AFPC hosts Getting To Outcomes event to help units tailor violence prevention, resiliency efforts
By Richard Salomon, Air Force’s Personnel Center
/ Published August 20, 2018
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) -- With the ongoing challenges of military life, Air Force leaders recognize the importance of taking care of Airmen and their families and developing a fit, resilient and ready force.
To assist units in selecting, implementing and evaluating resilience and violence prevention initiatives, the Air Force Community Action Board recently adopted the 10-step Getting To Outcomes approach developed by the RAND Corporation and the University of South Carolina. The GTO process is designed to help communities and organizations develop specific, tailored plans for integrated resilience and violence prevention.
“The GTO model is a strategic approach where units and installations can identify innovations to foster resilience and prevent violence,” said Maj. Jordan Simonson, a clinical psychologist and Resilience Operations chief at the Air Force’s Personnel Center. “It is a planning process designed to achieve results rather than a program in and of itself.”
Air Force Personnel Center’s Directorate of Airman and Family Care hosted a GTO training event June 25-29 in San Antonio that included more than 300 community action team members made up of community support coordinators, violence prevention integrators, counselors, chaplains, physical fitness leaders, Airman and Family Readiness personnel and other health professionals. They were taught myriad GTO concepts and given evidence-based tools to help develop community action plans.
Community action plans are action-driven and help team members respond to their community’s issues in a structured, measureable approach. They serve as strategic plans to help implement policies, processes, practices or programs, or P4, to meet community needs.
“The goal is to adopt the GTO model as an evidence-based tool and to move away from the one-size-fits-all approach, so we can more effectively meet each command’s unique needs,” Simonson said. “A solution at one base may not work at another.”
For example, many Pacific Air Forces units place a high value on social and personal connectedness among their personnel because of their remote locations. Gaining access to services may be a higher priority than managing the stresses caused by intense deployment cycles that many other units experience. Also, Guard and Reserve personnel have different needs because they have limited time together and often have limited access to base services.
“The GTO model is flexible to suit the needs of whatever a specific installation is dealing with,” Simonson said.
The GTO model focuses on 10 steps that describe the activities required to obtain positive results from various prevention programs. Steps 1 to 6 involve various planning activities such as needs assessments, goal setting, program selection, ensuring appropriate program fit and capacity, along with fleshing out program details. Steps 7 and 8 cover process and outcome evaluation, while steps 9 to 10 focus on the use of data to improve and sustain programs.
Sustainability tools that reinforce bystander intervention skills for interpersonal violence and suicide prevention implemented with the Green Dot program will be included in GTO planning processes. These tools provide installations flexibility in meeting annual prevention training requirements and leverage past investments to help Airmen intervene in and prevent sexual and domestic violence.
If official surveys and other measurement tools determine that stress is an area of concern for a command, the GTO model uses evidence-based P4 that can meet that need for that population whether it’s through mindfulness-based prevention, fitness programs, team building exercises or other methods.
Jennifer Treat, a community support program manager at Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command, says the GTO approach provides a foundation to address violence and other negative behaviors before they occur.
“It is not a program but a systematic framework to create an action-driven plan at the installation level or to whatever target areas that are needed,” Treat said. “With this approach, the Air Force has taken significant steps forward to be more deliberate in resilience and violence prevention.”