FOCUS for Early Childhood: A Virtual Home Visiting Program for Military Families With Young Children




Catherine Mogil, Nastassia Hajal, Ediza Garcia, Cara Kiff, Blair Paley, Norweeta Milburn, and Patricia Lester

Brief Type

Journal Publication


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The risk for mental health problems and relational difficulties in military service members, spouses, and children is well-established. Yet, few services are available for families, particularly during the formative preschool years, when healthy parent–child relationships are crucial to the attainment of major socio-emotional milestones that form the foundation for later development. This paper describes the adaptation of a previously established military and trauma-informed preventive intervention, Families OverComing Under Stress (FOCUS) for use with families with a preschool-aged child (FOCUS for Early Childhood; FOCUS-EC). Grounded in theory and research on family resilience, FOCUS-EC aims to support parents as leaders of the family by providing developmental guidance and psychoeducation on deployment and reintegration, facilitate the construction of a family narrative, and enhance parenting strategies and the parent–child relationship. Furthermore, FOCUS-EC was adapted for use in a telehealth platform, enabling clinicians to reach military and veteran families in their homes, which is particularly useful for high-risk civilian-dwelling military families (including Reserve and National Guard). Pilot work and ongoing data collection as part of a randomized control trial suggest that FOCUS-EC is acceptable and feasible for military and veteran families with preschoolers. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Participant observations



For More Information

Mogil, C., Hajal, N., Garcia, E., Kiff, C., Paley, B., Milburn, N., & Lester, P. (2015). FOCUS for early childhood: A virtual home visiting program for military families with young children. Contemporary Family Therapy37(3), 199-208. doi: 10.1007/s10591-015-9327-9
Author Contact Information:
Catherine Mogil


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