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Going Virtual

About This Series

The Early Intervention team’s four-part webinar series for 2022 discusses equitable, culturally sustaining early intervention (EI) and early childhood (EC) care and education strategies and their application in a virtual, or telehealth, environment. These webinars address family coaching practices, aspects of the transition process in various contexts, and common challenges often experienced by families and practitioners in virtual settings.

Creating Equity During Family Visits

March 23, 2022 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm EDT

About This Webinar: The first session in the four-part Going Virtual series engages participants in ...

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Culturally Sustaining Coaching Approaches

Family watching toddler on laptop
May 24, 2022 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm EDT

About This Webinar: The second session in the Going Virtual series introduces six early intervention...

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Ensuring Smooth EI Transitions

moms sitting on the bed with their kids playing
September 14, 2022 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm EDT

About This Webinar: This third session in the Going Virtual series highlights tips early interventio...

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Using Family-Centered Strategies to Address Challenges

Dad holding fussy toddler with computer
November 16, 2022 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm EST

About This Webinar: In the final session of the Going Virtual series research on benefits and challe...

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More from the Blog

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Leadership Research Is Missing the Followers

Most leadership research does not recognize leadership as a process or account for the role followers play in co-creating leadership.

Inclusive Foundations: How Fostering Inclusion Moves Diversity & Equity Forward in Classrooms

Children with disabilities may have a difficult time when they start to recognize the ways in which they are different from their peers. These differences may become more noticeable to a child when they enter a new setting, such as entering preschool, moving to the general education classroom, or entering…

Understanding the Cost of Convenience

Our society moves at a fast pace. Most any purchase is available at the push of a button, making delayed gratification a concept of the past. Do you want groceries or merchandise now? No problem. Are you hungry, but don’t have time to get takeout? Don’t worry, it can be…

Nutrition and Cardiovascular Disease: One Piece of a Multi-Disciplinary Approach.

Every 33 seconds, someone in the United States dies from cardiovascular disease (National Center for Health Statistics). As the leading cause of death for both men and women, preventing and managing cardiovascular disease is a top health priority (National Center for Health Statistics).

Looking at Partnerships Through the Four Cs

Written by: Bob BertschAddressing complex issues, like military family readiness, requires activity at a variety of levels.  While it’s important that work is being done at the level of an individual or single organization, partnering between organizations expands the scope and diversity of activities to better address the complexity of…

Nurturing Leaders: Cultivating Leadership Skills in Children

All students, including those who are young or have disabilities, can engage in leadership activities, beginning in early childhood. Qualities such as determination, passion, and accountability may not come easily to all children. Therefore, it is necessary for teachers to intentionally plan for leadership opportunities, label students’ leadership strengths, and…

Spouses and Stressors of Military Life

While reflecting and processing my feelings about how my fiance's employment changes would impact our lives, I thought of the lives of our military families. The fear of the unknown and the looming stress of potentially managing daily life alone is felt by many spouses/partners of service members. They each…

Why Nature May Be the Best Medicine

Written by Debra Kellstedt, DrPH, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service What if there was a medication that could reduce your blood pressure, help you feel more focused, and increase your physical activity—all at the same time? Doctors would be prescribing it right and left. Indeed,…

Cyberbullying Safety for Kids and Teens

Online areas share the hazards of being places where bullying behaviors from peers can happen. Although traditional bullying behaviors encompass physical threats and harm, cyberbullying behaviors share many of the same instances of harm that take place. Cyberbullying is defined as the use of electronic communication to bully someone, typically…

Do Workplace Well-being Programs Work?

A study of workplace well-being interventions found no evidence they improve individual well-being. Here's what workers and organizations can take away from the study.

Recognizing Shrinkflation: Tips for Grocery Shopping on a Budget

With the inflation rate sitting at 3.4% as we enter 2024, the price of most goods and services remains high. This is especially true for groceries. The USDA Food Price Outlook reports food prices rose 5.7% from 2022 to 2023

Calories Count: Why Calorie Intake Is Important

Sometime today, pick up a food package and look at the Nutrition Facts. Most likely, the biggest number you’ll see is the number of Calories.

Financial Consideration for Pet Ownership

Brown (2023) estimates that nearly 62% of Americans have a pet, and half of pet owners not only consider their pets to be a part of their family but say they are as much a part of their family as a human member. Financial professionals working with service members who…

Leading Light: Unveiling Essential Leadership Skills

Leadership is a trait many people aspire to develop in their personal and professional lives. For practitioners working with children and students with disabilities, continuously strengthening one’s leadership skills is necessary to improve one’s capacity as a professional.

Food Security: Barriers and Strategies

A good friend recently expressed exasperation at trying to provide healthy meals within a budget. She wanted to know if she should spend more money for healthy food or go the unhealthy route of prepackaged instant food that fit her budget, is high in calories and low in nutrient density?…

Connecting with Self: The First Step to Connecting with the World

Written by: Kalin Goble, M.S. Last month, I completed my first volunteering cycle with a local restorative justice program for teens. Twice a week, we meet and come together in a circle. We begin each meeting with a self-connection check-in. We are guided to close our eyes, take a deep breath,…

Medicare Changes in 2024: What Providers Need to Know

Written by: Andrew Crocker, Senior Extension Program Specialist, Gerontology and Health, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Medicare is a federal health insurance program for those over age 65 and with certain conditions that make them eligible. It is one of the nation’s largest health payers. In this post, I’ll provide an update…

New Year’s Resolution: Think Differently About Disability

Written by: Andrew Crocker, Senior Extension Program Specialist, Gerontology and Health, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Approximately 27% of adults in the United States report some type of disability, the most common of which are cognitive and mobility disabilities. Individuals also frequently report some type of hearing or vision impairment…

How Cross Sector Collaboration Supports Military Families

Stories about collaborations that have improved the experience of military-connected kids in schools, built support for military families with LGBTQ+ youth, and helped to reduce food insecurity for military families.

Fostering Bright Futures: Unveiling the Essence of Leadership for Early Childhood Professionals

Leadership roles in early intervention (EI) and early childhood special education (ECSE) include administrators, early childhood coordinators, early interventionists. special education teachers, and speech pathologists. When working with young children, caregivers often see EI/ECSE leaders as individuals with extensive knowledge and expertise in their field. Professionals should demonstrate a commitment…

Research Briefs for Financial Educators: IRAs, Financial Education and Two-Paycheck Families

Below are findings and implications from three 2023 studies relevant for military service providers including information about individual retirement accounts (IRAs), financial education in U.S. high schools and gender-wage information for two-paycheck families.

Encouraging Family Mealtimes to Promote Health and Wellbeing

Sitting down for a family meal is one of my favorite things. I cherish the time spent with good food learning about the ups and downs of each person’s day, being goofy, or sharing struggles. As life gets busy with work and kid’s activities, finding times for family meals can…

How Psychological Safety Helps Organizations Learn and Perform

Approaching stigmatization from the individual level can be helpful, but it is just one part of the environment that allows stigmatization to exist. One way to help people overcome those fears is to increase psychological safety in our organizations.

Working Together: Collaboration across settings to promote social-emotional competence

Young children often receive supports, services, and care in a variety of settings (e.g., early intervention programs and childcare, preschool and private occupational therapy). Children often engage in challenging behavior across settings; therefore, adults should collaborate across settings to prevent and address challenging behavior (DEC, 2017).

Navigating Postpartum Challenges in Military Families: Understanding the Intersection of Race, Ethnicity, and Mental Health

The period following childbirth can be challenging for many new mothers, particularly within military families. Postpartum mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs), encompassing conditions like postpartum depression (PPD), postpartum anxiety (PPA), and postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder, often pose significant mental health hurdles during this vulnerable time for families. When factoring in race…

Understanding Professional & Institutional Stigma Related to Mental Health

Written by: Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Extension Mental Health & Well-Being Specialist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Mental health stigma, as described by Kalichman (2019), encompasses the shame, societal disapproval, or social discrediting experienced by individuals dealing with mental health issues. Within the realm of mental healthcare, two prominent dimensions…

How to Support Attachment and Child Well-Being, Even in Times of Change and Transition

Between birth and age 3, a child’s brain develops one million neural connections per second (Center on the Developing Child, 2007). These connections are built through repeated experiences with their caregivers. Babies are born wired for connection, instinctively drawing responses from their caregivers that help strengthen the bond between them…

Centering Relationships in a Spectrum of Resilience

The U.S. Air Force’s “Spectrum of Resilience” model emphasizes supportive connections with family, friends, peers, and service providers in helping airmen and their families thrive. Effective efforts to improve resilience and readiness should go beyond individual, internal factors to address the network of relationships at all levels.

Trending Topics in Financial Education

To effectively serve clients, Personal Financial Managers must stay current with trending financial topics. By doing so, they can deliver relevant content in briefings and anticipate questions to prepare responses for. Below is a brief description of five trending financial topics including high inflation, increased insurance costs, increasing debt, entrepreneurship…

Weight Stigma

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved a new medication for weight management in adults with obesity (FDA, 2023). This is just the latest advancement in the management of obesity.

Research Briefs for Financial Educators: Economic Well-Being, Financial Literacy and Buy Now Pay Later

To be an effective financial educator, your work should be informed by personal finance research. Below are findings and implications from three recent studies on economic well-being, financial literacy, and using “Buy Now Pay Later” to pay for groceries:

This is the Way! Partnering with Families to Address Challenging Behaviors

Children’s relationships with their primary caregivers are foundational to their emerging social-emotional development (Morris et al., 2007), which intersects with children’s challenging behavior (DEC, 2017). The Division for Early Childhood’s position statement on challenging behavior outlines five practices practitioners can use to partner with families to address challenging behaviors (DEC,…

Impacts of Social Media on Eating Disorders

Mobile technologies are growing exponentially worldwide, reaching 7.95 billion accounts in 2020, 6.06 billion of which are on smartphones.

Male Victims of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can affect anyone and when it comes to gender, it does not discriminate. Feelings of shame, hopelessness, isolation, and fear surround this painful and confusing public health issue. These feelings, along with a variety of other barriers, make it challenging for victims to talk about abuse. This becomes…

Trick-or-Treat Without Limits: Tips for Accessible Celebrations

Each year, as the leaves change color and the air turns crisp, communities across the globe eagerly prepare for the spooky, delightful festivities of Halloween. It's a time when neighborhoods come alive with decorations, laughter, and the promise of sugary treasures. But, as we revel in the spirit of the…

The Enchanting Oasis: The Benefits of Sensory Gardens for Children with Special Needs

Nature has never failed to amaze us as a profound source of joy, inspiration, and wonder. A sensory garden is a specially designed garden, that provides a wide range of sensory experiences, including touch, scent, taste, and sound in addition to sight. For children with special needs, sensory gardens can…

What Does It Mean to “Help Families Thrive”?

I recently conducted a search for the term "help families thrive" on government websites and found over 2,400 results, surpassing the results for searches like "improve family resilience" (649 results) and "enhance family well-being" (1,710 results). Clearly the concept of "thriving" is appealing, though its exact definition is unclear.

Challenging Behavior: There is No One Definition!

What is challenging behavior? Challenging behaviors are essentially children’s actions that adults find challenging. An adult’s definition of challenging behavior depends on the context (e.g., adult’s experiences, culture, values) (DEC, 2017; NAEYC, 2022). Early childhood practitioners must reflect on what they consider to be challenging behavior and counteract individual and…

Scam Prevention Information for Military Families

Military families are frequent targets for scams. Personal Financial Managers can educate clients about scams and help clients who become fraud victims. Below are some key things to know about spotting and avoiding fraud.

Reframing the Narrative Around Kids’ Food

Most people express far more surprise at my younger daughter liking “adult food” than my older daughter wanting “kid food.” The reactions to their preferences reflect a culture that automatically expects kids’ to prefer certain foods based on their age.

Improving Your Introductions

Introductions are critical to our professional relationships and our everyday social life. Understanding the work that goes into an introduction can help you connect directly with others and mediate introductions between two people.

National Bullying Prevention Month: What Parents and Providers Can Do To Combat Bullying

Every October, communities across the United States come together to observe National Bullying Prevention Month. Bullying is a widespread problem in the U.S. that affects millions of children, adolescents, and even adults. Bullying behavior is very common. According to the CDC, about 1 in 5 high school students reported being…

Combating Public Stigma Surrounding Mental Health

What exactly is public stigma related to mental health, and is it affecting either you or your loved ones? According to Kalichman (2019), mental health stigma can be described as the shame, disapproval from society, or the act of discrediting individuals dealing with mental health issues.

Healthy Mind, Healthy Body: How We Think Matters

The idea that we should “look great and feel amazing” has been prevalent in health for years. Social media, product marketing, and even health campaigns have strongly influenced how we eat and our opinions on how our bodies should look (Rounsefell et al., 2019). While wanting to look and feel…

Taking Care of Mental Health: The Significance of National Suicide Awareness Month

September is more than just the transition from summer to fall; it's also a time when we come together to raise awareness about an issue that affects millions of people worldwide—suicide. National Suicide Awareness Month is a crucial period during which we focus on spreading hope, support, and resources to…

Simon Says: “Let’s Link Gross Motor Activities and Communication Development”

We know that fine and gross motor development are important skills, especially for little people in their early years of life. Motor skills can range from writing or playing with small blocks (fine motor skills), to jumping, walking backwards, or riding a bike (gross motor skills).

Red Light, Green Light: Gross Motor Development in Unstructured Settings

One of the times children grow and develop gross motor skills is during unstructured play times, such as playing with family or friends at home, in the community gym, at the park, or at school during outdoor play. These are times where children use their imagination to explore and acquire…

A Band of Others – Strategies to Encourage Friendships Among Service Members

Earlier this summer, I accompanied my husband to a reunion of the South Dakota Army National Guard 740th Transportation Company. Current and past members celebrated the 70th anniversary of the unit as it was established in 1953; acknowledged the 32nd anniversary of the unit’s deployment during the Gulf War, and…

Rethinking: How Your Mindset Can Transform Stress

We may be able to better cope with stress by practicing rethinking in the moment and adopting a more positive and accepting mindset towards stress.

Merging Motor and Cognitive Development in Preschool

The preschool years are a time of rapid motor and cognitive development. Some children, particularly children with disabilities, may need structured support to develop foundational skills in these domains. Preschool teachers can help their students develop motor and cognitive skills by integrating them into their daily curriculum.

Rejuvenating the Caregiver: Incorporating Respite into Your Routine

Balancing the demands of caregiving with your own well-being can be a challenging task. However, by implementing effective tips and strategies, caregivers can seamlessly integrate essential respite moments into their daily routines, ensuring both their own health and the quality of care they provide.

Using Family Stress Theory as a Tool to Better Understand and Manage Family Stress

Family stress is defined as any stressor that concerns one of more members of the family, or the whole system, at a defined time (Randall & Bodenmann, 2013). When families experience stress, it can reduce their capacity for providing a nurturing environment for their children, which in turn can impact…

Types of Taxable Income

Personal Finance Managers routinely answer questions from clients about income taxes. While January through April is considered “tax season,” May through December is time for tax planning. A key thing service members need to know is types of income and how they are taxed. 

Rejuvenating the Caregiver: The Significance of Respite Care in Sustaining Well-being & Quality Care

Caregiving can be incredibly rewarding, but it can also be physically and emotionally draining, leading to burnout and decreased well-being. A vital, but often overlooked, aspect of caregiving is respite: taking a break or having a temporary relief from caregiving responsibilities. Respite helps provide caregivers with much-needed physical, emotional, and…

Medicaid and Food Insecurity: What Personal Financial Managers Need to Know

The statistics are startling! Among U.S. active-duty service members and their families, almost 26% are food insecure. Food insecurity means that someone’s diet has reduced quality, variety, or desirability (low food security) or there are multiple disruptions of eating patterns and reduced food intake (very low food security).

Sleep Restriction and Weight Gain

Despite sleep being vital for humans, more than one-third of the world’s adult population sleeps less than 7 hours a night. Sleep restriction can increase the risk of weight gain, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and type 2 diabetes (van Egmond et al., 2023).

Managing Conflict in Collaborative Teams

Conflict is a normal and regular part of collaboration and teaming. While most of us would rather avoid conflict at all costs, healthy conflict can strengthen teams, increase creativity of team members, and create meaningful change (Friend, 2020).

Research Briefs for Financial Educators: Financial Advice Deserts, Financial Worries and Planning

“Financial advice deserts” (FADs) which, like food deserts, provide people with little or no access, in this case to financial advice. The study used data from multiple sources about the availability of CFP® professionals and financial behaviors of survey respondents in various states.

Uniting Against Hunger: Raising Awareness About Hunger and Food Insecurity in America

We will soon be rolling into September, and with it comes all the ways we transition into new routines or back into old routines. The school year is also kicking off for many families which means keeping up with scheduling, including meal planning and school lunches. It always amazes me…

5 Tips to Reducing Mental Health Self-Stigma

What is mental health self-stigma? Is self-stigma impacting you? Kalichman (2019) defines mental health stigma as “the disgrace, social disapproval, or social discrediting of individuals with a mental health problem.” Stigma directly affects individuals with mental illness and the loved ones who support them, often including their family members. Subu…

Five Ways to Help Military Spouses Search for a Job

According to the Office of People Analytics (2023), and the 2021 Active Duty Spouse Survey briefing, military spouses have an unemployment rate of 21%. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (2023) indicates that the national unemployment average for the general population is 3.7%. Factors such as PCSing, living on base, and…

Entrepreneurship Options in a Digital Age

One of the biggest decisions service members make is deciding upon a career path after exiting military service. Options include securing immediate employment, attending college or trade school to build human capital, entrepreneurship, or fully retiring. 

Promoting Physical, Mental, and Emotional Wellness for Military Families

National Wellness Month takes on an even deeper significance when considering the brave men and women who serve in the military, along with their resilient families. August is National Wellness Month and we wanted to share these resources to specifically help military families practice self-care and to make wellness a…

After a Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Rebuilding Family Resilience

By: Karen ShirerPCS (Permanent Change of Station) season is ending for many military families (MFs). Yet, they still face important tasks to help them successfully navigate the process (Military OneSource , personal communication, August 10, 2023). Military families have many adjustments to make. Children likely find themselves in new schools.…

12 Tips for Providers in Creating Accessible Presentations for Individuals with Disabilities

Written by: Rachel Brauner Individuals with disabilities may need some unique support, resources, or accommodations to successfully transition to and sustain meaningful employment. Whether a wounded service member or military family member with a disability, addressing these individual needs helps ensure equal opportunity and empower the individual to thrive in…

Food Insecurity and Financial Security – Is There a Connection?

In a previous OneOp research brief, an interdisciplinary health and personal finance study by Harter and Harter (2022) was summarized. Study results provide evidence of  a link between traumatic adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and adult financial insecurity around food and housing expenses.

