Moving to a new area has many challenges that can include finding a new job, new child care and things to do. The Relocation Readiness Program helps ease the transition with a Newcomers’ Orientation for those stationed at Fort Bragg.
The three hour class is offered once a month and serves as a helpful guide about services offered on Fort Bragg and the surrounding area. Representatives from over a dozen Fort Bragg and Fayetteville organizations provide informational presentations and packets to attendees.
Child, Youth and School Services
Families at Fort Bragg are encouraged to register with CYSS if they have children in need of child care, said Evelyn Eggins-Alston, program operations specialist, CYSS. Registration in the CYSS system allows parents to enroll their children in the many different centers offered on the installation.
“We have 10 CDCs (Child Development Centers) for children aged 6 weeks to 5 years, three school-aged centers for kids in kindergarten through fifth grade, and two middle school and teen centers for youth in sixth grade to 18 years old,” said Eggins-Alston.
CYSS also offers school support services and youth sports throughout the year. For more information about any of their services, visit https://bragg.armymwr.com/us/bragg/categories/cys-services.
Employment Readiness Program
Fort Bragg’s Employment Readiness Program provides tools to spouses and transitioning Soldiers entering the workforce, said Iris Brown, employment readiness specialist. Certified career counselors are available for one-on-one assistance with the job hunt. Brown said she believes the most important service offered by ERP is its resume workshops.
“When they are applying for positions, they get no and no, then come to find out it’s the resume, especially for government jobs” she said. “We can help them get through that pain. If they take time to work on their resume, it can make (the process) a little easier for them.”
Other services offered include employment links and a professional boutique. For more information about ERP, visit https://bragg.armymwr.com/us/bragg/programs/erp.
Exceptional Family Member Program
Families that have members with special needs are eligible for EFMP. The program provides support for these Family members through seminars, recreational events, day camp, educational support services and more. Visit https://bragg.armymwr.com/us/bragg/programs/efmp for more information on the organization.
Financial Readiness Program
Permanent Change of Station moves require many financial decisions, and Fort Bragg’s FRP offers classes to help with these decisions and many more. The FRP serves as a resource for all types of financial information including questions about budgets, credit repair and savings, said Linda Elliott, Army emergency relief specialist. The program provides certified financial counselors to help Soldiers and their Families ensure their finances are in check.
“The more you can get Families involved, the less financial issues they have and they less problems they have in general,” said Elliott.
FRP also provides assistance with emergency funds through the Army Emergency Relief program. For additional details on FRP, visit https://bragg.armymwr.com/us/bragg/programs/frp.
Sometimes the best way to feel like part of a new community is by volunteering. The Army Volunteer Corps serves as a resource for Soldiers and Family members interested in volunteering around the installation. Those interested in volunteering are encouraged to register at www.myarmyonesource.com, said Fay Gioia, program manager, Army Family Action Plan.
She said that Fort Bragg offers “Braggin’ Bucks” as incentives for volunteers. Each hour of volunteer work equates to one Braggin’ Buck, and the bucks can be traded in for items such as a lunch tote, fleece throw, yoga mat and more. Visit https://bragg.armymwr.com/us/bragg/programs/avc for more information on AVC.
Family Readiness Group Center
The FRG Center located on Pope Army Air Field is a facility with several conference rooms, classrooms and a computer lab with fax, scanner and printer. The facility is available to rent 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, said Karen Hirtz, unit services coordinator, Mobilization, Deployment and Stability Support Operations.
The building also offers secure and nonsecure Army Deployment Video Teleconference services for Families with loved ones overseas. Another important service at the center is a military family life counselor, said Hirtz. These counselors are licensed clinicians, and a service or Family member’s visit will not be a part of that individual’s behavioral health records.
“It is completely confidential,” said Hirtz. “The counselors don’t take notes.”
Counselors are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the FRG Center.
Family Advocacy Program
FAP is designed for healthy Families and healthy Soldiers, said Robert Shaw, social services assistant.
The program holds many different classes throughout the year including Positive Discipline, Single and Dating, Couples Communication and Stress Management. It also serves as a resource for victims of domestic violence, and offers 24/7 assistance for the abused.
“We are available as a resource to cover a wide array of different support — parenting, positive relationship training and we also offer things for single Soldiers,” said Shaw.
New parents can utilize FAP’s New Parent Support Center, which provides licensed home visitors and play mornings to assist with the transition to parenthood. For additional information on FAP’s services, visit https://bragg.armymwr.com/us/bragg/programs/fap.
This is just a small sample of the information provided to Newcomer’s Orientation attendees. The class includes additional, helpful details about the programs above and several other organizations.
The orientation wraps up with a 13-mile roundtrip bus tour of Fort Bragg’s historic sites and points of interest.
RRP holds the Newcomers’ Orientation and Bus Tour the first Tuesday of each month. Registration is required to attend. For more information or to register for an upcoming session, call 907-3499.