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Yokota's Family Advocacy helps equip families for success
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Janet Kokosinski (right), 374th Medical Operations Squadron Family Advocacy nurse, plays with a baby Sept. 21, 2011, at Yokota Air Base, Japan. Yokota's Family Advocacy office offers a variety of free classes ranging from general parenting to stress and anger management. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman John D. Partlow)
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Yokota’s Family Advocacy helps equip families for success

Posted 9/22/2011   Updated 9/22/2011 Email story   Print story


by Airman John D. Partlow
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

9/22/2011 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- For Airmen and civilians wanting to build healthier relationships at home or strengthen already strong ones , Yokota's Family Advocacy center has teamed up with the Airman and Family Readiness Center to help support them.

"The point of all our programs is to make happier, healthier homes," said Hugh Clark, 374th Medical Operations Squadron Family Advocacy outreach manager. "Healthy families equal mission readiness."

Family Advocacy offers several free classes to Status of Forces Agreement members ranging from general parenting to stress and anger management, while the A&FRC provides the needed space.

"These programs provide an extra layer of resilience," said Clark. "Knowledge is power, and so the more we learn, the more 'whole' we become."

All of the provided programs are meant to prevent maltreatment within families. Family Advocacy accomplishes this by instilling inner discipline and by giving a different perspective on parenting during their parenting classes.

"We know that when people come in on the prevention side of Family Advocacy, they will be less likely to come in on the maltreatment side," said Clark. "We prevent when we can and treat when we must."

Before family members can enjoy any of the benefits the classes offer, they must take one of the hardest steps: signing up.

Though Family Advocacy exists to help Yokota members, some may think the classes are only for families with "problems."

"Some people are nervous to sign up for classes," said Jeeyoung Rhim, 374th MDOS Family Advocacy program assistant. "I want them to know that I am proud of them and that it takes a lot of courage to come here.

"These programs are not a way to criticize people for not being as good of a person as they can be," said Rhim. "They're support programs, aimed to let them know we're here to give them assistance if they need it."

Whether someone visits Family Advocacy for preventative or maltreatment purposes, they can rest assured knowing they are in good hands.

"It's a very rewarding feeling to help others," said Clark. "I love my job, and I know I'm going to do the best I can to help those who come here."

To learn about upcoming Family Advocacy events, military members should contact their 1st Sergeant or call Family Advocacy directly at 225-3648.

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