MENU

AskIFAS Powered by EDIS

OneOp: A Professional Development Resource for Extension Professionals

Kristen Jowers and Martie Gillen
A person and person in military uniform sitting on steps with a baby

Description automatically generated
Figure 1.
Credit: SDI Productions, Getty Images Signature, via Canva

Series Description

Welcome to the publication series on military family readiness. This series aims to provide valuable resources, information, and support to family service professionals and Extension agents who support military families navigating the unique challenges and opportunities that come with a military lifestyle. From relocations to retirement, each publication in this series will equip you with the knowledge and resources you need to engage with service members and to promote readiness, resilience, and overall military family well-being.

Introduction

OneOp, formerly the Military Families Learning Network, is a virtual professional development resource network for family service providers including Extension professionals. Since 2012, OneOp has delivered open-access, continuing education opportunities for service providers working in military-connected communities. OneOp is uniquely positioned as collaborators with the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension, and subject-matter experts to provide evidence-based research and programming to strengthen the Military Family Readiness System. This publication is the first of a series on military family readiness. For the rest of the publications in the series, visit Ask IFAS.

Defining Military Family Readiness

Through engagement in OneOp’s professional development resources, Extension educators and other service professionals will expand their knowledge, skills, and readiness to support the military families in their communities.

The Military Family Readiness System is a network of programs and services operated by the Defense Department and other federal, state, and community-based agencies and organizations. The Military Family Readiness System promotes military family well-being by offering programs and services that enhance family readiness, resilience and quality of life. Collaboration and integration across the system promotes positive outcomes for service members and their families across the domains of military family readiness, including career, social, financial, health and community engagement (Military OneSource, 2022).

Seeing Yourself as Directly or Indirectly Serving Military Families

According to the Department of Defense (2022), the state of Florida had over 66,971 active duty and 37,444 Reserve members in September 2022. Given the military presence in Florida and beyond, Extension specialists, Extension agents, and other family service providers are likely to work (directly or indirectly) with service members and their families. Family service providers and Extension professionals who directly work with service members and their families likely understand the role they play in the Military Family Readiness System. Bertsch (2023) shared that indirect support of military families includes working with military children, partners and parents of service members, and veterans. By identifying these military-connected family members in your service network, you may begin identifying yourself as part of a network of support for military families (Bertsch, 2023).

Each of us plays an important role in the Military Family Readiness System, especially as Extension educators and service providers.

Best Practices for Working with Military-Connected Families

Some best practices include:

  • Identifying yourself as a service provider working in a military-connected community
  • Learning military acronyms and understanding and respecting military culture (O’Neill et al., 2022)
  • Engaging with professional development to enhance care coordination in your community

Professional Development for Military-Connected Service Providers

OneOp programming includes live and on-demand webinars, podcasts, self-paced courses, blogs, and the annual Military Family Readiness Academy. OneOp’s multidisciplinary programming offers free continuing education credits to a wide range of family service professionals, including:

  • Accredited Financial Counselor from the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education
  • Board Certified Patient Advocates from The Patient Advocate Certification Board
  • Board Certified Case Manager from the Commission for Case Manager Certification
  • Certified Family Life Educators from the National Council on Family Relations
  • Certified in Family and Consumer Sciences from the American Association for Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Certified Nutrition and Wellness Educator from the American Association for Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Certified Personal Finance Counselor from the Center for Financial Certifications
  • Certified Personal Finance Educator from the American Association for Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Registered Dietitian Nutritionists and Nutrition and Dietetic Technicians, Registered from the Commission on Dietetic Registration
  • Social Work, Licensed Professional Counselors, and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists from the University of Texas at Austin, Steve Hicks School of Social Work

For daily resources and OneOp programming updates, connect with OneOp on social media.

References

Bertsch, B. (2023). Seeing yourself in networks supporting military families. OneOp. https://oneop.org/2023/02/02/seeing-yourself-in-networks-supporting-military-families/

Department of Defense. (2022). DoD personnel, workforce reports and publications. Defense Manpower Data Center. https://dwp.dmdc.osd.mil/dwp/app/dod-data-reports/workforce-reports

Military OneSource. (2022). Military Family Readiness System. https://www.militaryonesource.mil/parenting/family-life/military-family-readiness-system/

O'Neill, B. M., Gillen, M., Garrison, S., & Herndon, M. C. (2022). OneOpPF: A personal finance professional development resource. The Journal of Extension, 60(3), Article 7. https://tigerprints.clemson.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2141&context=joe

OneOp. (2022). About OneOp. https://oneop.org/about/

Peer Reviewed

Publication #FCS3387

Release Date:August 2nd, 2023

Related Experts

Gillen, Martie

Specialist/SSA/RSA

University of Florida

Related Collections

#1 of Military Family Readiness series

Fact Sheet

About this Publication

This document is FCS3387, one of a series of the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date July 2023. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Kristen Jowers, social media specialist and program coordinator for OneOp, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences; and Martie Gillen, associate professor and principal investigator for OneOp, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Contacts

  • Martie Gillen