Healthy Habits for Life: Keeping Our Kids Active

Summer break is almost over, and school is about to start again. While our kids focus on their studies, squeezing in the recommended daily physical activity can be difficult

Stocks, Mutual Funds, and ETFs, Oh My!

Three places where investors frequently place their money to grow over the long term are stocks, bonds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Personal Finance Managers likely get asked many questions about them. This post describes characteristics of each investment and key differences among them as shown in the table below.

Not In It Alone: Supporting Single Military Service Members

Service in the military demands immense dedication, courage, and sacrifice for all members and their families. We often share a lot of resources and support for military families, as we want to provide care for military service members who are parents, as well as military spouses and their kids. In…

Strategies to Enhance Positive School Outcomes for Military-Connected Students in Transition

By: Jenny Rea, PhD During PCS season (May-August), many military families across the U.S. transition and settle into new homes and communities. This might also mean transitioning into a new school for some families with school-aged children. School-to-school transitions are a normal part of any child’s educational experience. However, these…

Understanding ADA as it Relates to Service Members with Disabilities

Written by: Rachel Brauner Enacted by Congress in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in areas such as employment, public accommodations, and access to services. Service members with disabilities have certain rights, aimed at ensuring equal opportunities, fair treatment, and support for a…

Two Questions to Screen for Food Insecurity

Just over a quarter (25.8%) of U.S. service members are, or have been, food insecure according to recent research conducted by RAND for the U.S. Department of Defense. That’s 1 in 4! Survey findings indicated that about 15.4% of all active duty personnel would be classified by the U.S. Department…

Seven Keys to Investing Resilience

Financial resilience is the ability of an individual or family to withstand events (e.g., job loss, medical emergency, car repairs) that impact their income and/or assets. These incidents are often costly and unexpected.

Ten Strategies for Addressing Food Insecurity With Military Families

From college students to older adults, nutrition and food security has become a critical challenge facing American families. Nutrition and food security is exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain issues, inflation, and other forces.

Addressing Key Questions About Attachment

By Kelly Bost, Ph.D. and Samantha Iwinski, M.S.In the webinar, “Making the Journey Towards Healthy Attachment” we discuss in greater detail the following: What is attachment? Components of Attachment Attachment Behaviors Attachment Behavioral System Attachment Relationship Classifications of Attachment Patterns Secure Insecure Anxious/Resistant/Ambivalent Insecure Avoidant Disorganized Why is attachment important,…

Stories of Sacrifice and Support: Addressing Food Insecurity in Military Families

For the past few years, food insecurity has become a more prevalent issue faced by an increasing number of families across the nation. The second issue of OneOp’s PowerUp digital magazine explores the impact of food insecurity on military service members and their families and highlights the great impact various…

Can Service Members Play With FIRE?

FIRE is an acronym for Financial Independence (FI), Retire Early. FIRE enthusiasts live frugally and invest a large part of their income to reach a “walking away number” where they can leave a 9-to-5 job and live life on their own terms decades before traditional retirement age.

Helping Parents Through Youth Problem Behaviors

Adults, and parents/caregivers specifically, are the key to youth developing empathy, compassion, and positive social behaviors and responses. Read through a few guidelines for offering support to parents/caregivers whose youth are experiencing (or impacted by) problem behaviors.

Back-to-School Strategies for Parents/Caregivers of Children with Special Needs

As your child prepares to embark on a new academic year, this time can bring on a unique set of challenges and considerations. However, with proper planning, open communication, and a supportive approach, you can help pave the way for your children to experience a successful and enriching educational journey.

What is the Impact of Food Insecurity on Chronic Diseases?

Food insecurity can contribute to a low intake of nutritionally adequate foods that meet individuals' dietary recommendations (Gundersen & Ziliak, 2015).

Becoming a Strong Collaborative Communicator to Support Military-Connected Students

Understanding how to be a strong communicator is an essential skill when developing effective family-to-professional and professional-to-professional partnerships. Each one of us has a style when we communicate, and sometimes, that style may not align with our communicative intention. Knowing your communication style and the process in which you communicate…

Dangers of Leaving Money in Payment Apps

You pay for the meal and your friends quickly transfer their portion via a payment app to you and call it even. You leave the money in the app for the next time you need it. You can probably think of other ways that you and your clients routinely use…

Prioritizing Minority Mental Health

Knowing that mental health disparities exist and are experienced every day by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, how can we as military service providers bring awareness to the unique struggles that each of these communities face regarding mental illness? Explore several resources that highlight the need for…

Strategies to Reduce the Mental Load of a Military Spouse: Part 2

By Jenny Rea, PhD In part 1 of this two-part blog post, we learned the various stressors that military spouses face due to military life. We also learned how the concurrent buildup of these stressors can increase a military spouse’s mental load.  While the Department of Defense (DoD) has made…

Mental Health and Community Capacity Cornerstones: The Military Family Readiness System, Branch-Specific Quality of Life Programing, and Green Spaces/Fun Places

By Keith G. Tidball, PhD and Coral Owen, MSThe 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…

Understanding Mental Health Stigmas – How Do They Apply to Me?

By Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D. What is mental health stigma? Are there different types of mental health stigmas? Are you aware of the specific type of mental health stigma you experience and its potential impact on you? Kalichman (2019) defines mental health stigma as “the disgrace, social disapproval, or social discrediting…

Addressing Food Insecurity in Immigrant Households

By Anne Hogan Food insecurity in immigrant households is a complex issue that affects many families, regardless of race and country of origin (Berning et al., 2022). To prevent food insecurity in U.S. immigrant households, we must understand and address the unique challenges these families face. Barriers to Food Security: Several…

Research Briefs for Financial Educators

Personal finance research informs high-quality financial education briefings, publications, and 1:1 financial counseling with clients. Below are the findings and implications from three recent studies:

Finding Hope and Confidence by Practicing Connection

The Practicing Connection initiative is a place for ideas, inspiration, and information on building skills and creating connections that will help support the well-being of military and civilian families.

Beyond the Binary: Understanding and Affirming LGBTQ+ Continuums of Identity

By Dr. Tiffany Lange, Psy.D. (she/her/hers) In a society where conformity is expected and non-conformity must be “explained”, there are many misperceptions about the LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, and related identities) community. Biology and nature are not binary categories, our world is full of spectrums. Yet, society often oversimplifies…

The Mental Load of a Military Spouse: Part 1

When the military spouse feels as though they are doing it all on their own, it can leave them feeling anxious, depressed, and overwhelmed. Multiple stressors on military spouses leaves them carrying much of the family’s “mental load,” and therefore, they likely face a greater need for mental healthcare.

8 Summer Safety Tips for Caregivers of Individuals with Disabilities

By Rachel Brauner As the temperature rises and the sun shines brightly, summer beckons us outdoors for fun and relaxation. However, amidst the excitement of the season, it's crucial to prioritize safety, especially for vulnerable individuals such as those with disabilities. Whether you're a caregiver or simply concerned about the…

Understanding and Recognizing Attachment Behaviors in Children

Humans are social beings, and babies are born with tendencies to bring caregivers toward them to promote survival and social connection. Caregiver-child relationships involve some of the first interpersonal experiences that create feelings of trust, safety, and self-worth in relationships.

Roth IRA Q&A

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP® and Martie Gillen, Ph.D., MBA, AFC®, CFLE The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is not the only place where service members can save for retirement. Many may also want to consider a Roth IRA and have questions for Personal Financial Managers. Below are six Roth IRA…

Normalizing the Conversation: Mental Health – Part 2

Many Service members and veterans with mental health needs are not seeking treatment for mental health care. Service Providers can help normalize the conversation for them.

Communication Matters: Building Collaboration to Support Military-Connected Students

Schools are natural places for strong collaborative partnerships. School personnel must work together to plan for a great curriculum and supportive learning environment for all students. Families and educators must work together to support each student inside and outside of the classroom. For military-connected students (MCS), collaborative relationships with schools…

Supporting Military Families Traveling this Summer

By Kristen Jowers, MS MFT Summer is a universal term for family fun. For many, school is out for the summer, and personal financial managers (PFMs) are gearing up to provide families with summer planning support including summer camps, and vacations. As you engage with your clients around their summer plans,…

The Impact of Fireworks on Veterans During Fourth of July

By Rachel Brauner Fourth of July is a time filled with parades and firework celebrations across the United States in commemoration of the Declaration of Independence. While fireworks are a traditional part of the Independence Day celebration in the United States, for some veterans, especially those with post-traumatic stress disorder…

The Role of Nutrition in Improving Cognition in Older Adults

By Rafael Guimaraes de Lima E Silva According to the Centers for Disease Control in 2020, almost 6 million Americans were living with Alzheimer's disease, and this number is predicted to reach more than 14 million in 2060 (CDC, 2023). As we age, we need to be concerned not only…

Ten Tips for Military Families to Survive a “Financial Tornado”

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP® and Martie Gillen, Ph.D., MBA, AFC®, CFLE U.S. consumers haven’t just experienced a “perfect storm” of financial challenges…they have experienced a “perfect tornado!” Challenging financial events include sustained high inflation (and increased costs for food, utilities, rent, gas, insurance, housing, etc.), recession fears, increased interest…

How Practicing Connection Can Cultivate Food Security Collaboration

Together, we explore the skills and practices that can prepare us to work together and grow personally and professionally.

Resource Discovery: Futures Without Violence

By Jason Jowers, MS, MFT   Traumatic events related to violence can have very adverse effects on all people, but especially on vulnerable populations like kids and teens. For clinicians working with families, it can also be difficult in navigating and providing support when violence and trauma are taking place. Clinical…

Normalizing the Conversation: Mental Health – Part 1

By Sara Croymans This past spring, at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, I came across the “The Rainflower Project” exhibit. The goal of the exhibit was to promote positive mental health and suicide prevention. The project creator, Damien Wolf, is a ceramic artist who created 675 ceramic flowers to…

Celebrating Pride: Exploring Opportunities for Inclusion in Financial Services

By Kristen Jowers, MS MFT Pride Month is a time to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, honor its history, and promote inclusivity and acceptance. According to a survey conducted by the Center for LGBTQ+ Economic Advancement & Research, 27% of transgender respondents experienced anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination in banking or financial services and 52%…

Six Steps for Effective Allyship to the LGBTQ+ Community

By Dr. Tiffany Lange, Psy.D. (she/her/hers) Being an effective ally to the LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, and related identities) community is much more than good intentions; it involves personal ownership to engage in self-reflection and lifelong learning. The following “Six Steps for Effective Allyship” provides tips and suggestions for…

Responding to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) with HOPE: Positive Childhood Experiences make a Difference for Military Families in Transition

By Karen Shirer, Ph.D. Several years ago, I helped create a program for new parents to build their family strengths. One activity asked parents to recall positive family experiences from their own childhood. Many parents faced challenges and risks as children, but most identified at least one occasion they fondly…

Cutting the Cost of Food Waste

By Anne Hogan Each year, the United States throws out 119 billion pounds of food – almost 40% of all food produced in the country (Feeding America, 2023). Throwing out food wastes the money and resources spent to produce and buy that food, and it reduces the amount of food…

Helping Military Families Inflation-Proof Their Budget

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP® and Martie Gillen, Ph.D., MBA, AFC®, CFLE For over two years, U.S. inflation rates have exceeded their long-term average of about 3%. Like all Americans, military families have experienced a loss of purchasing power as their income cannot buy as much as it did previously.…

Serving with Pride: The History and Impact of LGBTQ+ Military Service Members

By Dr. Tiffany Lange, Psy.D. (she/her/hers) LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, and related identities) people have existed throughout history (e.g., two-spirit in Native American cultures) and are present in every aspect of society – they are the people we know, the people we love, and even the people who…

Automation Inventory Strategies for Military Families

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP® and Martie Gillen, Ph.D., MBA, AFC®, CFLE   Most military family permanent change of station (PCS) moves occur between May and September so personal financial managers are undoubtedly fielding many questions related to service members’ PCS orders. PCS season is a great time to conduct…

Supporting Military Fathers Throughout the Deployment Cycle

By Jenny Rea, PhD More than 1.3 million active-duty members serve in the U.S. military (Department of Defense , 2021). Over half have deployed more than once (Wenger et al., 2018). The majority are married, and 41% have children under the age of five (DoD, 2021). Men make up about…

How Can You Support Military Families Facing Food Insecurity?

We know that many families have been and continue to be affected by rising food costs and job loss that impact their ability to provide nutritious meals for their families. That’s why OneOp has focused much of the 2023 programming on providing research-based and evidence-based information and resources around food…

Tips for Providers & Caregivers to Manage Secondary Trauma

By Rachel Brauner The negative impact of traumatic events can extend beyond those who directly experienced the trauma to caregivers who are subject to secondary traumatic stress. Secondary trauma, also known as vicarious trauma or compassion fatigue, is a condition where individuals who are exposed to the traumatic experiences of…

Outdoor Recreation for Military Family Resilience and Well-being

By Keith G. Tidball, Ph.D. and Coral Owen, MS Outdoor Rx has been in the conversation of veteran well-being for nearly a decade. For those unfamiliar, Outdoor Rx is an effort to take the benefits to health and well-being of time spent outdoors out of the abstract “nice to do”…

How You Can Expand Food Security for Military Families

OneOp is thrilled to announce that on June 7th a selection of expert representatives from federal agencies will gather virtually to discuss resources available to alleviate food insecurity for the military community. The Supportive Programs and Benefits to Expand Food Security for Military Families panel discussion is an excellent opportunity…

Helping Military Families Deal With Debt

Household debt is on the rise in America! According to a recent Federal Reserve Bank of New York report, credit card balances now surpass pre-pandemic highs and balances on mortgages, auto loans, and student loans all increased. Younger borrowers are especially struggling with credit cards and auto loan payments.

Honoring Our Military Service Members and Families: Military Family Resources for Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day, a time to honor and remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the U.S. armed forces. While typically reserved to honor military service members, Memorial Day is also a time to recognize and support military families as a whole;  military spouses, military…

8 Tips to Promote Brain Health & Cognitive Functioning as We Age

By Rachel Brauner Maintaining brain health and cognitive functioning is important for all individuals, but it becomes even more critical as we age. As we grow older, our brain undergoes changes that can impact our cognitive abilities, such as memory, attention, and reasoning. However, there are several strategies that we…

Food Security and Older Adults

By Anne Hogan Photo by Mike Jones/Pexels Food security, or the ability to access adequate, nutritious food, can affect anyone of any age. Older adults (people approximately 65 and older) are often at risk of food insecurity due to the physical and financial challenges of obtaining food and their unique…

Understanding SNAP and Food Security Resources for Military Families

By Kristen Jowers, MS MFT When you type "can military get" into an online search engine, one of the first auto-fill responses is, “Can military get food stamps?" Food costs rose more than 11% from 2021 to 2022, much faster than the annual average of 2% increase (USDA 2023). With…

Memorial Day: Remembering Those Who Have Died in Service

By Sara Croymans Across the nation, Memorial Day Services are held every year to honor the men and women who have died while serving in the U.S. military.  Oftentimes, the poem In Flanders Field is read at these services. I have often wondered about the origin of the poem.  During…

The Impact of Food Insecurity on Mental Health

When families experience food insecurity, hunger may be only one result. An often-overlooked factor of insufficient access to food is the detrimental impact on mental health. Adults with low food security are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and heightened stress . Socio-economic background, race, culture, and location all play…

High Interest Savings Options for Military Families

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the ninth time in March 2023, bringing the federal funds rate to between 4.75% to 5%. Higher Fed rates, designed to combat high inflation, raised interest charged on loans and variable-rate credit cards but also provided an opportunity for savers to earn higher…

Three Ways Service Providers Can Expand Food Security in Their Communities

In 2021, 33.8 million people living in the United States were food insecure (Weeks et al, 2023). Food security is defined by the USDA as, “Access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members” (OPA).  Frequent relocations, barriers to spousal employment, and the…

Liver: Just a “Detox” Organ?

By Megan Ng “Detox” and “cleanse” are health buzzwords that are frequently associated with the liver and its role in our body. With those connections being drawn constantly, it is understandable for many of us to believe that the liver is only capable of those two functions. Although the liver…

Food Security Matters for Adolescent Wellbeing

By Karen Shirer, PhD A recent study shows how food security matters for the well-being of military-connected youth and young adults (Burnette et al., 2023). Researchers surveyed 1,568 adolescents in 2009 and again in 2018. They tracked their health behaviors related to weight during their teen years. Here are some…

Mental Health Awareness: Tips for Finding Appropriate Professional Help

By: Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in 2021, an estimated 57.8 million adults (or more than one in five US adults) experienced some form of mental illness. However, only 47.2% received mental health services. As we recognize Mental Health Awareness Month in May we…

Expanding Food Security in Military Families

Since 2010, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Department of Defense have supported OneOp in delivering evidence-based programming focused on improving the well-being of military families.  This year, the newest series within the Military Family Readiness Academy streamlines the efforts of these two agencies into a…

Shrinkflation: How Military Families Can Fight Back

One cause of food insecurity among military families is inflation. As food costs rise, the ability to make nutritionally sound food purchases and maintain consistent access to food decreases. In February 2023, food prices were 9.5% higher than a year earlier according to the USDA Economic Research Service. Another cause of…

Social Determinants of Health for Military Families in Transition

By Jenny Rea, Ph.D. Arizona is home to 500,000+ service members, veterans, and their families. I recently had the opportunity to attend the Arizona Coalition for Military Families’ 13th Annual Statewide Symposium in Phoenix. This annual event is Arizona’s only conference that brings together the military, government, and community. The…

Medicaid-Related Efforts to Address Food & Nutrition Security

By Lily Byars Since its inception in 1965, Medicaid has focused on healthcare treatment, prevention, and management. As a joint program between the state and federal government, Medicaid provides healthcare coverage for a large and diverse population including children, adults, the elderly, and some active-duty military families. Medicaid eligibility is…

What Service Members Need to Know About Amended Tax Returns

It happens more than you think. Taxpayers file a federal income tax return only to learn they missed a valuable tax credit, deduction, or adjustment or forgot to report a source of taxable income or remove a dependent. Between 3 to 4 million amended (a.k.a., Form 1040-X) tax returns are…

Mental Health Awareness and Support for Military Families

By Jason Jowers, MS, MFT May is Mental Health Awareness Month and National Military Appreciation Month. During this month of commemoration, celebration, and reflection, it is important to keep in mind the daily sacrifices that military service members and their families make and experience. It is also important to celebrate and…

Celebrate Military Spouses: Who Are They & What Are Their Challenges

By Sara Croymans Military spouses play a critical role in family readiness. They are often the organizers, the doers, the caregivers, and the ‘glue’ that holds military families together and contributes to their family’s health and well-being. It is only right that we pause to provide special recognition to these…

