The SOS Annual Training
Washington DC - Sheraton National Hotel - August 9th - 13th.
There were 350 attendees from all over the world. The conference brought together Regular Army, ARNG, and USAR SOS Support Coordinators and Financial Counselors, CAC Chiefs, HRC/CMAOC staff, and Regional SOS support staff. We had 25 guest speakers that addressed the attendees and have received very positive feedback regarding the presentations.
Some of the objectives of the conference were:
A. Train all staff on current SOS policy and procedures through lectures, breakout sessions, scenario-based vignettes, and question and answer sessions.
B. Review the new SOS Operations manual and to provide user feedback and recommended improvements. Share best practices and experiences for supporting surviving Family members.
C. Full understanding of SOS policy guidance, the SOS concept of services delivery, and standard operating procedures for outreach and family support. Training on available automated systems to include Defense Casualty Information Processing System (DCIPS) to help locate survivors and maintain a record of services provided.
D. Trained to provide access to support, information, and services in a caring supportive environment for the benefit of surviving Family members when and for as long as they desire.
SOS held CSA SOS working group on August 6th. The Working Group meets every six months to discuss SOS program development and issues of importance to Army Survivors. The group was selected by Chief of Staff of the Army (CSA) and consists of five regular members who are all Army Survivors. Representatives of various agencies of HQDA and DoD participate in this meeting at the request of the working group. Agencies represented included OTSG Behavioral Health, Retirement Services, ACSIIM, CPAC, USAR, ARNG, CMAOC, Intermediate Term Case Management, JAG, OCLL, and three Survivor Advisors. MG Jones opened by providing an update: “Since the Last Time We Met” and highlighted SOS Program progress since January, 2010.
Topics included FMWRC SOS HQ staffing, status of transitioning contract staff to GS positions, and transfer of cases from Long Term Family Case Management (LTFCM) to FMWRC and SOS teams in the field. The second half of the meeting consisted of sub-working groups and setting goals and objectives. Each sub groups selected a leader to track issues and provide continuity between working group meetings. The Sub-Groups are: Behavioral Health, Geographically Dispersed, Uniform Survivors, Survivor Employment, Entitlements and Legislative Issues, Parents/Sibling support.
We were also honored to have LTG Lynch speak and MG Jones speak to the conference participants in regards to the importance of the mission they are performing and the outstanding job they are doing of supporting our survivors and families.