Family Support Programs
The Ombudsman Program and Family Readiness Groups (FRG) promote healthy, self-reliant families, and Fleet & Family Support is here to assist by providing Ombudsman and Family Readiness Group training and guidance. Fleet & Family Support Centers offer Ombudsman Basic Training and FRG training regularly. Both FRGs and Ombudsmen provide support to families before, during, and after a deployment and are essential to a well-balanced Navy. When family members have the resources they need to support themselves, service members can focus 100 percent on the job at hand—family readiness is directly linked to fleet readiness.
The Navy Family Ombudsman Program promotes healthy, self-reliant families. Why the word Ombudsman? The word Ombudsman originated in Scandinavian countries and referred to safeguarding the rights of citizens. Today, the concept of the Ombudsman is widely utilized in the fields of government, business and healthcare.
The Ombudsman is a volunteer, appointed by the commanding officer, to serve as an information link between command leadership and Navy families. Ombudsmen are trained to disseminate information both up and down the chain of command, including official Department of the Navy and command information, command climate issues, and local quality of life improvement opportunities.
Ombudsmen also provide resource referrals when needed. They are instrumental in providing resources and guidance that resolve many family issues before they require extensive command attention. The command Ombudsman is appointed by, and works under, the direct guidance of the commanding officer.
Ombudsman Basic Training
Fleet & Family Support regularly offers Ombudsman Basic Training (OBT); both day and evening classes are available. During this 16.5-hour course, attendees learn more about the Ombudsman program and focus on these specific areas: Ombudsman responsibilities, relationships, ethics, communication skills, information and referrals, crisis calls and disasters, and deployments and mobilization. Command Support Team members are highly encouraged to attend OBT.
Contacting Your Ombudsman
Call your local Fleet & Family Support Program Ombudsman Coordinator for information.
Send a message through the registry to your ombudsman, who will then contact you. If the command you are looking for does not have an ombudsman or is not listed in the database, you will be contacted by the Ombudsman Registry Administrator, who will assist you in contacting your command ombudsman.
Family Readiness Groups (FRG)
The purpose of a Family Readiness Group (FRG) is to help plan, coordinate and conduct informational, morale building, and social activities to enhance family preparedness and command mission readiness.
FRGs are an integral part of the military lifestyle. These groups address the needs of members by drawing upon shared experiences, particularly those pertaining to deployment. An FRG's purpose is to:
- Prepare members for deployment and homecoming.
- Provide family support during deployments.
- Help families adjust to challenges and to support one another in times of personal, unit, or area crisis.
- Welcome and mentor members who are new to Navy life.
- Coordinate social events, such as holiday celebrations and homecomings.
Coping skills and resiliency are enhanced during deployments; anxiety is diminished when families of service members know their resources, have fun, and can draw on the strength of new friends!
Fleet & Family Support Centers offer workshops on establishing an FRG and board leadership, including: attracting and motivating FRG members; fundraising policies; event planning; and emergency response. For more information or to request training, please call 360-257-6289.