Tips for Grandparents Raising Grandkids

By Rachel Brauner According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 2.7 million grandparents responsible for raising their grandchildren in 2019, and this number is projected to continue to rise. Nearly 8 million children in the United States live in households headed by grandparents or other relatives (Lofquist, D. et…

Twelve Ways to Teach Personal Finance to Military Families

April is Financial Literacy Month and Month of the Military Child. Needless to say, there are many “hooks” for Personal Financial Managers to engage with clients around personal finance concepts. Below are 12 interactive teaching strategies to consider:

Let’s Go Camping! Summer Camps for Military Kids and Teens

By Jason Jowers, MS, MFT PexelsSummertime is right around the corner and kids will be finishing up the school year before we know it. With the summer months coming up, many kids will be gearing up for summer camp opportunities as well. And for military kids, there are a number of…

Spotlight on Youth Mental Well-Being in Military Families

By Karen Shirer, Ph.D. The popular media continues to draw attention to the national mental well-being crisis among children and youth, including those in military families. The CBS television station affiliate in Minnesota, WCCO-4, recently aired a three-part series on the pandemic’s impact on youth mental health. The reporter, Esme…

The Sandwich Generation: Providing Care for Both Older Adults & Children

By Rachel Brauner The "sandwich generation" is a term used to describe adults who find themselves caring for both their aging parents and their own children simultaneously. Nearly one-quarter of adults who provide care for at least one parent over the age of 65 also take care of at least…

IECMH Follow-Up Resources

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) is crucial to consider in promoting children’s healthy development. There are ways to promote IECMH and factors that may influence it. In this blog we share resources regarding (1) materials to educate families and providers on healthy and unhealthy signs of IECMH and…

Resources for Food Insecure Military Families

The statistics are startling! An academic synthesis of empirical studies of food insecurity in military families from the 2010s decade found about 15% of military families- 1 in 7- experienced some level of food insecurity at some point. A more recent study authorized by the Department of Defense placed the…

Healthy Eating Resources for Families Facing Food Insecurity

By Jason Jowers, MS, MFT PexelsAs any parent can tell you, it can be tough to get your kids to eat healthy foods. Proper nutrition is an important part of raising happy and healthy families. But what happens when proper nutrition is difficult to obtain? Not having enough food to eat…

Youths’ Educational Pathways: Why Belonging Matters

By Joanna Tzenis, Ph.D., adapted by, Karen Shirer, Ph.D., Supporting youths’ education and career pathways requires more than ensuring they do well in school. Belonging provides the foundation for young people’s educational success. What does belonging look like in Youth Development Programs (YDPs) and schools? Consider your experience as a…

A Commitment to Collaboration for Military-Connected Student Success

It is critical that when forging family-to-practice partnerships (FPPs), collaborators approach one another with an understanding of the myriad of roles we each play in our work and home lives. Whether you are a school professional, a family member, or military personnel, we are each someone plus. We each have…

Shopping for Supplements: Vitamin D

By Megan Ng Image by Angel Sinigersky/Unsplash. Even with longer days and more opportunities for sunshine, many of us still do not receive adequate amounts of the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D. However sun exposure alone cannot support all of our Vitamin D needs, incorporating supplementation with a healthful and balanced…

How to Select a Mutual Fund: Key Criteria

Personal Financial Managers often get questions about mutual funds and the Thrift Savings Plan’s Mutual Fund Window (MFW). The first mutual fund opened in 1924 and is still in existence today. Since then, generations of investors have faced the task of selecting mutual funds that are appropriate for their investment…

The LGBTQ+ Military Community: Resources for Service Professionals

By Jason Jowers, MS, MFT Many special considerations should take place for service professionals working with military service members and their families who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community. The intersectionality of LGBTQ+ identity and military culture is nuanced and has oftentimes been a clash of values and lifestyles. Service…

The Military Teen Experience 2022: “Military Teens Need Well-Being Support”

By Jenny Rea, Ph.D.,  April is the Month of the Military Child and it is a time to celebrate military kids and highlight the ways in which they are resilient through various changes and transitions. This month can serve as a reminder to always recognize the role that military kids…

The Two Loops of Food System Transformation

The Two Loop Theory of Organizational Change can help service providers and others working within systems in need of transformation understand the roles we can play in changing those systems. Understanding these roles helps resolve the tension between our need to help people and our desire to avoid enabling the…

Strategies to Encourage Healthy Eating for Young Children

In the recent OneOp webinar, Increasing Children’s Fruit and Vegetable Exposure: Tools for Practitioners Serving Families Experiencing Limited Income, Dr. Taren Swindle and Dr. Julie Rutledge provided evidence-based practices early childhood professionals can use to promote positive eating habits. In this blog, we describe the four evidence-based practices, provide specific…

A ChatGPT Primer for Personal Financial Managers

Since launching in November 2022, ChatGPT has become the fastest technology tool to reach 100 million users…ever. Some are calling it “the next transformational platform.” Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) may field questions about ChatGPT or consider its use in their work.

Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S): Evaluating the Impact on Health and Performance Your Questions Answered

Over 200 participants attended this free webinar Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S): Evaluating the Impact on Health and Performance offered by the OneOp Nutrition and Wellness Team.  There was a lively discussion and many questions in the chat pod. 

Mental Health in Very Young Children: Defining, Recognizing, and Understanding

The Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) field has grown tremendously with advances in science showing the intricate links between early childhood experiences and later mental and physical health. The COVID-19 pandemic has, even more, amplified the focus on mental health. Indeed, 10-16% of young children may experience mental…

Research Briefs for Financial Educators

Personal finance research informs high-quality financial education briefings, publications, and one-on-one financial counseling sessions with clients. Below are findings and implications for practice from three recent studies:

Aligning with Parents to Support Children Exhibiting Difficult Behaviors

As service professionals who work directly with military families, we have a great responsibility to support the children who accompany service members. Military parents have unique stressors such as deployments, frequent relocations, and the demands of their military duties that require special attention when managing their child's challenging behaviors.

How the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) Can Affect Your Benefits

By Rhonda Romero and Rachel Brauner There is a lot of confusion surrounding the Social Security Administration's (SSA) Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and whether it goes into effect when you are collecting military retirement and/or Veterans Affairs (VA) disability. WEP only goes into effect for retirement benefits. You may be…

Strong Collaborations are Necessary for Military-Connected Student Success

Strong collaborative partnerships have been shown to improve many different educational outcomes for students. Yet, the work and skills required for strong partnerships are often overlooked. Let’s consider just how much planning goes into one successful school day.  Each day, when a child wakes up,  a family member usually has…

Get to Know the New Social Security Statement

Military service members can collect both Social Security benefits and military retirement benefits, and in many cases, Social Security is a key component of military families’ future income. Therefore, it is important that service members regularly check their personal Social Security statement to learn about future benefits and review reported…

Addressing Barriers to Medical Nutrition Therapy

By Anne Hogan According to the CDC, Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) affects 15% of adults, mostly over the age of 65 (2022). While CKD does not have a cure, one of the best ways to slow the disease progression is to receive Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) from a Registered Dietitian…

Go Beyond the Webinar| Increasing Children’s Fruit and Vegetable Exposure: Tools for Practitioners Serving Families Experiencing Limited Income

On March 1st, 2023, OneOp hosted a webinar called “Increasing Children’s Fruit and Vegetable Exposure: Tools for Practitioners Serving Families Experiencing Limited Income.” This webinar featured Dr. Julie Rutledge and Taren Swindle, two fantastic academic professors that shared their expertise on working with families experiencing limited income and how that…

Improve your Youth and Family Programs with Experiential Learning

Experiential learning is more than just a hands-on approach to learning. For one thing, experiential learning doesn’t always mean physically using your hands. Learning can be just as fun and effective when engaging in a discussion as when playing a game or making muffins.

Preparing Fruits and Vegetables for Picky Eaters

By Megan Ng  Image by Alex Green from Pexels Broccoli can be equivalent to a monster under the bed for some children. For some families, getting their little one to eat a fruit or vegetable hardly ever goes down without a fight. These revolts against fruits and vegetables are quite…

Motivating Clients to Adopt Positive Financial Behaviors

Personal Financial Managers frequently find themselves in the position of encouraging clients to adopt positive financial behaviors such as increased savings and reduced debt and spending. This is not always easy.

Invisible Injuries: Recognizing Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month

Active-duty military service members, especially those that face combat situations, can oftentimes sustain injuries in the line of duty. Physical injuries are much more apparent, which leave physical signs of the trauma sustained. However, there are also many invisible injuries that can be just as traumatic and can affect the…

Key factors in Determining Whether an Individual Receives SSDI vs. SSI

By Rhonda Romero, Public Affairs Specialist, SSA The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides several federal benefits programs and resources to seniors and individuals with disabilities. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are two of the most common programs. SSDI pays disability benefits to you and certain…

Smart Uses for 2022 Tax Year Refunds

Much has been written about average 2022 tax refunds being smaller than those received by taxpayers in 2020 and 2021. Some taxpayers who previously received refunds could even have a tax bill.

The Spectrum of Prevention: A Framework to Tackle Food Insecurity in Military Families

By Jenny Rea, Ph.D. Did you know… 25% of active-duty spouses reported food insecurity in 2021? The 2021 Survey of Active Duty Spouses found that 27% of families with children under six experienced food insecurity. Among this same group of active-duty spouses, 41% were unemployed. These findings echo those mentioned…

Teaching Children to Choose Healthy Foods

By Anne Hogan Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels Many parents and caregivers understand the importance of nutrition for young children. However, encouraging children to make healthy choices can be very challenging. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, children develop food preferences and establish eating habits during the…

9 Things You Should Know About the DoD Survivor Benefit Plan

Service providers, especially Personal Financial Managers, often have conversations with their clients about preparing their families for the future. The DoD Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) is an important planning consideration for military families. Below are 9 key takeaways that Personal Financial Managers need to know.

Off to College: Preparing Military Teens for Post-Secondary Education

Military teens grow up with their own unique set of challenges. From parental deployments to relocation, teens in military families have learned to be flexible and resilient. That flexibility and resilience can be a great benefit when teens are planning their next steps after high school graduation.

Let’s Talk About Nutrition Security

Food insecurity is about not having the resources to pay for food. Service members are three times more likely to experience food insecurity than their civilian counterparts making a comparable income.

Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S): Not Just a Problem for Female Athletes

By Megan Ng Image from Pexels When we think of eating behaviors and sports, many of us may assume that issues arising in that realm are exclusive to female athletes. However, male athletes are equally as vulnerable to irregular eating behaviors. As such, Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) has…

Expanding Military Spouse Employment Opportunities Through Fellowship Program Pilot

By Coral Owen, M.S. Meaningful employment of military spouses relates directly to family satisfaction within the military and overall force readiness. With nearly a quarter of military spouses experiencing unemployment, this is an urgent area of focus. DOD’s Taking Care of Our People directive outlines the need to expand employment…

To Reduce Food Waste, Have a Purpose & a Plan

By Jenna Anding, Ph.D., R.D., L.D. With rising food costs, many of our military families are exploring ways to stretch their grocery budgets. Reducing food waste is one place to start. Nearly 30% of the edible food in the United States is wasted every year, amounting to approximately 28 pounds…

Income Tax Planning Tips for 2023

Income tax season for tax year 2022 (1/1/22-12/31/22) ends April 18, 2023. Whether taxpayers have already prepared their 2022 tax return, or it is still a work in progress, it is not too early to begin tax planning for 2023. Below is a summary of four 2023 tax law changes…

Kids Need Support Too! Self-Care for Military Kids

Everyday stressors can really run down the average family on an ongoing basis. Meal planning, scheduling, and personal and professional stress can cause a great deal of anxiety and can trickle down to kids in the family. And for military families, the pressure is even stronger when you add in…

Making Valentine’s Day a Year-Round Celebration for Military Couples

Military couples can take action to maintain and strengthen their relationships, also called relationship maintenance (Knobloch et al., 2022). Research shows that these actions make a positive difference in couple relationships. In addition, when couples take these actions year-round, they lead to greater relationship well-being and resilience.

3 Types of Caregiver Stress

By Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D. Caregiver stress, also known as caregiver burden, refers to the physical, emotional, and psychological strain experienced by people who provide care for a loved one or family member who is elderly, chronically ill, disabled, or has a mental health condition. Caring for someone can be a…

Beyond Recreation: Addressing Food Insecurity Among Military Families Through Hunting, Angling and Wild Meat Donation

By Keith Tidball, Ph.D. Background Nearly 25% of active-duty military families face food security challenges. (1) Service members and their families may experience circumstances such as limited income, high cost of living, and financial commitments that increase their likelihood of being food insecure. For some lower-ranking active-duty service members who…

It’s Income Tax Season: What’s New in 2022?

It’s officially income tax season and tax returns for tax year 2022 (1/1/22- 12/31/22) are due on April 18, 2023. Many taxpayers are now receiving- and organizing- W-2 forms for salary income, 1099 forms for a wide variety of income sources (e.g., self-employment, royalties, pensions and annuities, dividends, interest, government…

Family Rest & Reconnection: Therapeutic Retreats for Military Service Members and their Families

On a recent flight home, I had the privilege of sitting next to a military service member returning home from a 6-month deployment. We made small talk, and she shared that her husband was also in the service and that they both got deployed around the same time, to separate…

Three Strategies to Better Meet Military Families’ Needs

Military-connected populations, including military families, face unique needs and barriers in finding services and care for family members.

Personal Rules & How they Guide Our Caregiving Decisions

By Mary Brintinall-Peterson, Ph.D. Our caregiver identity is integrated with our other identities. Each of our identities comes with roles, responsibilities, and tasks. Your roles vary with each identity (mother, caregiver, wife, etc.) and have responsibilities like nurse, companion, cook, and many others.  These responsibilities have tasks (distributing meds, grocery…

Preparing for Student Loan Payment Resumption

Payments on federal student loans are currently suspended, without interest, until sometime in 2023. In early January, the exact start-up date for payment resumption is unknown due to ongoing litigation regarding the proposed student loan debt forgiveness plan to cancel up to $20,000 of debt held by eligible borrowers. 

Risk and Resilient Factors of Military-Connected Youth

Various studies have found a number of risk factors that have been linked to adverse outcomes for military-connected youth. Deployments, especially cumulative deployment experiences, have been associated with increased depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, substance use, and lowered academic engagement and achievement (Sullivan et al., 2021). 

Seeing Yourself in Networks Supporting Military Families

In my experience working with human networks, I’ve found that one of the best ways to help people start working as part of a network is to show them they are in a network.

Knowing Yourself is Key to Reducing Caregiver Stress

By Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D Caregiving changes who you are and can lead to stress as you care for the care receiver. Knowing yourself is the key to reducing stress caused by caregiving. Sounds easy—right? The reality is that it’s difficult to truly discover the “why” of our actions and feelings…

After the Webinar: Final 2022 Personal Finance Events

On December 6, 2022, OneOp held its eighth annual Personal Finance Year in Review webinar. During the 3½ weeks between the webinar and December 31, several additional noteworthy events occurred. Below are five topical updates:

Fueling Your Fitness Goals

If your New Year’s resolution is to improve your health, you’re not alone. In fact, this year, the top two New Year’s resolutions in the US are to exercise more and to eat healthier

Give the Gift of Resilience to Yourself and Others

By Karen Shirer, Ph.D. Resilience is a perfect gift to give others. It costs little or nothing, and makes a positive difference in our own and other people’s lives.  I recently read an article on how leaders and managers can promote resilience in their organizations. It got me thinking that…

Research Briefs for Financial Educators: Trust, Financial Capability, and Health

Personal finance research informs high-quality financial education briefings, publications, and 1:1 financial counseling sessions with clients. Below are findings and implications for practice from three recent studies:

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month: Talking About Consent

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and an integral part of promoting healthy relationships among teens is talking about consent. According to Teen Dating Violence @TeenDVMonth, “Approximately one in three high school students will be involved in abusive relationships” (2021).

Uplifting the Mental Health of LGBTQ+ Youth

An estimated 5% of the 1.76 million youth in military families identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Queer. Surveyed LGBTQ youth with a parent currently serving in the military that experienced high levels of family support reported lower mental health challenges and suicide risk (Trevor Project, 2022). When youth…

Trends in the Relationship Changes of Military Couples During the Reunion Period

The reunion of military couples following deployment is a long-awaited occasion marked by joy, relief, and celebration. However, the reintegration period constitutes a pivotal transition for military couples, and navigating the relationship changes that occur following homecoming can be very challenging.

Strategies for Caregiver Conversations using “I” Messages

By Rachel Brauner Where we approach, the words that we use, our relationship, and the tone that we use can impact the start of a conversation. As caregivers, being able to communicate effectively is one of our most important tools. The goal of good communication is to have all parties…

Significance of Sunlight and Vitamin D During the Winter

Many people know that vitamin D is a nutrient we get through sunlight.  However, only taking advantage of the scant days of sunlight within the dark, gray months of winter may not be adequate for your vitamin D needs.

