Family Support And How It Can Help You

Updated May 15, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

You want to provide the best for your family, but sometimes you fall on hard times. Maybe your family is in crisis or you are working full force to meet your family’s basic needs. Whether you are managing financial duress or your family is facing dramatic changes because a family has been called away for military service, there are family support services and help available for you and your loved ones. In honor of world breastfeeding week and advocating for parents, read on to learn about the many options available for families like yours.

Wondering What It Means To Have Family Support?

The Importance Of Family Support

Regardless of the source, family support services all have the same basic goal: to help families improve their lives. Support may come in the form of child support, energy assistance, Medicare, Medicaid, employment and skills training, counseling services, or a special family support center for the different branches of the military. With all these different types of family support available, know you do not have to face your greatest challenges on your own. When family life seems overwhelming to the point you doubt your own ability to manage, either due to relationship issues, practical problems, or financial difficulties, you can get the help you need. 

You may worry that asking for and receiving help is a sign of weakness. Instead, it is a sign of wisdom that ultimately will improve you and your family’s quality of life. More than 20% of people in the United States is receiving some form of family support from federal programs every month. There are even more getting support from independent organizations. Military Family Month happens in November and it aims to honor these families by providing them with support from different organizations and resources. Being willing to ask for help can relieve your stress and may prevent more serious problems in the future.

Different Kinds Of Family Support

Numerous programs are available to help struggling families make ends meet. Some of these programs are solely financial, while others provide necessary services like childcare, healthcare, and counseling services. You may need family support because you have fallen on difficult times or because a partner has been deployed overseas. Whatever the reason, these services exist for a reason, so you should seek the help you need.

Who Is A Family Support Specialist?

If you get help from any family support organization, you might deal with a family support specialist. These specialists are social workers who can evaluate your family’s needs, arrange assistance for you, and provide you with referrals for education and support programs as well as social services. They may specialize in areas like domestic violence or child protective services, and they work with families that include children, people with disabilities, or the elderly. In many cases, they also provide counseling for these families.

Child Support And Maintenance

After a divorce, many families have a hard time surviving without child support and maintenance. Each month, this extra cash helps to keep them afloat despite the high costs of raising a child and dealing with the various additional expenses that are a normal part of family life. Unfortunately, sometimes the task of even getting child support can be overwhelming. There are programs in place to help you register your child support claim and locate the other parent from whom you are seeking support. Each state in the U.S. is required to have a family support registry to gather childcare payments and disperse them to families with child support orders or maintenance agreements.

Federal Family Support Programs

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Administration for Children and Families offer a number of different programs that are designed to help support parents, caregivers, and their families, such as during National Family Caregivers Month when the focus is on acknowledging and celebrating the vital contributions of these dedicated individuals. These agencies are often thought of as a type of family support program to prevent child abuse, which is true, but they also offer programs to help parents, caregivers, and families with healthcare, childcare, assist with food needs, child support, housing, and special services for children and youth with disabilities. In addition, they help families identify support through other programs and organizations, including United WayJust In Time Parenting, and the National Parent Helpline.

For families that are suffering from substance overuse or mental health issues, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) works to educate the public and professionals on common mental health issues to increase knowledge. They also connect individuals with self-help and peer-support groups to battle addiction and mental health issues.

Military Family Support Centers

The following content may contain potentially triggering material for sensitive individuals or for those who have experienced any form of trauma. 

If you feel are threatened or have been subjected to abuse, seek help immediately by calling 911 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 800.799. SAFE (7233).

The military has a family support center organization for each branch of the service. These centers’ programs provide services and resources that are designed to meet the unique needs of the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and the Marines, including those whose families have special needs.

Soldier And Family Services (Army)

Soldier and Family Services in the Army program are designed to help service people and their families. This program offers counseling services and support groups for this unique population. There, they can also find help with relocation, money management, legal assistance, and deployment services. Family advocacy services also offer groups for abuse prevention, parenting support, and help for families and children with special needs.

Furthermore, the Child and Youth Services program of Soldier and Family Services offers a wide array of support services, including sports programs, youth education support, before-and-after school programs, daycare, and outreach programs for Army families living on post or in the surrounding community. The Army Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Program offers both support and leisure services for these service people and any soldier worldwide.

Fleet And Family Support Center (Navy)

The  offers three main types of family support services. First, the Core Family Readiness program, also called Work and Life, supports the mission directly by helping service people and their families navigate the unique lifestyle that the Navy requires.

Work and Life programs help with physical, interpersonal, emotional, and logistical problems. Some programs address the challenges that occur when the service person is deployed. Others help families make major life transitions, relocate, or find employment. There is also help with financial management. Finally, the Work and Life program benefits families with Emergency Preparedness.

