Family care plans mean full preparation for deployment
By SMSgt. Yvette Hodges, AFDW Acting 1st. Sgt.
/ Published December 03, 2009
Air Force District of Washington -- The welfare of your family is too important to be left up to chance, so develop a family care plan and leave nothing to chance.
Sudden deployments or long-term illness can cause financial, emotional and logistical disruptions to entire families. Mitigate these by going through the steps required by all branches to have a detailed plan in place in the event of a deployment, PCS or TDY.
At his recent Chief's Call, AFDW Command Chief Pat Battenberg explained that the Air Force is re-examining the changes in the Air Force culture, with a specific eye on evolving family dynamics. The year of the Air Force Family is occurring at a time when family support services on base are taking the place of a variety of on base entertainment venues, like clubs and theatres. A part of this refocus on families is prepping them for the eventuality of deployments as soon as possible.
The chief recommended getting this crucial part of your duty as a family Airman completed as soon as possible.
As first sergeant, I am here to help AFDW Airmen with the AF Form 357, which will put a support structure in place for your dependents when you deploy. The worksheet will tell your superiors that while deployed, dependents will not be a distraction from your duty. In addition, it provides a serious and workable solution to Airmen with dependents.
Once the plan is formulated, it should be reviewed annually to ensure that it is kept up to date with financial and family changes.
One of the most important aspects of the plan is choosing and giving power of attorney over your dependents to someone you trust while you are deployed. This decision can be a difficult one, but rest assured that your section commander and first sergeant are here to help. The plan also provides for an alternate caregiver plan in the event that the primary caregiver is unable to take on the task.
Deployments are at an all time high as a result of multiple extended conflicts across the globe. The men and women of our Air Force will be able to bring their full attention to deployments if their personal lives are squared away at home.
Help us by following through and setting up your loved ones for your extended time away from them.