Fraud-Fighting Tips for Service Members

A key message that Personal Financial Managers must impart to service members is that everyone is responsible for securing their own personal identification information to reduce the risk of fraud. By the time law enforcement or government agencies get involved, data and/or money have already been stolen. Below are seven…

Helping Service Members Overcome Stress and Anxiety Challenges

It’s a new year and many of us are getting back into the swing of things after the recent holiday break. Everyone is getting back to work prioritizing their to-do lists for the upcoming year. Many military service members and their families are doing the same. There are many great…

Relationship Changes of Military Couples During Reintegration

By Alex Hietpas and Lynne Knobloch-Fedders Reunion following deployment is a momentous occasion for military service members and their partners. However, homecoming is only the first day of a long and important transition for military couples, and navigating the relationship changes that occur can be quite challenging.  A recent study…

That’s the Ticket: Exploring Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health

Infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH) refers to the development of secure relationships with adults and peers, the ability to manage and express a range of emotions, and explore their environment in the context of their family, community, and culture (Zero to Three, 2017). This four-part webinar series for…

Collaborative Connections: Working Together for Military-Student Success

About the Series: Approximately 80-90% of school-aged children in military families attend school in their local school district. Students and their families face unique circumstances related to military service and individual educational needs. A variety of education and family support professionals exist on the military installation and within local schools…

Strategies to “Liven Up” Financial Education Briefings

On an evaluation survey from a recent OneOp webinar, a participant indicated an interest in learning strategies to “liven up” financial education briefings and increase participant interaction. Below are a dozen interactive teaching methods for Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) to consider:

Leveraging the Unique Capabilities of the Cooperative Extension System to Enhance Military Family Readiness

By Coral Owen, M.S. The well-being of families in the military is essential to the Department of Defense (DoD) and its goals for service readiness (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2019). Historically, DoD programs and resources were designed for the service member, but research shows that family-related factors…

Taking Care of Our People

By Sara Croymans In a September 2022 memorandum Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III stated: “The Department of Defense has a sacred obligation to take care of our Service members and families. Doing so is a national security imperative. Our military families provide the strong foundation for our Force,…

2022 Military Personal Finance Year in Review

In December 2022, OneOp held its eighth annual webinar to review noteworthy personal finance events. Among the topics discussed were high inflation, Federal Reserve interest rate hikes, increased mortgage interest rates and car prices, Series I U.S. savings bonds, and stock market volatility. The webinar also described the following military-specific…

How to Use an E-Reader App for Professional Development

By Karen Shirer, Ph.D Have you ever wondered what to do with the insights from all the books you read?  -Eva Keiffenheim Reading books can be an important part of professional development for those of us who support military families. The OneOp 2022 Military Family Readiness Academy even held a…

Boosting your Workforce Resiliency in the New Year

By Rachel Brauner and Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D. Workforce resilience is used to describe a work environment in which employees can better adapt to adverse situations, manage stress, and retain motivation (Center for Strategies & International Studies, 2022). Employers are facing a burnout crisis brought on by the pandemic—with employees reporting mental health…

Research Briefs for Financial Educators: Veterans, Early Retirement, Financial Fragility

Personal finance research informs high-quality financial education briefings, publications, and 1:1 financial counseling sessions with clients. Below are findings and implications for practice from three recent studies:

Health and Wellness Programs for Military Families

Each year, many families create resolutions to introduce healthy habits into their lives. These habits often include goals around physical activity, nutrition, and self-care. Incorporating health and wellness practices can help reduce the stress that military families experience throughout the year. By getting the whole family involved, self-care becomes embedded…

Planning a Nutritious Holiday Menu

The winter holidays are just around the corner, and many of us are preparing to make our favorite holiday dishes. As you plan your menu, keep in mind all the creative and delicious ways you can increase the nutritional value of your meals.

Financial Education Insights for Service Providers

Whether you have been a financial practitioner for decades or are fairly new to the field, there are always things to learn about effective financial education. Below are insights for service providers working with military families:

Hope for the Holidays: Military Family Mental Health

The holiday season in the U.S. is typically a time of being thankful, spreading joy, and spending time with our loved ones. We often think of the holidays as a happy time, but for many, the holidays can bring on tough emotions of sadness, separation, and loneliness.

The D-Word – Part 3: Supporting Military Families After Deployment

By Jenny Rea, Ph.D. I remember this day as if it were yesterday: It was January 28th, 2012, and it had been 9 months since I had seen my (then) boyfriend (now husband). He had deployed just after my junior year of college, and I was absolutely devastated when he…

Coming to Reflection “On Slant”

Reflection is an important part of learning about and developing our practice as professionals, but looking inward is not always easy to do.

Year-End Tax Planning Strategies

December is “crunch time” to complete actions for the current tax year (2022) to reduce income taxes and plan ahead for next year (2023). Military families, like all taxpayers, have a number of tax planning strategies at their disposal. Below are five tax topics that Personal Financial Managers may want…

OneOp 2022 Year in Review on SBCY Series, Suicide Prevention, TBI related issues, and more

2022 has been a fantastic year for our team! We have hit record highs with live webinar attendance as well as soaring numbers of views of our on-demand programming via our YouTube page. We have also distributed an amazing amount of continuing education credits for our ever-growing audience based on…

The D-Word – Part 2: Assisting Military Families Through Deployment

By Jenny Rea, Ph.D. As you might recall from Part 1 of this deployment blog post series, the term “deployment” often receives a bad rap. This is due to the fact that deployments have been recognized as the most stressful aspect of military life. In fact, the most significant changes…

Caregiver’s Christmas Wish List

By Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D. The holiday season is here, and everyone is busy shopping and getting ready for the holidays. A big part of the season is giving and receiving gifts. Gifts come in all shapes and sizes and there is a trend toward giving more than materialistic items. I’ve…

Helpful Hints for Healthy Habits

As 2022 comes to an end, the pressure to form and commit to new habits is high. Aggressive “new year, new me” messages can lead to rushed planning and quick burnout.

Smart Holiday Spending and Debt Repayment

In December, many Personal Financial Managers field questions from military families about holiday shopping and subsequent debt repayment. Below are some tips to share with clients:

The D-Word – Part 1: Preparing Military Families for Deployment

By Jenny Rea, Ph.D. The word “deployment” often receives a bad rap. This is likely due to the fact that deployments have been recognized as the most stressful aspect of military life. While each stage of the deployment cycle has specific emotional challenges, the pre-deployment stage is likely the most…

5 Tips to Stave Off the Holiday Blues

By Rachel Brauner and Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D. “May your days be merry and bright and may all your christmases be white.” Lyrics most often heard around the holidays, but for many, the holidays are not always merry and bright. For caregivers, the holidays can be a time of a rise…

Special Insurance Needs of Military Families

Life is full of surprises and some of them are expensive. As a result, many people transfer the risk of potential loss to a third-party insurance company. Due to the nature of military life, service members and their families have unique insurance needs.

Caregivers: The Key to Successful Youth Assessment and Treatment

Caregivers create the spaces in which we grow, learn, explore, and love. Whether you are working with children, teens, young adults, or older adults, the caregivers supporting them are vital to their lives and well-being. This is also the case when engaging youth, adults, and families in the clinical realm.…

The Impact of Deployment on the Parents of Service Members

By Jenny Rea, Ph.D. Despite the unique challenges that service members face, positive family relationships can serve as a valuable resource in navigating the deployment process, especially for those with limited other support.  Studies (e.g., Crow et al., 2016; Gewirtz et al., 2010; Polusny et al., 2011) on the impact of…

Hunting and Eating Game Meat as a Path to Enhancing Food Security Among Military Families

By Keith Tidball, PhD Across CONUS, big game hunting seasons are kicking off, and the most popular game animal, the white-tailed deer, will begin making appearances in freezers and in some family meals.  Military family practitioners may benefit from being aware of both the food security and nutritional possibilities of…

Honoring our Nations Family Caregivers: Tips for Providers

By Rachel Brauner Every November, we honor and recognize the more than 90 million Americans caring for a loved one. National Family Caregivers Month (NFCM) offers an opportunity to raise awareness of caregiving issues, educate communities, and increase support for caregivers. Family caregivers, many unpaid, are the backbone of long-term…

Does Money Buy Happiness?

A common concern of Personal Finance Managers (PFMs) is their clients’ financial well-being and happiness. According to research conducted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), there are four elements of financial well-being

Ward off the Winter Blues

The shorter days and chillier temperatures can significantly affect our mental health. During the winter months, many of us leave, return to the house when it is dark, and go outside less because of the cold.

Go Beyond the Webinar| Suicide Prevention and Intimate Partner Violence

On October 27th, 2022, OneOp  hosted a webinar called “Suicide Prevention and Intimate Partner Violence.” This webinar was the second of two webinars featuring Dr. Elizabeth “Gizzy” Gray, the Associate Director of Policy and Legislation with the Defense Suicide Prevention Office (DSPO). September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and we…

Engaging military-connected youth: A simple person-centered practice

By Darcy Cole; adaptd by Karen Shirer Recently, Darcy Cole, a University of Minnesota Extension YD Educator, described the importance of using person-centered thinking when working with youth in your programs. This type of thinking provides a way to empower youth to be their own voice and advocate for themselves…

2022 Personal Finance Year in Review

Events are offered on different platforms accessible on and off military installations. Many events offer continuing education credits and/or certificates of attendance. Check each event for specific details.

The Caregiver Conflict: Tips for Providers Working with Families

Events are offered on different platforms accessible on and off military installations. Many events offer continuing education credits and/or certificates of attendance. Check each event for specific details.

Using Family-Centered Strategies to Address Challenges

Events are offered on different platforms accessible on and off military installations. Many events offer continuing education credits and/or certificates of attendance. Check each event for specific details.

Coping With High Inflation: Year 2

An August 2021 OneOp  blog post presented eight money-saving hacks to cope with inflation. At that time, the 12-month percentage change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 5.3% and rising. Thirteen months later, the CPI change in September 2022 was 8.2%, after having reached a 9.1% peak in June.

Reading the Nutrition Facts Label

The Nutrition Facts label is on all packaged foods in the US. Its primary purpose is to inform consumers of the nutrients contained in each food item.

Go Beyond the Webinar| Suicide Prevention and Working with Military Families

On September 20th, 2022, OneOp hosted a webinar called “Suicide Prevention and Working with Military Families.” This webinar was the first of two webinars featuring Dr. Elizabeth “Gizzy” Gray, the Associate Director of Policy and Legislation with the Defense Suicide Prevention Office (DSPO). September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and…

Celebrate National Veterans and Military Families in the Month of November

By Sara Croymans Every November, the Defense Department, and the military community celebrates military families and transitioning veterans during National Veterans and Military Families Month (NVMFM). President Biden states in his proclamation statement that: “during National Veterans and Military Families Month, we pay homage to the unrelenting bravery and dedication…

Understanding Medicaid for Service Members & Military Families

By Christopher Plein, Ph.D. Through my work, I often give presentations on topics relating to federal and state health policies and programs. Some of these presentations focus on the study of these topics, others on their application. One key takeaway is that health related policies are in constant development, the…

Overcoming Challenges with Tele-Intervention

In this fourth and final webinar in our series Going Virtual, we will wrap up with a discussion that focuses on two things: 1) what we learned from partnering with families virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 2) how we can use what we learned to overcome and address challenges…

Research Briefs for Financial Educators: Knowledge, Gen Z Education, Illiteracy, and Stimulus Payments

Personal finance research informs high-quality financial education briefings, publications, and 1:1 financial counseling sessions with clients. Below are findings and implications for practice from four recent studies:

Looking to Nature for Lessons on Interdependence

In her book, Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer writes about the cooperative relationship of corn, beans, and squash, the “Three Sisters.” For thousands of years, Indigenous people in North America have planted these three species together.

Moving from resilience to thriving: Supporting military-connected youth and families

By Karen Beranek; adapted by Karen Shirer Resilience in the face of unprecedented challenges For much of the past two years, youth in military-connected families have focused their energy on being resilient and building coping and adapting skills in the face of challenges. COVID-19, racial injustice, and family economic instability…

Money Misperceptions of Young Adults

Misperceptions are widely-held, but false, beliefs or an incorrect understanding of topics, concepts, or events. A challenge that personal financial managers and other financial educators face is addressing persistent money misperceptions held by clients, particularly those who lack financial education and/or experience.

Practicing Gratitude and Building Better Thoughts

Gratitude is the practice of being actively thankful. Gratitude also nurtures a sense of community, as practicing gratitude positions individuals in a mindset of acknowledging good things (internally and externally) and the positives gained from outside of oneself. 

Military Retirement Benefit Basics: Part 2

Last week, we shared 5 key takeaways from the recent webinar about retirement benefits for active duty service members and those in the National Guard and Reserve components. Below are four more takeaways from the webinar, presented by Mark Overberg, Director of Army Retirement Services:

Resource Discovery: Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Supporting military families in many different facets of their lives is both challenging and rewarding for many clinicians around the world. Military families face unique challenges but also are affected by many of the same issues that their civilian counterparts face. One of those hard issues that many families all…

Helping Youth Build Skills to Interrupt Bias

By Karyn Santl and adapted by Karen Shirer Becoming anti-racist or an ally of differently-abled persons is an ongoing learning and growth process. One action we can take is to build our skills to interrupt biases or stereotypes when encountering them. Interruptions are: Often an attempt to stop a present…

October Is National Farm to School Month!

By Moira M. Tidball, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Seneca County, and Keith G. Tidball, Ph.D. Cornell University, OneOp Community Capacity Building Malnutrition and food security are critical components of community capacity and military family readiness and resilience. An important part of community capacity for military families is the ability to…

National Disability Employment Awareness Month – How Does it Apply to Me?

By Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D. This month we celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) to mark the important roles employees with disabilities and employers play in maintaining a productive, diverse and inclusive workforce. According to the Department of Labor, the theme for this year’s NDEAM is “Disability: Part of the…

Military Retirement Benefit Basics: Part 1

The OneOp Personal Finance team recently held a webinar about retirement benefits for active duty service members and those in the National Guard and Reserve components. Below are several key take-aways from the webinar, presented by Mark Overberg, Director of Army Retirement Services:

Personal and Societal Burden of NAFLD

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is becoming a major health concern in the US. As the issue continues to grow, it is essential to understand the major causes and risks of NAFLD and the burden the disease places on individuals and the public.

What to Expect from the OneOp PSB-CY Clinical Assessment and Treatment Overview Courses

Our Problematic Sexual Behavior in Children and Youth (PSB-CY) Overview Course Series has officially launched! To access the courses, go to our OneOp PSB-CY Overview Courses page and click on the purple Course Enrollment button. These four asynchronous courses mark the next phase of programming in our OneOp Sexual Behavior…

The Military Family as a Cultural Identity – Supporting Families in Transition

By: Jenny Rea, Ph.D. “Only recently has the military service been recognized as a cultural identity that can impact treatment in mental health services” (Ormeno et al., 2020). Culture is defined as “the shared characteristics of a group of people, which encompasses place of birth, religion, language, cuisine, social behaviors,…

Tips for an Inclusive Halloween for Children with Special Needs

By Rachel Brauner and Andrew Crocker Halloween is right around the corner, and we have a few helpful tips for parents, caregivers, and neighbors in creating an inclusive Halloween experience for trick-or-treaters with disabilities. With these helpful tips, you are one step closer to creating an accessible Halloween and safe…

Development of NAFLD

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a condition caused by a build-up of fat in liver cells. In a healthy body, the liver removes toxins and produces bile, a protein that breaks down fat into fatty acids to be digested (Definition & Facts of NAFLD & NASH, n.d.).

Research Briefs for Financial Educators: Life Insurance, Health, Illiteracy, and Gen Z

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected] Life Insurance - This study by Heo et al. examined the role of psychological characteristics (e.g., locus of control, financial self-efficacy, financial and life satisfaction), in addition to demographic traits, in demand for life insurance. Results showed respondents who had a higher external locus…

Moving Toward Interdependence

The conversation Jessica Beckendorf and I recently had with consultant, speaker and facilitator Bjørn Peterson for the Practicing Connection podcast has me doing a lot of thinking about independence, interdependence and individualism. These three concepts play a big role in how each of us sees the world and approaches working…

Finding Safe Harbors in Turbulent Times

By Karen Shirer Summary During times of turbulent change like we’re currently facing, family professionals serving military families need to find safe harbors to ensure their well-being and resilience. Safe harbors consist of self-care practices that strengthen positivity and reduce negativity in our lives.  OneOp provides a variety of resources…

Social Security and Disability 101 for Financial Educators

The OneOp Military Caregiving and Personal Finance teams recently provided a webinar titled Social Security and Disability 101. The webinar discussed Social Security disability benefits, the SSDI and SSI programs, and other programs that help service members with disabilities.

Compassion Fatigue

By Emily Becher and Emily Krekelberg; adapted by Sara Croymans What is compassion fatigue?  Compassion fatigue (or compassion stress) can be referred to as the cost of caring and describes when someone experiences higher levels of stress because they care deeply and, the people they are caring for are going…

Is SSDI Similar to the VA’s Disability Compensation Benefits?

The short answer is no. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is actually very different from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) pays disability benefits to you and certain family members who meet the definition of disability if you worked long enough – and…

6 Tips for Successful EI Transitions for Military Families

When children move between early intervention (EI) programs or from EI to community programs such as early childhood special education (ECSE), the transitions can be stressful for any family, but military families may have additional, unique stressors associated with the transition process. When a family is relocating due to the…

Thrift Savings Plan Updates for 2022

The OneOp Personal Finance team recently held a webinar about dozens of changes in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). These changes became effective on June 1, 2022. Below is a summary of important TSP changes by category:

Looking Through a Social Justice Lens| A Look Back at the OneOp 2022 Military Family Readiness Academy

The OneOp 2022 Military Family Readiness Academy launched back in June of this year. The topic of this year’s MFRA is Family Well-being: Navigating the Social Justice Landscape. Consisting of three asynchronous courses and two-panel discussions with the course authors, this amazing suite of programming highlights lots of great opportunities…

Tips for Budget-Friendly Grocery Shopping

Buying food that is both affordable and nutritious can be a challenge, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are ways to attain a healthy and balanced diet while reducing your grocery bill.

Research Briefs for Financial Educators: Capability, Education, Investments, and Housing

Personal finance research informs high-quality financial education briefings, publications, and 1:1 financial counseling sessions with clients. Below are findings and implications for practice from four recent studies:

Self -Care Awareness Month| Self-Care for Clinicians and Professionals

Self-care is the concept of taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve your overall health, both physical and mental (National Institute of Health, 2021). When it comes to mental health, self-care can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, feel rejuvenated, and…

The Next Right Thing: Supporting Diverse Military Families in Transition with a Social Justice Lens

By Karen Shirer, Ph.D. Summary Diverse service members and their families face unique challenges related to diversity, equity, and inclusion when making a permanent change of station (PCS). Professionals who serve military families can provide support and guidance to diverse service members and their families in preparing for transitions. Professional…

Staying Healthy and Educated with SNAP and EFNEP

In a recent White House conference, the topics of hunger, nutrition, and health were discussed. Some of the country’s top nutrition and food challenges include the increase in diet-related disease, food insecurity, and increasing gaps in health access.

Money-Saving Tips for Uncertain Times

Between a four-decade record high for inflation (9.1% Consumer Price Index over the 12 months ending in June 2022) and rising interest rates as a result of recent Federal Reserve rate hikes, many Americans are being squeezed financially. This is especially true for people with low and moderate incomes as…

Assessing and Treating Problematic Sexual Behavior of Children & Youth| An Intro to OneOp’s PSB-CY Courses

To further the learning that has begun with this series,  we are taking this programming one step further. We are happy to announce the launch of our OneOp PSB-CY Clinical Assessment and Treatment Overview Courses. These four asynchronous courses will launch on October 13th, 2022!

Navigating Deployment — Strategies to Help Military Families

By Karen Shirer Summary Deployment may be a difficult process for military families, depending on their circumstances. Understanding a military family’s circumstances will help those who work with military families better support them.  The OneOp webinar, Navigating Deployment: Strategies to Help Military Families, provides evidence-based strategies for helping families navigate…

Estate Planning for Military Families

The OneOp Personal Finance team recently provided a webinar titled The Importance of Estate Planning for Military Families. The webinar discussed estate planning tools and techniques, document storage, and common estate planning myths.

What are Your Rocks and How Will You Prioritize Them Today?