The second main program of the Fleet and Family Support Center is the . The third program is the Navy Gold Star Program, which is the Navy’s program for helping families with long-term non-medical case management and supportive services for surviving families of service people who have died on active duty.

Airman & Family Readiness Center (Air Force)

The Airman and Family Readiness Center (AFRC) provides resources and services geared toward Air Force people and their families. They help service people, their spouses, and children prepare for deployment, whether it is remote duty or long temporary duty assignments (TDYs). As part of this, they provide pre- and post-deployment briefings, which are required for airmen and recommended for spouses.

Additionally, the AFRC offers relocation assistance for permanent change of station (PCS) moves. They give a newcomer briefing for incoming airmen and their families and supply them with information on the local area and local services. They also offer employment assistance for airmen and their spouses. Many Air Force spouses enjoy volunteering at this family support center to meet new people on their base.

Marine & Family Programs (Marines)

The  have counseling as well as support groups for new parents, substance abuse, sexual assault, and Families Over-Coming Under Stress (FOCUS). They offer victim advocacy, too. In addition, Military and Family Life Counselors offer suicide prevention and substance abuse counseling. Plus, there is help for dealing with local schools if you have children, learning life skills, and advancing your career through employment services and educational resources. Finally, there are Financial Management and Retired Services offices, and the programs include a library and youth sports programs. All of these can also help to foster a valuable sense of community.

Strategies To Work Through Challenging Times

When you are trying your best to make ends meet or to solve your family’s issues, it can be overwhelming, particularly if you and your partner are parents. Here are some things you can do to help ease the overwhelm and move toward getting the support you need.


Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you sort through them, so you can understand what is really bothering you and regain a sense of focus and clarity.  can also serve as a reminder of all the steps you have taken to move forward from where you were, or they can serve as a record of how you tackled a problem, so you can make improvements in the future.

Make A Plan

Sit down and honestly . Then identify steps you can take to address any issues. Breaking the big picture down into small, actionable steps can make it seem less overwhelming. If a situation feels trying and overwhelming, a plan can provide direction. 

Wondering What It Means To Have Family Support?

Expand Your Support Network

Meet others in your community or in nearby communities who have common interests or who are in similar situations. You might meet a  and find an extra bit of emotional support that you simply were not able to find elsewhere.

Ask For Help

Sometimes, we look like we have it all together, so others simply do not know that we need help. Asking for help when you need it can help you gain perspective and build stronger relationships with others, as well as help you feel freer. With any luck, you may also discover new strategies and different ways to cope with your current situation.

Practice Gratitude

Actively taking the time to reflect on what you are grateful for can help you feel more positive and give you a new approach to tackling the situation at hand. Practicing gratitude regularly may also reduce aggression, improve self-esteem, help you feel more positive, improve your sleep quality, and even improve your physical and psychological health.

Reaching Out For Professional Help

While your loved ones who you trust are sources of support you can depend on, sometimes you need to talk to an objective third-party who can help you decide what to do. Seeking the help of a professional counselor can make a big difference, especially when you are feeling overwhelmed because you need external support for your family.

It is normal to feel unsure or hesitant of reaching out to a counselor for the first time. You can start by talking to someone online at BetterHelp. With their support, you will learn more about how to deal with your situation and you can find out how family support works.

Research shows that online therapy can be a powerful tool in improving people's lives. For example, one study found that people who used BetterHelp experienced a significant decrease in the severity of depression symptoms.

Talking with a BetterHelp counselor is completely personal and safe. You can get in touch with your counselor wherever it is convenient for you, communicating via phone, video, live voice recording, messages, or chat. Below you will find reviews of BetterHelp counselors from others in similar situations. If you are still not sure, you can contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have.

Counselor Reviews

“Ava was a great help to me. She supported me through a transition period in my life and also helped me work through some issues that I have been facing with a parent. She is very frank but also listens and reads with a keen and empathetic ear. I appreciated having a counselor of similar racial and ethnic background to me as she had insight into the particulars of my family dynamics and past experiences. I am happy with my experience with her.”

“Ms. Pamela is a kind and genuine active listener. She has provided activities and worksheets that have helped my family and I tremendously with our daily lives. We are so grateful for the help. I look forward to my sessions with Pamela every week!”

You Can Give Your Family What They Need

Your current situation might seem overwhelming, but you can get through it. You can get the support you need with various family support services and by talking to a BetterHelp counselor. Take the first step today.

Below are some commonly asked questions on this topic:

What is support from family?
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Why is family support important for child's development?
What sort of support do you expect from your family?
What is the value of family?

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