By: Kalin Goble, MS
Each part of a young person’s life is shaped in some way by the service of their parents and caregiver. When a parent serves in the military, the whole family is called upon to contribute to the military journey in their capacity. All parents have their journey as military service members and/or spouses. So too does each child growing and developing within a military family unit.
There are more than 1.6 million children in military families. We know that every child is special and deserves to feel safe and supported by their family and community. These basic needs create a healthy space for children to successfully grow and develop. Needs which can become even more complicated to attain for military children.
Children in military families experience life changes, family shifts, and location fluctuations at a higher rate throughout their childhood. Frequent relocations due to Permanent Change of Station (PCS) and separation from their parent(s) when deployed or on temporary duty are two common circumstances military children face. Circumstances that often reoccur many times throughout their childhood into young adulthood.
Due to the nature of PCS and military assignment, the communities and impactful people in children’s lives are in flux. Some bases are in more rural locations. This can lead to less access for families to service provision across the board. Though teletherapy and other virtual health services have increased the capacity for remote support. And even if a family is in a location to acquire mental health services, frequent moves and changes in school systems and friends may make children and youth more hesitant to talk or open up to trusting adults in their lives. As a service provider, your work in facilitating support for the physical and mental wellness of military children can be a pillar in their path to resilience and healthy childhood development.
Throughout April, we as a nation celebrate the Month of the Military Child! Below are a few highlights from our teams at OneOp, who work every day to create programming on areas of need for professionals working with military children and youth.
- Military Children’s Family Relationships – This webinar identifies how deployments shape a child’s family environment and family relationships. This webinar is part 4 of 5 in our Family Transition’s webinar series, Supporting Military Couples.
- 5 Ways to Celebrate Military Children During the Month of April – This blog post shares some simple ways to show support for military children during April!
- OneOp Programming Clusters webpage – This landing page highlights topics of interest from our programming created for service providers working with military families.
- Collaborations with Sesame Street webpage – OneOp has worked collaboratively with Sesame Street for Military Families to deliver programming focused around their carefully cultivated resources for service providers, educators, parents/caregivers, and young ones growing up as military children.
Click around our site to find more programming to support providers and families alike! Follow us on social media to stay connected and for opportunities to join our network’s conversation and get resources to strengthen work with military families!