Have you ever heard of the rocks, gravel, and sand metaphor?  I learned about this parable from Dr. Tai Mendenhall in a recently published webinar entitled, “The Realities of Resilience in the Face of Burnout.” Then,  I had the opportunity to converse with Tai on a more personal level through a…

National Suicide Prevention Month – Disability Resources from OneOp

By: Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D. September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. 45,979 people died by suicide in the United States in 2020. Alarmingly 12.2 million adults thought seriously about suicide, while 3.2 million adults made a plan and 1.2 million attempted to kill themselves (CDC, 2022). What is further known is…

Waste Not, Want Not: Stretching our Food Budget by Reducing Food Waste

By Jenna Anding, Ph.D. Caregivers tasked with preparing nutritious meals may be experiencing sticker shock. With rising food prices, many of us are looking for ways to stretch our food budgets. One place to start is by reducing the amount of food that we throw out. Studies suggest that as…

Ways Military Spouses Can Earn Income From Home: Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, we covered how military spouses can earn income through work-from-home or virtual positions. In this segment, we will discuss how they can earn income through owning a business of their own.

Providing Suicide Prevention Support to Military Families

The CDC notes that numerous factors may increase the risk for suicide or protect against it, but experiencing adverse events and violence does show connections to death by suicide. "For example, people who have experienced violence, including child abuse, bullying, or sexual violence have a higher suicide risk" (CDC.gov, 2022). As…

Ambiguous Loss

By Emily Becher and Emily Krekelberg; adapted by Sara Croymans  What is ambiguous loss?  Often when we talk about loss, it is to describe the experience of having someone or something in our lives and then its absence, with a clear line between the time before the loss and after.…

Resource Discovery: Social Security Blue Book

In our recent OneOp Military Caregiving webinar on Social Security and Disability 101 the presenter shared a key resource with participants from the Social Security Administration (SSA). What is this gem of a resource for providers, caregivers, and individuals with disabilities? It’s the Social Security Blue Book, formally known as…

Staying Safe in the Sun

The sun’s rays are at their highest intensity this time of year. Whether you are headed off to the beach or just taking a stroll around your neighborhood, it is important to practice sun safety.

Ways Military Spouses Can Earn Income From Home: Part 1

Military spouses face many challenges when it comes to having a career of their own. Military families can expect Permanent Change of Station orders (PCS) every few years or even be stationed abroad for extended periods. With the constant relocation necessary for military service, it can be difficult for spouses…

Understanding Food Insecurity for Military Families

This blog asks, how can we support military families to overcome food insecurity?

Strengthening Military Families’ Resilience and Readiness in an Uncertain World

By Karen Shirer, Ph.D. Summary The conflict in Ukraine is what the U.S. military has prepared and trained for to be ready when the need arises. Both service members and their families are on heightened alert. Family service providers play an important role in supporting military families through deployment and…

Ten Tips to Cope With Market Volatility

With respect to investments, the word “volatility” refers to sharp up and down movements in prices. For example, the last couple of months have been rough for investors as stocks officially entered the bear market territory. Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) are undoubtedly answering clients’ questions and calming frayed nerves.

Celebrating Family Fun Month for Military Families

This blog provides ideas and activities that military families can do together to connect.

Anticipatory Grief

By Emily Becher and Emily Krekelberg; adapted by Sara Croymans What is anticipatory grief?  Anticipatory grief is experiencing a sense of grief prior to a loss. Anticipatory grief can be protective, allowing someone to move through difficult emotions, and to emotionally prepare for the loss to come. In fact, some…

Financial Health: What It Is and How to Achieve It

Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) are in a position to monitor the financial health of military families. This post describes what financial health is, how to assess it, and the 12 steps to achieving it.

Alternative Approaches to Enhance Well-being among Veterans: An Approach for Military Families?

A community’s capacity to support military family readiness and resilience often depends on individual and familial health and well-being (Raeburn et al., 2006). An individual’s health and well-being is impacted by the quality of their surroundings including their exposure to nature. On the service member side, Total Force Fitness alludes…

Disability and Federal Benefits

By Christopher Plein, Ph.D.  A key factor in family readiness, be it in the military or civilian context, involves familiarity with resources that may need to be accessed in time of need. Two such important resources are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). According to federal…

Research Briefs for Financial Educators: Retirement, Financial Literacy, Online Calculators, Well-Being

Personal finance research informs high-quality financial education briefings, publications, and 1:1 financial counseling sessions with clients. Below are findings and implications for practice from four recent studies:

Anticipatory Stress

By Emily Becher and Emily Krekelberg; adapted by Sara Croymans What is anticipatory stress?  Anticipatory stress is experiencing an increased stress response in anticipation of a difficult or unpredictable situation. For military families, this might be a PCS (Permanent Change of Station), a pending deployment, or reintegration following deployment. There…

Can Active-Duty Service Members Apply for SSDI?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) pays disability benefits to you and certain family members who meet the definition of disability if you worked long enough – and recently enough – under Social Security. The Social Security Act defines disability as a person who cannot work due to a severe medical…

Service Members Can Be Millionaires: Tips for Building Wealth

Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) can change their clients’ lives dramatically by sharing information and tools to build wealth. One of their client’s most valuable financial resources is time for compound interest to work its magic on regular savings deposits such as Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) or Roth IRA contributions.

Celebrating Successful Paths of Parenthood

The journey on the road of parenthood paints a colorful patchwork picture that is as varied as the wildflower fields that spring up along our national highways. Before we are born, parents and our parental caregivers are already shaping who we will become. Parents are foundational figures in our development.…

Social Justice and Financial Literacy

Financial literacy is the ability to understand and apply personal financial management skills such as budgeting, saving, investing, and proper credit use, leading to an overall sense of financial well-being. In a recent survey of 2,000 Americans by The Harris Poll (2020), 89% of participants indicated their belief that a…

Mental Health Matters| Mental Health Resources for Underrepresented Populations

Underrepresented groups in the United States face unique struggles regarding mental illness. This includes the mental health needs of the Black community and other underrepresented communities like indigenous groups and people of color. BIPOC stands for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Other underrepresented groups also include members of the…

Engaging with Others to Build Cultural Competence in Early Childhood Settings

As a follow-up to OneOp’s 2018 Virtual Conference, the Family Transitions team produced a five-part podcast series, Moving Toward Inclusive Practice. In each podcast, Dr. Anne Phibbs shares tips and resources to help professionals become more inclusive and culturally informed. Dr. Phibbs’ content is designed to be relevant to professionals…

Teaching Children About Money

Financial education mandates have increased across the U.S. As of June 2022, 13 states require all students to take at least one semester of personal finance. In other states, personal finance is an elective or embedded within another course such as math, economics, or entrepreneurship.

A Look into the Nutrition Focused Physical Exam

A registered dietitian’s (RD) job reaches far beyond only discussing food choices. Dietitians have many tools that can be used to determine the nutritional state and needs of their patients.

July is Social Wellness Month: A Guide to Nurturing Relationships and Social Support

What is social wellness? According to Sara Littlefield at Silvercloud Health, “social wellness is the giving and receiving of social support to nurture yourself and others. Your friends, your family, your coworkers, the barista at your favorite coffee place – they’re all part of your social wellness and support network.”…

Asking Questions to Build Cultural Competence in Early Childhood Settings

As a follow-up to OneOp’s 2018 Virtual Conference, the Family Transitions team produced a five-part podcast series, Moving Toward Inclusive Practice. In each podcast Dr. Anne Phibbs shares tips and resources to help professionals become more inclusive and culturally informed. Dr. Phibbs’ content is designed to be relevant to professionals…

Research Briefs for Financial Educators: FinTech, Financial Literacy, Investing, and Retirement

Personal finance research informs high-quality financial education briefings, publications, and 1:1 financial counseling with clients. Below are findings and implications for practice from four recent studies:

Continue the Exploration: The Military Family Readiness Academy as a Learning Resource

By Christopher Plein, Ph.D.  This summer, our OneOp community has been sponsoring a Military Family Readiness Academy (MFRA) dedicated to the topic of Family Well-being: Navigating the Social Justice Landscape. The Academy provides a helpful gateway for professionals working with families in general, and military families in specific, to acquire…

Decentralized Systems and the Principles of Social Justice

Sometimes we need to be reminded about what is broken. Sometimes, when we are out there trying to improve ourselves, our communities, and our work, we can lose our connection with why we started down a particular path in the first place.

Together We Can Navigate the Social Justice Landscape

By Sara Croymans The OneOp 2022 Military Family Readiness Academy (Academy) Family Well-Being: Navigating the Social Justice Landscape focuses on individuals’ understanding of social justice and equity. Providers who work with military families will be helped to increase their understanding of privilege and oppression.  The 2022 Academy offers three free…

5 Tips for Culturally-Sustaining Practices for Virtual Visits

Adult learning principles can be applied to support caregiver learning during early intervention (EI) visits. These principles and practices can be useful across any time of home visiting or opportunities to partner with families. Here are five tips that can be universally applied to appreciate and help the family sustain…

Tips to Build a Diversified Investment Portfolio: Part 2

Many young service members learn about investing for the first time when they join the military and enroll in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Unless they took a personal finance course in high school or discussed investing with their parents, Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) are likely to be their first…

Caregiving Tips for Service Members & Veterans on 4th of July

The 4th of July or Independence Day is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the Declaration of Independence from Britain in 1776. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, family reunions and other ceremonies celebrating the history and traditions of the United States. Recognize Triggers But…

Engaging Fathers, Empowering Families

There are more than 1.3 million Active-Duty military service members. And of that, Military OneSource reports that men make up the vast majority of Active-Duty members at 82.8%. Actively working to support men’s mental wellness and include and engage fathers is vital to the overall readiness and resilience of every…

Food Justice is Social Justice!

Many Americans don't have access to healthy and nourishing food due to the location or economic status of the household. Families with lower income are at higher risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies and long-term problems such as obesity, cardiovascular problems, and metabolic disorders.

Practical Applications from the Social Justice and Social Work Panel Discussion

By Robyn DiPietro-Wells On June 15, OneOp hosted a panel discussion with two of the course authors of the 2022 MFR Academy, “Family Well-Being: Navigating the Social Justice Landscape,” and Dr. Jennifer Ho,  Professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies and the director of the Center for the Humanities and…

Tips to Build a Diversified Investment Portfolio: Part 1

Many young service members learn about investing for the first time when they join the military and enroll in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Unless they took a personal finance course in high school or discussed investing with their parents, Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) are likely to be their first…

2022 OneOp Military Family Readiness Academy Series – Family Development and Social Justice Issues

This blog dives into OneOp's 2022 MFRA Series focused on social justice and equity, including one's own understanding of privilege and oppression.

Social Security & Disability 101: Information for Providers & Families

Did you know that military families with a family member with special healthcare needs or a family member with a military-connected disability may receive temporary or permanent supplemental income through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)? Join OneOp Military Caregiving and Personal Finance concentrations on July 27, 2022 at 11:00 AM…

Picking Produce: Organic vs. Conventional

Farmer’s market season is upon us, and a variety of summer fruits and vegetables will be hitting the shelves. The hot topic with this influx of seasonal produce is whether to buy organic or conventional.

Webinar Recap: Spouse Employment and Family Financial Readiness

The OneOp Personal Finance team held a webinar, Spouse Employment and Family Financial Readiness, in April. The webinar speaker, C. Eddy Mentzer from the Department of Defense (DoD), who is a military spouse himself, discussed military spouse career and education opportunities and various employment resources available from the DoD.

Resource Discovery: Love is Respect

As far as safety aspects go for everyone, including those within the LGBTQ+ community, we at OneOp have recently been looking more into the research around safety within relationships along with dating abuse, domestic violence, and family violence. One of the key organizations we’ve come across that share resources and…

“It’s Different”: Re-igniting Couples’ Relationships after Deployment 

By Karen Shirer, Ph.D. Summary Reintegration after deployment can pose relationship challenges, but it can also provide opportunities for military couples. Research shows that by focusing on relationship processes post-deployment, couples can strengthen their relationship. Resources for service providers on strengthening military couples' relationships are provided below.  When couples and…

Personal Finance and Social Justice

As service providers who work with service members from a broad array of racial and ethnic backgrounds, ages, genders, and income levels, it is important for Personal Financial Managers (PFMs), Extension educators, and others to understand the impact of social justice on their work and the families they serve.

TRICARE: Keeping Up to Date on Program Developments

By Christopher Plein, Ph.D.  The military health system continues to evolve in an effort to support service members and their families.  Central to these efforts is the TRICARE health benefits system which provides access and coverage for a wide array of healthcare services. As part of OneOp, our Military Caregiving…

Research Briefs for Financial Educators: Financial Literacy, Personality Traits, and Retirement

Personal finance research informs high-quality financial education briefings, publications, and 1:1 financial counseling with clients. Below are findings and implications for practice from four recent studies:

Military Appreciation Month – Resources for Providers

As military service members and military families, the clients and community you serve face particular experiences unique to their status as military service members. From moving every few years due to Permanent Changes of Station (PCS) to the possibility of being impacted by Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) to service members being…

Myths & Facts: Individuals with Disabilities & Mental Health Concerns

By: Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2018, an estimated 17.4 million (32.9%) adults with disabilities experienced frequent mental distress, defined as 14 or more reported mentally unhealthy days in the past 30 days. Frequent mental distress is also associated with poor health behaviors, increased…

Ten Steps to Reduce Debt Before Interest Rates Rise (Again): Part 2

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected] Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels In March 2022, the Federal Reserve approved a 0.25% interest rate hike, its first increase since December 2018. As interest rates continue to rise, it is important for military families to plan ahead, especially those with variable-rate debt…

Resource Discovery: May is Mental Health Awareness Month!

For Mental Health Awareness Month, this blog shares resources to help military service members and their families prioritize mental health needs and issues.

Supporting the Well-Being of Diverse Military Families Through a Social Justice Lens

By Jenny Rea, Ph.D. While many Veterans (89%) reflect that joining the military was a good decision, some indicate unique challenges as a result of their racial/ethnic identity. Did you know?  45% of service members believe their racial/ethnic identity has hurt their ability to get ahead at work 56% have…

Pillars of Successful Transition – Models to help Service Members and their Families Prepare for the Military to Civilian Transition

By Jenny Rea, Ph.D. While many separating service members successfully adapt to civilian life, 40 to 75% describe some difficulties managing this major transition (Castro & Kintzle, 2017; Zoli, Maury, & Fay, 2015). For instance, within the first year of transitioning to civilian life, Veterans face increased challenges with homelessness,…

Caregiving for Individuals with Disabilities – Preventing Suicide

By Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D. May is Mental Health Awareness month. When working or serving as caregivers for individuals with disabilities, there remains a paucity of information related to managing mental health and in particular preventing suicide. What is known is that suicide rates are much higher among people with spinal…

Listening to Build Cultural Competence in Early Childhood Settings

As a follow-up to OneOp’s 2018 Virtual Conference, the Family Transitions team produced a five-part podcast series, Moving Toward Inclusive Practice. In each podcast Dr. Anne Phibbs shares tips and resources to help professionals become more inclusive and culturally informed. Dr. Phibbs’ content is designed to be relevant to professionals…

Social Justice, Health Disparities, & Caregiving

Join us on June 1 as we kick off the 2022 Military Family Readiness Academy (MFRA) focusing on Family Well-Being: Navigating the Social Justice Landscape. The Academy series will address intersections between engaging a social justice mindset as a family service professional, and the ability to support the well-being of…

Ten Steps to Reduce Debt Before Interest Rates Rise (Again): Part 1

In March 2022, the Federal Reserve approved a 0.25% interest rate hike, its first increase since December 2018. More interest rate hikes are likely during the Fed’s remaining 2022 meetings in an effort to aggressively reduce inflation.

Culturally Sustaining Practices and Adult Learning Principles: Where’s the Connection?

To create more equitable early intervention experiences, it is essential for practitioners to use practices that support learning for parents (and other caregivers) and children while considering the family’s cultural values and beliefs. When we use culturally sustaining practices, we invite and encourage cultural and linguistic practices into the early…

Understanding Buy Now, Pay Later Services: Part 2

In last week's blog post, we introduced five key “nuggets” about Buy Now Pay Later Services that Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) need to know, based on our recent webinar. The webinar described how BNPL works, user demographics, connections between BNPL and laws that

Assessing Malnutrition in the Adult Population: The Role of the RDN: Your Questions Answered

Over 300 participants attended this free webinar Assessing Malnutrition in the Adult Population: The Role of the RDN offered by OneOp.  There was a lively discussion and many questions in the chat pod

Relationship Education: An Important Tool for Strengthening Military Families

By Karen Shirer, Ph.D. If you were to ask the military families you serve, what is on the top of their minds and causing them great stress, you might hear: "I don’t know if I’m going to get a text message or a call saying — ‘I have to go.’…

Understanding Buy Now, Pay Later Services: Part 1

The OneOp Personal Finance team recently held a webinar about Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services. The webinar described how BNPL works, user demographics, connections between BNPL and laws that protect service members from high-cost loans, and implications for military consumers.

Fighting for Fair Food Systems

Our food is not distributed equally despite the abundance and ability of our current food system to produce food. People of color are the most severely impacted by hunger, poor food access, and diet-related illness.

Article Identifies ‘Opportunities for Cooperative Extension to Support Military Families’

Military families are families first. Though their context and culture might be a bit different – as it is with all families – as Cooperative Extension professionals, part of helping them see the benefits of accessing Extension programming might be promoting our own understanding of the needs of military families.…

VA Solid Start Helps New Veterans Settle into Civilian Life

By Lucas Blankenship The first year following separation from service can be a challenging time for service members and their families. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs Transition Assistance Program, about 250,000 service members transition to civilian life each year. The Department of Veterans Affairs VA Solid Start program…

Practicing Humility to Build Cultural Competence in Early Childhood Settings

As a follow-up to OneOp’s 2018 Virtual Conference, the Family Transitions team produced a five-part podcast series, Moving Toward Inclusive Practice. In each podcast Dr. Anne Phibbs shares tips and resources to help professionals become more inclusive and culturally informed. Dr. Phibbs’ content is designed to be relevant to professionals…

Understanding the Financial Literacy Divide

Financial literacy is the ability to understand and apply personal financial management skills such as budgeting, saving, investing, and proper credit use, leading to an overall sense of financial well-being.

Month of the Military Child – Resources for Providers Supporting Military Children

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…

Dimensions of Sustainable Nutrition

Sustainable nutrition is the ability of our food systems to provide adequate energy and nutrients to maintain good health and meet the needs of our current and future populations. Sustainable nutrition involves several factors that include our surroundings and personal life coming together to provide nourishment that is mindful of…

Research Briefs for Financial Educators: Daily Paychecks, Social Security, Well-Being, and Credit Cards

Personal finance research informs high-quality financial education briefings, publications, and 1:1 financial counseling sessions with clients. Below are findings and implications for practice from four recent studies:

Three Insights on Social Justice

Over the past couple of months, we’ve had the opportunity to talk with the authors of the three virtual courses that will be part of the 2022 Military Family Readiness Academy (MFRA) - “Family Well-being: Navigating the Social Justice Landscape.” Social justice is critical to our work. 

