree Caller training
This training will consist of two modules:
• Overview of Key Caller Role discussion points – Purpose of the FRG Phone Tree, Key Caller’s Responsibilities, How to prepare for the role, key caller’s resources and tips for success
• Phone Tree Caller Training goes into the topics listed below in much finer detail. Topics that will be discussed will be How the phone tree works, Privacy & Confidentiality, Sample Script, Dealing with people in Crisis, and Sample phone tree log.

Social Media for Units
This module is designed to give the volunteer a more thorough look into the National Guard Social Media Policy, General OPSEC/Privacy Tips and Social Media Resources.

Customs, Courtesies, Ceremonies, and Traditions
The learner will understand and exhibit appropriate behavior in accordance with proper military customs, courtesies and protocol in daily military life leading to personal satisfaction and a sense of belonging.

Candice will be offering the following training opportunities upon request (contact Candice at 802-338-3652 or to request a training date and time). She is available to offer the training listed below between 9 am and 3 pm on regular work days.  She also has availability most Wednesday and Thursday evenings after 5:30 pm.

Putting It In Perspective
How many times do we over-think things or take issues to a catastrophic level unnecessarily?  During this session, participants will learn to take situations from worst case scenarios to best case scenarios to what makes sense scenarios.  Putting It In Perspective is designed to guide us to more accurate thinking.  Learn to “ease your anxiety and fear or embarrassment” by establishing a pattern of realistic optimism, staying alert to the actual threat and taking advantage of opportunities.

Crisis Intervention
Review the characteristics of a crisis; discuss crisis response procedures; specify what is and what is not the Commander, RDC and FRGs role in a crisis situation.

Avoiding Thinking Traps
This course details the eight major thinking traps that tax our resilience.  Participants will identify the 2 or 3 patterns they fall into and as a group we will figure out strategies that will help you get out of those traps.  Learning what thinking traps are will aid in hold you back from inaccurate assumptions that are so costly to your resilience.

Downloadable Files