Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness wins award for community impact

The Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness focuses on enhancing the health and well-being of military service members and their families. Credit: Georgia Army National Guard/Maj. Will CoxAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A Penn State applied research center that focuses on enhancing the health and well-being of military service members and their families has been recognized for its community impact by a national higher education organization.

The Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness — within Penn State’s Social Science Research Institute — has been honored by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) as the Northeast regional winner for the 2016 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Scholarship Award. The center is now a finalist for the national C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Scholarship Award.

“The clearinghouse examines how we can use science to help address unique challenges and questions facing military personnel and their families, and make a positive difference in their lives,” said Daniel Perkins, the clearinghouse’s director and a professor of family and youth resiliency and policy within the College of Agricultural Sciences.

“Penn State is extremely proud that the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness was recognized by the APLU for this very prestigious award," said Craig Weidemann, Penn State’s vice president for outreach and vice provost for online education. "The clearinghouse is an outstanding example of Penn State’s realization of the 21st century land grant and also of engaged scholarship. Dr. Perkins and his team are deeply committed to advancing evidence-based interventions to improve the lives of those who serve and their families."

Since its inception in 2010, the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness has provided professionals who deliver direct assistance to military families with information to help identify, select and implement the right evidence-based programs and practices to address wide-ranging family and mental health issues. The center employs nearly 50 researchers, as well five undergraduate and 10 graduate students, who work on applied research projects.

Perkins says professionals and agencies will solicit the clearinghouse to examine programs already in practice to see what works best for their distinct situations. The center has reviewed more than 1,000 programs in six years and, in 2015, more than 60,000 pages were accessed on its website.

“Part of our goal is to ensure that military families are receiving the best tools to support themselves,” said Perkins. “Military families have unique challenges with higher stress and levels of uncertainty and danger, and we owe it to them to do the best we can at providing effective services.”      

Among several partners, the clearinghouse currently collaborates with the United States Department of Defense, the Office of Reserve Affairs and the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps, focusing its research on suicide prevention, child and youth programming, new parent support programs, child abuse neglect and domestic violence.

The APLU’s Community-University Engagement Awards Program recognizes colleges and universities that have redesigned their learning, discovery and engagement missions to become more involved with their communities. Three of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation regional winners will receive a cash prize of $5,000, and the national C. Peter Magrath Award winner will receive a $20,000 prize.

The national winner will be announced during the APLU Annual Meeting Nov. 13-15 in Austin, Texas.

Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated June 20, 2016