Go Beyond the Webinar| Support for Reintegration after TBI: Strategies for Advocates, Care Coordinators, and Case Managers

This blog reviews a OneOp webinar on educational information, resources, and strategies to help patients and their families learn about and cope with TBI.

The Planet Friendly Diet: Sustainable Nutrition!

Sustainable nutrition is a terminology used to eat nutritionally dense, affordable, and culturally relevant food to eliminate chronic diseases and nutrient deficiencies while preserving limited natural resources. Some diets are more sustainable than others.

Seeking Out Stories to Build Cultural Competence in Early Childhood Settings

As a follow-up to OneOp’s 2018 Virtual Conference, the Family Transitions team produced a five-part podcast series, Moving Toward Inclusive Practice. In each podcast, Dr. Anne Phibbs shares tips and resources to help professionals become more inclusive and culturally informed. Dr. Phibbs’ content is designed to be relevant to professionals…

Twelve Income Tax “Need to Knows”

April is the height of “income tax season” and many Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) are busy fielding tax questions from military families. A prior post summarized highlights from the OneOp Personal Finance team’s 2022 income tax update webinar. The webinar focused on filing 2021 tax returns.

Go Beyond the Webinar| Brain Health: Understanding Military-Related TBIs

This blog reviews two OneOp webinars around understanding what is new in the advancement for treating TBI and concussion-related symptoms.

Hard Is Normal: What Research Tells Us about Supporting Military Families during Deployment

By Karen Shirer, Ph.D. Many U.S. active-duty service members have either deployed to support NATO efforts in Eastern Europe or will soon receive orders to do so. Approximately three out of every five service members who deploy have a spouse and/or children. Deployment of a spouse and parent can be…

Building Resilience as an Employability Skill

By Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D. For individuals with disabilities, the process of finding and keeping a job can be anxiety-provoking. Learning and applying skills such as resume writing, job application, cover letter writing, interviewing, communicating on the job, and work ethic can all test one’s resilience. It is, therefore, necessary that…

Social Justice as a Pathway to Strengthen Networks and Support Military Family Readiness

As Bowen, Martin & Mancinni (2013) remind us, though many of the stressors associated with military duties and military life are not new, the challenges of today's military service, including lengthy, repeated combat deployments and the associated family separations, represent unprecedented threats to the integrity and well-being of service members…

Support Military Couple Relationships

by Sara Croymans Military couples and families experience unique challenges with frequent relocation, deployment, and reintegration. Healthy military couple relationships are vital in maintaining mission and family readiness but require an intentional investment of time and effort. The OneOp Family Transitions team invites service providers working with military families to…

2022 Academy Series – Coming Soon!

We are very excited to announce the 2022 installment of the Military Family Readiness Academy, coming this June! Family Well-being: Navigating the Social Justice Landscape will focus on individuals’ understanding of social justice and equity. This Academy series will feature three asynchronous courses, panel discussions with course authors and subject…

Four Practices (+ one) for Creating Equity in Virtual Visits

During the first webinar in the Going Virtual Series, we shared four practices and lots of strategies to help early intervention (EI) practitioners engage families in a virtual space. Before we shared those practices, we talked about the importance of reflecting on your own beliefs. This personal level of reflection…

OneOp and the Ukraine Context

By Keith Tidball Amongst the various strains and strands of stress and anxiety stemming from the violence in Ukraine comes the subtle but growing sense of dread and concern among the families of military service members. Practitioners will no doubt experience more urgent inquiries from stressed and anxious family members…

Assessing Malnutrition in Adults: Physical Indicators of Malnutrition

Malnutrition is a serious condition. Contrary to popular belief, malnutrition is present not only in developing countries but also in developed countries as well.

Financial Research Briefs: Estate Planning, Student Loans, FinTech, and Life Satisfaction

Personal finance research informs high-quality financial education briefings, publications, and 1:1 financial counseling sessions with clients. Below are findings and implications for practice from four recent studies:

Recapping Recent ‘Brain Health’ Webinar & Key Takeaways

By Lucas Blankenship March is Brain Injury Awareness Month.  In recognition of this, the OneOp Family Development and Military Caregiving concentrations have partnered with the Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence (TBICoE) for a two-part webinar series on traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in order to raise awareness of the signs…

Keeping the (Social) Work Growing this Month and Onward

The services provided by social workers are crucial to creating and cultivating individual and family wellness. During this time of insurmountable stressors at home and abroad, social workers are pillars in providing vital mental health and behavioral health services. Services that can aid family members in navigating daily anxiety, worry,…

Preparing Military Families For Deployment

by Jenny Rea, Ph.D. Since Russia invaded Ukraine  on February 24th, fear has grown among many families in the uncertainty of a wider war between the U.S. and Russia. Could this  possibly be the start of a third world war? Some individuals have openly wondered, “will American troops be deployed…

How to Help Your Client Balance Saving Money Versus Paying Off Debt

Finding the balance between paying off debt or saving more money can be overwhelming for military families who may have limited income on top of deployments and relocations.

Practicing Mindfulness, Meditation, and Self-Care to Combat Stress for Military Families

Stress and stressful situations are issues that everyone must deal with and affects individuals and families in a multitude of different ways. This is even more true for military service members and their families. On top of daily, normal stressors, military families must deal with the stress of deployments, transitions,…

Everyone Can Get Malnourished!

Malnutrition is a serious condition defined as inadequate, unbalanced, or excessive nutrient and calorie consumption over time. Common signs of malnutrition are unintentional weight loss, lack of motivation to eat, feeling tired, getting sick often, reduced body functionality, slow growth, and putting on weight as expected in children (WHO, 2022). 

Ten Smart Money Moves for 2022

Only three months into 2022, there’s still plenty of time for military families to make good on long-abandoned New Year’s resolutions or to take positive action to improve their finances.

Go Beyond the Webinar| Preventing the Onset of Youth Problem Sexual Behaviors

The goals of this webinar focused primarily on an introduction to the school-based universal prevention program called Responsible Behavior with Younger Children (RBYC), which can be used to prevent problematic sexual behavior directed towards younger children and also peers. Problematic sexual behavior (PSB) of children and youth, as well as…

Highlights from the 2020 DoD Demographics Report

By Jenny Rea, Ph.D. As we begin a new year in supporting military families, it’s important to look back on previous years and reflect on the makeup of service members and their families, and how these demographics have shifted. Fortunately, the Department of Defense (DoD) regularly publishes reports on the…

End Stage Renal Disease – Your Questions Answered!

This is what you have been waiting for!  We had so much interest in the renal disease webinar in February that we ran out of time for all the questions.  Special thanks to Holly Dittmer for providing answers to questions asked in the webinar End-Stage Renal Disease: Balancing Labs and Food for Quality…

Professionalism Skills for Individuals with Disabilities

By Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D. Employers list professionalism as the one of the top skills they need in their new and current employees. What is professionalism? How does an individual with a disability seeking employment or currently employed learn professionalism skills? How can professionalism be maintained throughout one’s career? According to…

Virtual EI Service Delivery: Insights from Service Providers and Families

When early intervention (EI) abruptly shifted from in-person to virtual services during the pandemic, many providers worked quickly to transfer their skills to the new modality, but few had training in virtual service provision. Providers reported that they had to quickly hone their coaching skills to make virtual visits work.…

Gen Z: What Financial Educators Need to Know

There are currently six adult generations in the United States: The GI Generation (born 1901-1926), Silents (1927-1945), Baby Boomers (1946-1964), Generation X (1965-1980), Generation Y; a.k.a, Millennials (1981-1996) and Generation Z (1997- 2015).

Social Determinants of Malnutrition

Malnutrition is the lack, excess, or imbalance in a person's energy intake and/or nutrients. Malnutrition includes three broad groups of conditions.

Financial Research Briefs: Workplace Financial Education, Money and Relationships, Health Shocks, and Postponing Cognitive Decline

Personal finance research informs high-quality financial education briefings, publications, and 1:1 financial counseling sessions with clients. Below are findings and implications for practice from four recent studies:

Coming March 2022: An Announcement

As we enter our twelfth year of existence, we feel it is time for a change to better reflect who we are today and to symbolize our future. We analyzed our values and mission as an organization and created a name  that reflects those values: OneOp. After careful consideration, we…

Timely TBI Support for Military Families and Caring Professionals

Every impacted individual has a unique experience with their traumatic brain injury (TBI). From the person experiencing TBI, their children, partners, relationships with loved ones, and their greater community, TBIs affect the entire 'village.' This reality is all too true for military service members and their families.

Minimizing Financial Stress Surrounding Deployment: Part 2

There is no doubt that deployment can have a significant impact on a military family’s finances. Part one of this series focused on helping military families prepare finances for deployment.

Minimizing Financial Stress Surrounding Deployment: Part 1

The stressful challenges of financial management and balanced budgeting faced by military families can be exacerbated by deployment if they are not handled properly. Personal Finance Managers (PFMs) can assist military families in preparing financially for deployment.

Rituals Ease Transitions for Military Families

  by Sara Croymans, MEd, AFC Nearly every  transition in one’s life is marked by a ritual:  Religious ceremonies of baptisms, weddings, or funerals.  ‘Coming of age’ rituals such as a bar/bat mitzvah or a quinceañera to recognize a significant time in a young person's life.  Holidays like Halloween with…

Sixteen Scams and Frauds for Service Members to Avoid

Scams and frauds are pervasive today thanks to the internet and social media. Victims can be reached and defrauded online by bad actors located far away. The holiday season ups the ante even more. People are busy, tired, and distracted

Take-Aways from AFCPE Military Meet-Ups

During the virtual 2021 AFCPE Symposium, there were a number of sessions designed for practitioners who provide financial education and counseling programs for service members and their families.

The Changing World of Medicaid: Challenges & Opportunities Ahead

By: Christopher Plein, Ph.D.  Keeping up-to-date on Medicaid developments is important to those who provide support to military families and caregivers.  According to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, in July 2021 over 76 million individuals were covered by Medicaid in the United States. By this time, participation…

Putting EI/ECSE Standards Into Practice: Tips & Resources for Standard 7

The Division for Early Childhood of the Council of Exceptional Children, the leading professional organization in EI/ECSE, spearheaded efforts to develop the EI/ECSE standards.  It is important for all early childhood professionals to be familiar with these standards to provide the support needed for individual children with disabilities and their…

Financial Research Briefs: Student Loans, Retirement Savings, Military Finances, and Stock Trading Apps

Personal finance research informs high-quality financial education briefings, publications, and 1:1 financial counseling sessions. Below are findings and implications for practice from four recent studies:

Intuitive Eating for Diabetes

Diabetes is known to be one of the leading causes of death in the United States. With many physical symptoms including increased thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, as well as unexplained weight loss, diabetes is considered one of the most serious health concerns around the world.

Resource Discovery: Relationship Challenges and Counseling for Military Couples

Military couples are very resilient and roll with the changes. They face many challenges that civilian couples rarely deal with, like multiple moves, deployments, and various other transitions. Challenges might also take the form of physical injury or invisible wounds of war, like traumatic brain injury, and PTSD. Sometimes spouses…

Relationship Check-Ups: An Approach to Strengthening Military Families

By Karen Shirer, Ph.D. What makes a couple’s relationship distressed or troubled? This is the question I asked myself as I began to write this recap of a recent OneOp (MFLN) webinar, The Relationship Checkup: Support for Military Couples, by Dr. James Cordova and Kelly Smith. A brief Internet search…

Adaptogens: A Potential Solution for Stress

With the stress of everything going on in the world right now, any bit of relief from the tensions of these times is welcomed. The new superfood trend expected to pop up on many food labels and advertisements this year is adaptogens or adaptogenic herbs.

Ten TSP Tune-Up Tips for 2022

At the start of every year, many people take stock of things, including their personal finances. Therefore, now is a great time for Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) to assess service members’ Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) use with a “TSP Tune-Up” review.

OneOp Anchored Podcast Series End of Year Review

Hey there Anchored podcast listeners! 2021 was a great year for our Anchored podcast series. For those of you who don’t know, Anchored is a professional development podcast series brought to you by OneOp. In this series, we wanted to provide a space to not only learn about timely topics…

Teen Technology Use and How COVID Has Changed It

By Jodi Dworkin, Ph.D. Teens are active and frequent technology users, and it’s hard to keep up with what they’re doing online. Teen technology use changes fast as new devices, apps, and app features are released. Over the past few years, a lot more teens have smartphones and younger teens…

Why You Really Need Intuitive Eating

Intuitive eating allows us to make peace with all types of food. The main idea is to listen to our bodies and eat what feels right without labeling food "good" or "bad" (Tribole & Resch, 2020).

Putting EI/ECSE Standards Into Practice: Tips & Resources for Standard 6

The Division for Early Childhood of the Council of Exceptional Children, the leading professional organization in EI/ECSE, spearheaded efforts to develop the EI/ECSE standards.  It is important for all early childhood professionals to be familiar with these standards to provide the support needed for individual children with disabilities and their…

Out With the Old, In With the New: Financial Implications for 2022

Last month, OneOp held its annual Personal Finance Year in Review webinar. Dozens of 2021 events and trends were discussed along with practice implications for Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) and other professionals who serve military families.

Staying Focused on Pandemic Support and Recovery for Military Families

By Karen Shirer, Ph.D. Although the holiday season is behind us, I want to share with you an email from a sewing blog that I received in mid-December. The sender shared how many fellow sewers were too stressed to sew gifts for their friends and families due to the ongoing…

Upcoming Webinar Highlights Changes to Medicare Coverage

The New Year comes with new updates to your Medicare healthcare options. Join the OneOp Military Caregiving concentration at 11:00 a.m. ET on January 19, 2022, as we discuss core elements of the Medicare program and major benefits available under the various Parts of Medicare. RSVP at Medicare Changes in…

Putting EI/ECSE Standards into Practice: Tips & Resources for Standard 5

The Division for Early Childhood of the Council of Exceptional Children, the leading professional organization in EI/ECSE, spearheaded efforts to develop the EI/ECSE standards.  It is important for all early childhood professionals to be familiar with these standards to provide the support needed for individual children with disabilities and their…

Gen Z and Personal Finances

As the youngest generation of Service members, those who are part of Generation Z (Gen Z) have unique life experiences that impact their financial understanding and may present learning opportunities for Personal Financial Managers (PFMs). Born between 1997 and 2015, the oldest Gen Z Service members are currently 24 years…

Mocktails: The new Cocktail?

From family gatherings to cocktail parties, alcohol is the one drink that is always present. There are various effects of drinking alcohol, including an increase in mood and reduced inhibition as well as being a notorious staple at many different social events.

Financial Research Briefs: Personality Traits, Self-Efficacy, Anxiety and Stress, and Savings

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected] Personal finance research informs high-quality financial education briefings, publications, and counseling sessions. Below are findings and implications for practice from four recent studies: Personality Traits and Financial Success- In the first paper to examine relationships between “Big Five” O.C.E.A.N. personality traits (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion,…

OneOp 2021 Year in Review focusing on SBCY Series, Resources for Racial Justice, and more

2021 has been a banner year for our OneOp team! We were able to provide lots of new webinars, mostly within our ongoing Sexual Behavior in Children & Youth (SBCY) Series, as well as three Anchored podcast episodes, and much more programming for our Department of Defense and clinical professional…

Feeling Depleted? Ways to Self-Assess & Refuel

By: Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D. The pandemic has wreaked havoc and as service providers we find ourselves experiencing stressors that seem new, different, or exacerbated. Coping strategies we used in the past seem to be falling short and leaving us asking ourselves, “now what?” As the holidays approach, let us take…

Common Frauds that Target Military Families

By Laura Royer As Personal Finance Managers (PFMs) working with Service members and military families, it is important that you help them stay aware of the many ways scammers prey and provide resources to help protect them and their families. Deployments and relocations often leave military families vulnerable because information…

Go Beyond the Webinar| Juvenile Justice Responses to Youth in Conflict with the Law

On December 2nd, 2021, OneOp hosted a webinar called “Juvenile Justice Responses to Youth in Conflict with the Law.” This webinar was another great installment in our Sexual Behavior in Children & Youth (SBCY) Series. This series has been ongoing since May 2019, with plans to continue into 2022!

Up Your Virtual FEE (Family Engagement and Education) with Military Families

By Karen Shirer, Ph.D., In the blink of an eye, COVID-19 changed the way that Military Family Service Providers (MFSPs) and Extension educators (EEs) engaged with military families. They went from face-to-face engagement to nearly all virtual engagement. The transition to a virtual environment will likely remain for the foreseeable…

Financial Literacy Tools for Service Members

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC®, [email protected] Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) do a great job helping service members and their families improve their financial literacy. However, there is always something new for clients to know. Sometimes, the biggest challenge to finding personal finance information is knowing where to look. Below…

Ways to Help Military Families This Holiday Season

The holidays are a time when getting together with friends and families is always important. Reconnecting with the ones we love can be rejuvenating and highlights what’s important to us. However, for military service members and their families, the holidays can be tough and it’s not always possible for service…

Work-Family Conflict and the Military Family

by Jenny Rea, Ph.D. The other day, I was watching a cartoon with my children, and I oddly felt a strong resemblance to the main character. The episode began with Bow, a cat, who puts on a play for his friends. Bow attempts to play multiple roles simultaneously. One minute…

Need to Refuel? No Better Time than the Holidays!

Upcoming Webinar As the holidays approach, it can be a stressful time as you prepare to finalize year-end reports and projects and gear up for time with loved ones. This month we are helping military service providers to prepare for the holidays by building your resilience and “putting fuel back…

Seven Money-Saving Strategies for Military Families

By Laura Royer One of the biggest reasons many military families do not save money is because they do not know where to start. While there are many different ways to find the money to save, here are seven easy ways to help the military families you work with as…

Winter Wellness: Staying Active During the Colder Months

With the thermostat beginning to drop to frigid temperatures, it is easy to want to stay inside and huddle up under some blankets. Although the motivation to get up and move is a little harder to come by this season, staying active can help ward off the winter blues and…

Building Healthy Relationships in Military Families

By Jenny Rea, Ph.D. When asked, “How are you?”; how often have you responded, “I’m good, but I’ve just been so busy”?  It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of life.  As a helping professional, you are tasked with several work duties each day alongside managing all the…

Accessing Resources & Support Services for Relative Caregivers

By Andrew Crocker, M.S. Caregiving looks different for every person and every situation. We often only think of someone caring for an older person – perhaps a spouse or a parent – but many children receive care from relative caregivers, such as a grandparent, helping with essential functions in their…

Supporting Child Development with Books & Storytelling

In recognizing how literacy and social-emotional skills are connected, we begin to see the importance of intentionally finding ways to embed strategies across the day that connect these areas. Below are a few ideas to increase opportunities to promote this connection.

