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University of Minnesota Extension

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Military families learning network: Family transitions

University of Minnesota Extension family development provides leadership for the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) Family Transitions concentration area. The concentration area serves military family service professionals through engaged online communities. MFLN is made up of:

  • Cooperative Extension family specialists.
  • Military family service professionals from:
    • Department of Defense (DoD).
    • Branch services.
    • Non-governmental organizations.

Support is provided to the network is by DoD and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

The project

The concentration area provides education and resources for professionals working with military families. We aim to build resilience and navigate life cycle transitions. Our goal is for military families to increase their self-reliance and navigate each transition more successfully than the last. The team encourages professionals to collaborate on issues unique to the military family experience. To do this, we use the Family Transitions blog and other professional development opportunities.

The timeline

The Family Transitions concentration area was launched in early 2015. It engages military family service professionals in webinars on transition-related topics. This happens many efforts, including blogs, podcasts, and social media. Funding is applied for annually from USDA/NIFA and the DoD in the form of a cooperative agreement.

The team

The multidisciplinary team working on this project includes staff from the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Family Development, North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension Service, and the DoD. Team members include:

  • Sara Croymans, Extension Educator — Family Resiliency and MFLN FT Principal Investigator
  • Anita Hering, Extension Educator — Military Families and MFLN FT Program Coordinator
  • Jennifer Garbow, Extension Educator — Family Resiliency
  • Karen Shirer, Associate Dean — Extension Center for Family Development
  • Robert Bertsch, Web Technology Specialist, NDSU Extension Service and MFLN Network Literacy Concentration Area Engagement Coordinator
  • Vickie LaFollette, Program Analyst — Children, Youth, and Families; Office of Military Family Readiness Policy; DoD, Military Community and Family Policy

Upcoming webinars

MFLN Family Transitions provides a variety of webinars for military family service professionals who are working with military families to build resilience and navigate life cycle transitions. Get a list of our upcoming and archived webinars: Military Families Learning Network webinars.

Engage with MFLN family transitions video — Learn the ins and outs of the MFLN Family Transitions team's web presence.

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