Research Briefs for Financial Educators

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected] Personal finance research findings are the foundation of high-quality financial education briefings, publications, and counseling sessions. Below are key findings and implications for practice from four recent studies: Investment Risk Tolerance: Rabbani et al. (2021) studied the association of financial risk tolerance (FRT) and…

Resource Discovery: The Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence (TBICoE)

Traumatic brain injury is a very significant issue when it comes to the physical and mental health of the military service members that it affects. It can be debilitating and crosses over into all aspects of the service member’s life; both personally and professionally. Military spouses and families are also…

Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)

Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is an eating disturbance resulting in a persistent failure to meet appropriate nutritional and energy needs or both. ARFID is a selective eating disorder with similarities to anorexia regarding the limitations in the amount and/or types of food consumed.

TikTok and Young Investors

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC®, [email protected] Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) are a frequent source of information about investing for service members. So is TikTok. I recently attended a class called TikTok and Investing. Below are ten key takeaways: User Demographics- TikTok is primarily a Gen Z platform for making…

Putting EI/ECSE Standards into Practice: Tips & Resources for Standard 4

The Division for Early Childhood of the Council of Exceptional Children, the leading professional organization in EI/ECSE, spearheaded efforts to develop the EI/ECSE standards.  It is important for all early childhood professionals to be familiar with these standards to provide the support needed for individual children with disabilities and their…

What PFMs Need to Know about Cryptocurrency

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC®, [email protected] Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) get many questions about cryptocurrencies. OneOp personal finance team recently held a free webinar on this topic. Below are ten key takeaways: Early Origins- Cryptocurrencies were preceded by e-money start-ups in the 1990s (e.g., DigiCash). Bitcoin launched in 2008…

Healthy Eating During the Holidays

The holidays can bring many stressors! Don’t let eating and enjoying meals with your family be one of them.

Finding Thanks and Practicing Gratitude with Military Youth and Families

Halloween candy is dwindling down if it wasn’t all gobbled up over the trick-or-treat weekend. The spooky season's pumpkins have now transitioned into full-on fall decor. Families and friends will soon be connecting and coming together to celebrate and find thankfulness in another year with the quickly approaching holidays.

Supporting Military Family Well-Being Through an Integrated, Asset-Based Approach to Service Provision

Throughout the military life cycle, service members and families will experience crises and challenges. Current circumstances with far-reaching impacts include the draw down in Afghanistan, various geopolitical events, and the COVID-19 pandemic. These experiences impact not only mental health but also all other aspects of well-being. A structure that can…

Gaining Perspective & Context through the DOD Demographics Report

By: Lucas Blankenship and Christopher Plein, Ph.D.  We often hear the phrase, “context means everything.”  When it comes to working with military families, it is helpful for us to understand the demographic context of the military community.  Fortunately, the Department of Defense regularly publishes reports on trends for active duty…

Using Children’s Books & Storytelling to Connect Literacy & Social-Emotional Development

Did you know that social-emotional development and early literacy development occur on a parallel path within the context of positive relationships? Well, they do! When we begin to see the ways in which literacy and social-emotional skills are interwoven, we see the importance of intentionally finding ways to embed strategies…

The Psychology of Money Webinar Recap

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC®, [email protected] Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) often encounter strong emotions associated with clients’ use of money. OneOp personal finance team recently held a webinar that included information about behavioral finance biases and recommended financial counseling techniques. Below are ten webinar takeaways: Present Bias- Human beings…

Go Beyond the Webinar| Culturally Competent Responses to Youth with Problematic Sexual Behavior

The goals of this webinar focused primarily on understanding the complexities of cultural identities and how it influences views of mental health services, with a specific focus on the significance of military family culture. We talked about identifying how health-related beliefs, practices, and cultural values influence the understanding of problematic…

Putting EI/ECSE Standards into Practice: Tips & Resources for Standard 3

The Division for Early Childhood of the Council of Exceptional Children, the leading professional organization in EI/ECSE, spearheaded efforts to develop the EI/ECSE standards.  It is important for all early childhood professionals to be familiar with these standards to provide the support needed for individual children with disabilities and their…

Five Tips for Military Families to Start Saving Money Now

By Laura Royer As a Personal Financial Manager (PFM), helping your military clients find a way to save money when they are not currently saving can be overwhelming and challenging, especially when they don’t believe they can afford it. Saving money is much easier than your client may think, but…

National Family Caregivers Month

November marks National Family Caregivers Month. It is a time to recognize and honor the many sacrifices of family caregivers in support of their loved ones. Throughout the month our MLFN Military Caregiving concentration area will work to raise awareness of key caregiver issues by educating both our active duty…

Telehealth: The Future of Healthcare Visits

With so many parts of our lives online, it is no surprise that the health field has climbed on board as well. This online format of health care is known as telehealth.

Supporting Military Couple Relationships

  by Anita Harris Hering In fall of 2020, the Department of Defense, Military Community and Family Policy launched the relationship campaign, Re the We, to help military couples rekindle, retool, and repair their relationships or reset in healthy ways when a relationship ends. Re the We connects military community…

Lifestyle Choices & Your Health

By Andrew Crocker, M.S. Last week I got a coupon for half off at a local store. I didn’t need anything, but the idea of being able to reduce the price by 50% got me in the door…and got the retailer a sale. Half is a lot. And a powerful…

Putting EI/ECSE Standards into Practice: Tips & Resources for Standard 2

The Division for Early Childhood of the Council of Exceptional Children, the leading professional organization in EI/ECSE, spearheaded efforts to develop the EI/ECSE standards.  It is important for all early childhood professionals to be familiar with these standards to provide the support needed for individual children with disabilities and their…

Five Ways to Generate Extra Income Working Online

By Laura Royer Many Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) encounter military families who need to generate extra income, and there are many ways for your client to find work easily online. When working with a client who needs to generate extra income, it’s important to first do a skill assessment to…

Resources for Supporting and Uplifting Families Impacted by Domestic Violence and Intimate Partner Violence

Supporting parents, children, and families is the cornerstone of family advocacy work. Daily stressors are hard enough to navigate and process. Daily stressors in the time of COVID, more so. Life becomes even more complex for those experiencing or impacted by domestic violence (DV). Domestic violence impacts individuals at every…

Military Families & Domestic Violence: What We Know & How We Can Help

By Jenny Rea, Ph.D.  As a result of the multiple transitions they experience, military families may frequently cope with increased hardship and extraordinary stress. Such challenges can weigh heavily on intimate partner and family relationships. In the midst of transitions, emotions are heightened and roles are shifted. Each family member…

Learn More About Warrior Care Recovery Care

Join the OneOp Military Caregiving concentration team for an upcoming professional development webinar on 26 October 2021 at 11:00 a.m. ET as they discuss the Defense Health Agency (DHA) Warrior Care, Recovery Coordination Program (RCP). Sandra Mason, DHA Director for Recovery Coordination Program, will provide resource information and tools for…

Telehealth: Enhancing the future of Medicine!

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, telehealth is defined as the use of electronic communication to support long-distance health care, health education, and administration. Telehealth allows clients to access and communicate with healthcare providers at their convenience.

Putting EI/ECSE Standards into Practice: Tips & Resources for Standard 1

The Division for Early Childhood of the Council of Exceptional Children, the leading professional organization in EI/ECSE, spearheaded efforts to develop the EI/ECSE standards.  It is important for all early childhood professionals to be familiar with these standards to provide the support needed for individual children with disabilities and their…

Helping Military Families Assess Their Skill Set to Generate Extra Income

By Laura Royer Image by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels Keeping a consistent income for military families can be much more challenging than for civilians due to the frequent moves that most active military families make every 3 to 5 years. Moving especially impacts the spouse’s ability to contribute to the…

Telehealth: The Future of Health Care Visits

  Image by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels   By: Megan Ng, Undergraduate Student of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Telehealth With so much of our lives are already online, so it is no surprise that the healthcare field is also following this…

Resource Discovery: National Center on the Sexual Behavior of Youth

These conversations led us to the National Center on the Sexual Behavior of Youth (NCSBY) and our collaboration with NCSBY has shaped many topics and resources that we have shared in our webinars in this series. Their Youth with Sexual Behavior Problems Program is a program that targets late childhood…

How to Help Military Families Navigate a Financial Crisis

By Laura Royer The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many military families to feel a financial crunch. As a Personal Finance Manager (PFM), the following are some things that your clients can do to navigate through the “financial storm.” Assess Their Net Worth. Have your client conduct a net worth assessment to…

OneOp Sexual Behavior in Children & Youth (SBCY) Series So Far

The OneOp Sexual Behavior in Children & Youth (SBCY) Series is still ongoing through 2021! As our OneOp team continues our conversation on age-appropriate sexual development of youth and working with children and youth exhibiting problematic sexual behavior (PSB), our upcoming SBCY webinars will continue to delve into new areas…

Social-Emotional Development in Review

Young children who have a strong social emotional foundation not only do better academically, but also tend to be happier, have more friends, and show greater motivation to learn.

Understanding Service Members’ Financial Decisions: Unconscious Bias

By Selena Garrison, M.S.  It is common for financial educators, including Personal Financial Managers (PFMs), to find themselves confused by the decisions their clients make. When a professional invests their time in educating the people they serve to make choices that will build their financial health, it can be frustrating…

Medicare Changes Coming Your Way in 2022

By: Andrew Crocker, M.S. Fall is such a great season: college football is back, the temperatures get a little cooler, the leaves start to change, and Medicare releases updates for the new benefit year – what’s not to love?! The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) updates its Medicare…

Research Briefs: What Financial Educators Need to Know

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected] Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) are always incorporating personal finance research findings into their briefings, publications, and counseling sessions. Fortunately, PFMs and other financial educators have lots of research to draw from. Below are key findings and implications for practice from four recent studies: Financial…

Go Beyond the Webinar| Understanding Children’s Sexual Knowledge and Behavior from a Development Perspective

The goals of this webinar focused on covering typical social, emotional, cognitive, and moral development in preschool (age 5 and under) and school-age (age 6 to 12) children and how development across these domains informs expected sexual knowledge and behavior. Typical sexual knowledge and behavior within these age ranges were…

Blog Posts and Podcasts and Infographics, Oh My!

By Sara, Croymans, MEd, AFC With busy work and family schedules, it can be difficult to find time to participate in professional development opportunities. Our OneOp (MFLN) Family Transitions (FT) team provides relevant research and resources related to military family transition issues in a variety of formats to make it…

Getting to the Next Moment…Improving Mental Health through Resilience

By: Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D. September is National Suicide Prevention month. There may be moments in your life when you have experienced suicidal thoughts. Not only are those moments distressing, but they also deplete your inner fortitude such that you feel weakened and unable to cope. What can we do to…

The Triadic Strategies: An Overview

Early childhood professionals can use triadic strategies to share developmental information in a meaningful way with families of young children. Triadic strategies promote positive interactions between three individuals—a triad—which is usually composed of a child, parent, and an early childhood professional. In the post by Dr. Yates, she noted that…

Net Worth: What Service Members Need to Know

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected] Personal Financial Managers often teach service members information and skills that they can use for a lifetime. One of these skills is preparing a net worth statement (a.k.a., balance sheet). Below are nine key facts about net worth statements: Description and Analogy- A net…

Stepping Stones for Designing Impactful Work: Part 2

In Part 1 we covered the use of the “Chaordic Stepping Stones” as a planning tool for meetings, initiatives, projects, and group processes. We then described the first four “stepping stones”:  NEED, PURPOSE, PRINCIPLES, and PEOPLE.

The Secret Ingredient for Children’s Success

One thing we know for sure…social-emotional development is very important! In fact, social-emotional development is sometimes referred to as the “secret ingredient” for children’s success. And that is because it has been shown to be fundamental to children’s early learning and development. Social-emotional development begins at birth and is a…

Financial Planning for Military Transitions

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected] OneOp Personal Finance team recently held a webinar called Financial Planning for Transition: Train-the-Trainer. Included was a discussion of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), the military transition timeline, adult learning theory, civilian equivalent salary calculations, income taxes, living expenses, health insurance, credit cards, debt-to-income…

Label Lookout: Fending off Food Allergies

With backpacks full of school supplies and little hearts filled with excitement at seeing old and new friends, the beginning of a new school year can be very exhilarating. However, this time of year can also be very stressful and anxiety-filled for parents of children with food allergies.

Suicide Prevention Month and National Emergency Preparedness Month

The month of September is a time when we are getting back into the swing of things. School has started back, and families are beginning and reestablishing routines as well as getting comfortable with new norms. All this activity is taking place as it has for countless families over the…

How To Get Your “daily” Nature Dose

By Arielle Courtney MS Nature gives us life, by providing water to drink, food to eat, and oxygen to breathe. But it also gives us something more, something harder to describe. Many people find if they visit a national park or other wild landscape, they are in “awe” of its…

Cryptocurrency Basics and Scams

By Selena Garrison, M.S. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) defines cryptocurrency as a digital currency that is generally exchanged online without using an intermediary such as a bank. There are several well-known cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, but many brands exist and continue to be created. Cryptocurrency is purchased…

Go Beyond the Webinar| Talking with Youth about Sex, Sexuality, and Media

The goals of this webinar focused on discussing strategies for speaking to children about sex, sexuality, pornography, and interaction with their peers. This event emphasized ways for parents to recognize how to have sensitive but needed conversations with children on these important topics. We discussed the importance and difference between…

Helpful Tips in Preparing for Your Next Telehealth Appointment

By Andrew Crocker, M.S. Not too long ago, it might have been unthinkable that you would use your mobile device or computer to do virtually – get it? virtual?!? – everything. But now, from work to religious services to happy hours, joining an event online via video seems like second…

The American Red Cross & the Service to Armed Forces Program

By: Christopher Plein, Ph.D. When I can, in the evening I like to look out from my window at the clouds on the horizon.  In this time of reflection, I often ask: “What will tomorrow bring?” It is both a figurative and literal question. Changes in the weather, so to…

Fight Back Against Fees: Tips for Military Families

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected] Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels Pesky fees for various products and services (e.g., cell phones, travel bookings, tickets, ATM withdrawals, and bank/investment accounts) can take a big chunk out of household budgets. This is especially true for military families who move frequently and…

Getting Help for Relationship Abuse & Domestic Violence Support for Military Families

Instances of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and family violence can be very damaging to all of those involved. These issues can often be life-threatening to those experiencing the abuse and detrimental to their physical and mental health. Additionally, domestic violence within couples and families is not an easy obstacle to…

Easing the Back-to-School Transition for Military Kids + COVID-19: Part 2

|  3 minute read  | By Jenny Rea, Ph.D. As the summer months end, many families are preparing their young learners for the transition back to school (see Part 1 of this blog series for resources specific to the back-to-school transition ). This year likely brings with it a great deal…

Easing the Back-to-School Transition for Military Kids: Part 1

By Jenny Rea, Ph.D. It’s that time of year again! As a new school year approaches, families prepare their children for the back-to-school transition. Whether it be to a new school or a school they have previously attended, emotions of fear, anxiety and excitement are heightened. While this year looks…

Back to School Tips for Parents & Caregivers of Children with Disabilities

By: Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D. Its that time of year again and yet it is not the typical back to school that we have all known. As a parent or a guardian of a child with disabilities you are probably concerned about the effects of an ongoing pandemic on special education.…

Tips and Tools for Military Content Creators

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected] Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) are content creators. Whether they prepare PowerPoint slides for a webinar or briefing, write a blog post, prepare for an interview, or assemble a newsletter for military families, PFMs are constantly striving to create content that is current, relevant, and…

Understanding and Confronting Racial Injustice

By Kate Walker, Jessica Pierson Russo, and Kathryn Sharpe As youth development professionals, volunteers, parents, and guardians it is our responsibility to help young people develop a mindset of being responsible for themselves, their communities, and the world. It is also our responsibility to develop that same mindset in ourselves,…

Tips to Help Military Consumers Avoid Scams and Navigate Finances

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected] July was Military Consumer Month and OneOp Personal Finance team held a webinar called Helping Military Consumers Avoid Scams and Navigate Finances. Included was a discussion of scams related to COVID-19, rental cars, cryptocurrencies, technology, and more with speakers from the Federal Trade Commission…

Sustainable Eating: A Guide to Environmentally Friendly Eating

Our food choices and food productions have a huge impact on the environment and climate change. According to the World Wildlife Fund, 30% of greenhouse gas emissions are caused by our global food systems.

Looking to a Better Future of Resilience after the Pandemic: Asset-Based Community Recovery

  Blog post 5 of 5 in the series, "Military Family Readiness During and After COVID-19" By Karen Shirer, Ph.D. Courtesy Photo from the Air Force Reserve Command In June, a team of five current and former Air Force service members had one purpose in climbing Mt. Denali, the highest…

Stepping Stones for Designing Impactful Work: Part 1

Does it ever feel like you’re spinning your wheels on a project? Or you want to be innovative, but keep falling back on the same old routine?

Participating in an Early Childhood Community of Practice: Part Three

As early childhood professionals, it is imperative to engage in ongoing learning and professional development. One way to accomplish this is by engaging in social learning through communities of practice (CoPs). In this three-part blog post series, we answer the following questions about communities of practice and provide resources for…

Defend Against Dehydration: Staying Hydrated in the Summer Heat

Trips to the beach, outdoor concerts, camping, and barbecues are all cornerstones of the summer season. These activities and the warm weather and sunshine make it easy to get lost in all the summer fun, but this is where dehydration can sneak up on you.

Online Shopping Tips for Military Families

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected] According to a 2021 Harris Poll survey conducted for the American Institute of CPAs, two in 5 Americans (41%) said the ability to shop online makes it harder to stick to a monthly budget. The survey also found that more than half of Americans (52%)…

Participating in an Early Childhood Community of Practice: Part Two

As early childhood professionals, it is imperative to engage in ongoing learning and professional development. One way to accomplish this is by engaging in social learning through communities of practice (CoPs). In this three-part blog post series, we answer the following questions about communities of practice and provide resources for…

Inflation-Fighting Hacks for Military Families

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected] In colloquial terms, a “hack” is a workaround solution or strategy to overcome an obstacle or challenge of some sort. People often talk about hacks for time management, work-related activities, and home maintenance. Something that needs hacks right now is inflation, which is a…

Resource Discovery: Disaster and Emergency Preparedness with Ready.gov

Making and having a plan is always a good idea. Plans keep us on track to accomplishing our goals and succeeding in life. Typically, our plans are centered around things we want to achieve in a positive way, but what about planning for negative outcomes? It always helps to prepare…

Trusted Guidance:  Authoritative Resources & COVID-19

By Christopher Plein, Ph.D. The pandemic has dominated our lives now since early 2020.  In these unprecedented times of uncertainty, it is not surprising that we seek the familiar.  One of the things that I have done is to turn to the past by reading historical stories both real and…

Keeping Up With Keto: Approaching a Ketogenic Diet 

“Fat is the enemy” has continued to be the popular one-size-fits-all diet advice in the media when it comes to health and nutrition. Yet, the recent popularity of the keto diet has flipped these nutritional suggestions of demonizing fat on its head. Although the keto diet and lifestyle can seem…

5 Back to School Tips for Preparing Parents in Virtual Environments

By Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D. Since March 2020, most of your work has been done while reading from or talking into a screen. How has it been going? Have you developed new technological skills? Learned new jargon? Experienced video conferencing stress or the more popularly known zoom fatigue? Feeling underprepared? Feeling…

Participating in an Early Childhood Community of Practice: Part One

As early childhood professionals, it is imperative to engage in ongoing learning and professional development. One way to accomplish this is by engaging in social learning through communities of practice (CoPs). In this three-part blog post series, we answer the following questions about communities of practice and provide resources for…

Give Your Clients a Mid-Year Financial Check-Up

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected]   A financial check-up is as important as an annual physical with a doctor.  Like a medical exam, a review of someone’s personal finances can identify steps to improve “financial fitness” and screen for potential problems. While many people do a financial check-up at…

Express Yourself! Supporting Development and Wellbeing of Children

Celebrating our differences is a strength. But celebrating the things that make us stand out is often difficult for children and young adults. The roller coaster of finding themselves is in full steam ahead mode. And added “social expectations” now transcend the physical realm into the virtual world. TikTok, Instagram,…

Use Children’s Literature to Teach about Racism & Social Justice

By Sara Croymans,  MEd,  Extension Educator,  University of Minnesota Extension and PI for OneOp Family Transitions Recently, a friend shared that her 3-year-old daughter and another child called a young Black child in preschool a racial slur. This mother and her partner were mortified by their child’s actions, and couldn’t…

Risk Tolerance Categories

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected]   Risk tolerance is an investor’s capacity to handle the uncertainty that accompanies the selection of specific investment products such as stocks and bonds. For example, bonds are subject to interest rate risk (where bond prices fall as interest rates rise and vice versa),…

The Ketogenic Diet: A Silver Bullet for Health and Wellness?

The “ketogenic diet,” or “keto” for short, has become a household staple across the United States. The low-carbohydrate diet craze has been featured on tabloids and other forms of media across the nation for decades now.

Rekindling Relationships: Facing Challenges for Military Couples

Intimate relationships take work, and it takes both people in a relationship putting in the work to stay resilient and invested in each other. It is challenging enough for civilian couples and even more challenging for military couples. Military couples face challenges related to PCS, deployments, housing, finances, and a…

What’s Up with Ketogenic Diets: An Update

The CDC found that over 73% of Americans 20 and older were clinically overweight (2017-2018). Overweight (BMI 25-29.9) leads to various life-threatening chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Caregiver Emotions: An Interview with Dr. Brintnall-Peterson

Written by Rachel Brauner, Extension Program Specialist at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and OneOp Military Caregiving Program Coordinator Listen as one caregiver shares the most difficult piece of the caregiving journey – the emotions that come with caring for a loved one. Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D. is a retired Professor…

Looking to the Future after the Pandemic: Where Do We Go From Here?

  Blog post 4 of 5 in the series, "Military Family Readiness During and After COVID-19" by Karen Shirer, Ph.D. Resilience is often described as bouncing back from difficult experiences or events. Sometimes, though, events and experiences become overwhelming and our efforts fall short in recovering our “bounce.” When you…

Highlights from Recent AFCPE Professional Development Programs

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected]   Many Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) belong to the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE) as a professional “home” for financial practitioners and to earn continuing education credits as accredited financial counselors (AFCs). AFCPE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization that supports,…

Keto Diet: Benefits and Risks

The keto diet has become popular across social media these past few years. Yet, with so much misinformation floating around, many are still confused about what exactly the keto diet is, what the benefits are, and who should follow it. 

Resource Discovery: Deployment Resources for Military Service Members and Their Families

This blog highlights tools and resources that can also be utilized by professionals working with military families.

Triadic Strategies in Real Life

Triadic Strategies are used by early intervention (EI) and early childhood (EC) professionals to strengthen and enhance caregivers’ capacity to create positive, sensitive, and engaging interactions with children to support their development.

The Four B’s of Basic Personal Finance

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected]   Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) often find themselves discussing the “4 B’s of Basic Personal Finance” with service members. The 4 B’s are Budgeting, Banking, Borrowing, and Buying. Below are action steps for each of the 4 B’s for PFMs to share with service…

ENHANCING HEALTH AND WELLNESS WITH PROBIOTICS-Your Questions Answered!

This is what you have been waiting for!  We had so much interest in the probiotic webinar in May that we ran out of time for all the questions. 

Ways to Support Military Families on the 4th of July

The 4th of July, or Independence Day, is upon us in just a few more days. Every year on this date, we celebrate the founding of our nation and the history of the United States. And to properly view where we have been and where we are going, we must…

Needing to Maintain Your Professional License through Training & CE Credit? We’ve Got You Covered!

Today we are tooting our own horn about our “bread-and-butter” resources - FREE continuing education (CE) credit through a variety of means! OneOp (MFLN) is designed to provide military helping professionals with the latest research and information on a variety of topics to better support the families they serve. Our…

Retirement Readiness for Military Families

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected]   In May 2021, a one-hour webinar, Retirement Readiness for Military Families, aired for the first time as a collaboration between the Investor Protection Trust (IPT), a non-profit investor education organization, and PBS Books. The webinar featured experts who discussed unique benefits available to…

Workouts for Anyone: The Navy Operational Fitness and Fueling System

To the average civilian, physical fitness may come in the form of a hobby or constitute a health priority. Thus, for the average community-dwelling citizen, physical activity and fitness are commonly a privilege.

Go Beyond the Webinar| Considering the Adolescent Brain When Addressing Problematic Sexual Behavior of Youth

This blog reviews a OneOp webinar focused on recognizing normative, age-appropriate adolescent social, emotional, cognitive, and moral development as well as the impact of the adolescent brain on impulsive behavior, reasoning, and responsiveness to feedback.

Printable Resource: What we discovered during the pandemic

This week I found myself reviewing the many and varied resources covered during the 2020-2021 Military Family Readiness Academy. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out because it is a treasure trove of disaster readiness learning - 16.5 hours of learning PLUS continuing education credit!

“Head Start Investing” for Military Children

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected] Parents are generally a child’s greatest financial influence. Children are like “sponges” and carefully watch their parents’ financial behaviors (e.g., budgeting and credit card use), even when they don’t say anything. They also learn from family conversations about money and informal questions and answers.…

Managing the Ups and Downs of the Pandemic: What We’ve Learned about Supporting Military Families and Parents

Blog post 3 of 5 in the series, "Military Family Readiness During and After COVID-19" by Karen Shirer, Ph.D. Parents with children along with medical care providers, retail employees, and other frontline workers have carried a larger share of the hardships and burdens caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Military families…

Let’s Talk Caregiving & the Coronavirus

Written by: Rachel Brauner, OneOp Military Caregiving Caregiving is difficult enough, but the uncertainty of the Coronavirus added another hurdle to overcome for many individuals. Watch and listen as one caregiver shares her experience providing care during the pandemic and the impact it had on her everyday life. Mary Brintnall-Peterson,…

Navy Operational Fitness and Fueling System: The Foundation of Physical Readiness

The Navy Operational Fitness and Fueling System (NOFFS) provides the Navy with the best physical fitness and nutrition information so that the Sailors can maintain optimal physical readiness. The aim of the nutrition program is to help individuals improve athletic performance, reduce recovery time, prevent injury, and lead to optimal health status. 

I Bonds: An Attractive Place to Stash Some Cash

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected]   Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) often get questions from service members about where to earn the highest interest rates on savings. One attractive alternative that has been called “hiding in plain sight” and “the best-kept secret in America” is the U.S. Treasury Department’s I…

LGBTQ+ Pride Month: Resources for Military Families

To celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month, this blog post shares several important resources we know of specifically for military families.

Building Racial Literacy Among Military Caregivers and Children

by Jenny Rea, Ph.D. From a very young age, children (even babies) recognize differences. The ability to differentiate has been extensively studied across areas of development.  As early as birth, babies can differentiate between male and female caregivers and can differentiate between those who speak their native language and those…

Fourteen Frugal Tips to Save on Utilities

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected] Utility bills are a major recurring expense in family budgets, especially during the winter and summer months. They may not be the largest household expense, compared to housing costs or transportation, but people still spend a lot of money on heating, cooling, and other…

Memorial Day: Supporting Military Families and Professionals

This blog shares resources that can help military families and professionals working with military families.

Probiotic and Prebiotic Foods: Feeding Your Bacterial Self

The extent of the microbial world is immense. Bacteria, fungi, archaea (single-celled organisms) easily outnumber all organisms of the animal and plant kingdom combined on planet Earth.

Mark Your Calendar! Back to School in 2021

It’s not too late to RSVP for the upcoming OneOp Military Caregiving webinar at 11:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 as we focus on ‘Back to School in 2021.’ This webinar will be presented as a sequel to the “Back to School: Special Needs and Social Distancing” session…

Triadic Strategies in Action!

During Part 1 of our 2-part series, “Strategies for Supporting Caregiver-Child Interactions That Enhance Development,” we discussed the importance (and the power) of our interactions in supporting the competence and confidence of caregivers and children. We introduced six strategies, referred to as triadic strategies, which are listed below in the…

Professional Practice Pointers for PFMs

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected] Financial educators and counselors, in general, and military Personal Financial Managers (PFMs), specifically, use a variety of skills and resources to assist individuals and families with personal finance decisions. Services provided by PFMs include helping service members prepare a budget, finance a car, financially…

Maintaining a Healthy Microbiome with Prebiotics and Probiotics

The lining of our gut is filled with trillions of bacteria. These bacteria aid in our digestion, immune system, mood and behaviors, and our overall health.

Resource Discovery: Chill Drills to Practice Mindfulness and Relieve Stress

This blog post focuses on a resource that helps with stress and anxiety relief as well as being a great way to practice mindfulness.

Month of the Military Caregiver

May is designated Month of the Military Caregiver and we honor these hidden heroes today and every day. There are 5.5 million military caregivers in the United States, 1.1 million of whom are caring for military veterans who served after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (RAND, 2014). A caregiver…

Trust your Gut: Let’s Talk Pre and Probiotics

Pre- and probiotics help maintain a healthy gut by balancing bacteria in the intestines. This healthy balance creates an environment that's suitable for other microbes to flourish.

Financial Capability Part 6: Helping Your Client Finalize and Stick to Their Spending Plan

By Selena Garrison. We acknowledge that many families facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 are unable to save money right now. We hope the information provided in this series will serve as a helpful resource, during National Financial Capability Month, for Personal Finance Managers to enhance the money management skills…

Celebrating National Military Appreciation Month

This blog highlights several ways to show gratitude to our men and women who continue to serve, have served, and the families that stand beside them.

Revisiting the Pandemic: Lessons Learned for Future Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness

Blog post 2 of 5 in the series, "Military Family Readiness During and After COVID-19" by Karen Shirer, Ph.D. The pandemic began over a year ago and continues to rage globally. When Military Family Service Providers (MFSP) were asked during the Military Family Readiness Academy (MFRA) Preparing for Disaster During…

Mental Health First Aid – Prevention, Intervention & Recovery

Written by: Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Extension Specialist – Special Populations, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, on average, 123 people die by suicide each day. In addition, nearly one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness (NIMH, 2020).…

Financial Capability Part 5: Setting Financial Goals

By Selena Garrison We acknowledge that many families facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 are unable to save money right now. We hope the information provided in this blog series will serve as a helpful resource, during National Financial Capability Month, for Personal Finance Managers to enhance the money management…

Military Family Readiness During and After COVID-19

Blog post 1 of 5 in the series, "Military Family Readiness During and After COVID-19" by Karen Shirer, Ph.D. Lindsey, a military spouse, lives on the West Coast with her husband, an active-duty Marine, and her two children, 2 and 4 years old. The year 2020 was a tough one…

Your Questions Answered! Supporting Clients Health through Intuitive Eating Webinar

We had such a lively discussion during this webinar "Supporting Clients Health through Intuitive Eating Webinar"! We could not get to all the questions, so the presenters have provided their answers in writing.

Recap of the Triadic Strategies

Triadic strategies are used by YOU, the EI/EC professional, to support and enhance caregivers’ capacity to create positive, sensitive, and engaging interactions that support children’s development. A few examples of each of the six triadic strategies are provided below:

Financial Capability Part 4: Are Your Clients Living on What They Make?

By Selena Garrison We acknowledge that many families facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 are unable to save money right now. We hope the information provided in this blog series will serve as a helpful resource, during National Financial Capability Month, for Personal Finance Managers to enhance the money management…

Centers for Independent Living: Caregiver Support Services

Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are community-based centers that are run by and for people with disabilities and offer a broad range of services to empower and enable people to stay in the community (ACL, 2020). Watch and listen as video blog (vlog) host, Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D., Extension Program Specialist for…

Getting Started with Coaching in the Context of Routines and Activities

Caregiver coaching is promoted in the field of early intervention to enhance caregivers’ ability to promote their children’s development and learning. In our last blog, we provided an overview of the coaching model in early intervention and provided resources for more information. In this blog we focus on getting started…

Financial Capability Part 3: Fixed vs. Flexible Expenses

By Selena Garrison, University of Florida    We acknowledge that many families facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 are unable to save money right now. We hope the information provided in this blog series will serve as a helpful resource, during National Financial Capability Month, for Personal Finance Managers to enhance…

April: National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Along with being the Month of the Military Child, April is also National Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of the children across the globe are victims of violence every year – that’s an estimated 1 billion youth…

Financial Capability Part 2: How Much Money Do You Have Coming In?

By Selena Garrison, University of Florida                      We acknowledge that many families facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 are unable to save money right now. We hope the information provided in this blog series will serve as a helpful resource, during…

Centers for Independent Living: Peer Support

Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are community-based centers that are run by and for people with disabilities and offer a broad range of services to empower and enable people to stay in the community (ACL, 2020). Watch and listen as video blog (vlog) host, Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D., Extension Program Specialist for…

Build Your Relationship With Food Through Intuitive Eating

Intuitive eating is gaining traction and becoming a popular concept in the health and wellness world for its focus on unity between the mind and body and removing the strict mindset of "healthy vs. unhealthy" foods. This initiative strives to get people back in tune with their bodies and remove…

A Coaching Model in Early Intervention: What’s That?

Early Intervention (EI) programs serve families of young children (birth through 36 months) who have delays and disabilities. These services are mandated by Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Act (2004) and are required to include families in service planning and delivery. Recent movements in early intervention have…

Financial Capability Part 1: Where is Your Money Going?

By Selena Garrison, University of Florida                       We acknowledge that many families facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 are unable to save money right now. We hope the information provided in this blog series will serve as a helpful resource, during National Financial Capability Month, for Personal Finance Managers to enhance…

Go Beyond the Webinar| Supporting Parents and Children Through Hazards and Disasters

On March 10th, 2021, OneOp hosted the webinar, “Supporting Parents and Children Through Hazards and Disasters, ”  part of the 2021 Military Family Readiness Academy series Disaster and Hazard Readiness in Action.

April: Month of the Military Child

By: Sara Croymans, MEd,  Extension Educator,  University of Minnesota Extension and PI for OneOp Family Transitions. Military Children According to the 2019 Demographics Profile there were 1,644,456 total military children in 2019. More military children are younger, as shown in the pie chart below. Celebrating Military Children Have you taken…

Adapting Child & Youth Programming During COVID – An Interview with Laura Groeneweg

OneOp (MFLN) Family Transitions team acknowledges that COVID has created many challenges for Military Family Service Providers this past year as they have attempted to continue to provide services to military Service members and their families. Service providers have had to be extremely creative and flexible in delivering programs that…

Intuitive Eating for Improved Health and Wellness

As Evelyn Tribole, MS, RDN, CEDRD-S explains, “Intuitive Eating is a self-care eating framework, which integrates instinct, emotion, and rational thought and was created by two dietitians, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch in 1995”. Intuitive eating is a non-diet approach to establishing a healthy relationship between the mind and body.

Children and Money: Building Financial Capability

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC® [email protected] Personal Finance Managers (PFMs) do not only help service members with their finances, they consider everyone in a military family. Many parents have questions about children and money. Should children be given an allowance? Should they have to work for it? How do…

5 Ways to Celebrate Military Children During the Month of April

This week’s OneOp blog post is a guest blog contribution from Christine “C.C.” Gallagher, Founder of Military Quality of Life Consulting LLC. C.C. is no stranger to the major life changes and often unexpected transitions that comes with living in a military family.

Connecting Communities in Asset-based Community Recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented some really difficult challenges, but it also has revealed some opportunities for building better systems and communities. The Asset-based Community Recovery (ABCR) Framework can help us recognize those opportunities and take action to create our future.

Good Things Come in Threes!

Did you know that good things come in threes? Well, they do! Did you also know that YOU are one of the three things that support interactions between a caregiver and a child? In fact, you are a very important part of the good things that come in threes.  One…

Supporting Women Through the Pandemic

By Molly C. Herndon The recently coined term “shecession” reflects the tremendous financial burden the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on women. Women are more represented among service-industry jobs that were among the first to be cut during the early days of the pandemic. The grim data from the US Bureau…

Resource Discovery: Sesame Street’s New Coming Together Initiative

Last week, Sesame Street launched a new suite of recourses developed on racial justice. Sesame Street’s new Coming Together initiative focuses on discussions around racism. Sesame Street has introduced two new characters, Wes and his father Elijah, as part of their new “ABC’s of Racial Literacy” series.

Centers for Independent Living: Preventing Abuse, Neglect & Exploitation

Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are community-based centers that are run by and for people with disabilities and offer a broad range of services to empower and enable people to stay in the community (ACL, 2020). Watch and listen as video blog (vlog) host, Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D., Extension Program Specialist for…

TBI & the Military

Written by: Mason Gold, Intern, OneOp Military Caregiving concentration. March is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) awareness month and according to the Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence (TBICoE), over 430,000 service members have sustained a TBI. In the military, service members can sustain a TBI not only in combat operations…

Food Supply Issues in the Home: Our Impact on Food Safety and Food Waste

Food is a delicacy and luxury that we all enjoy. Nonetheless, we must recognize that food can also be the source of particular hazards.

The MFRAcademy is now a Course!

by Jennifer J. Chilek, Family & Community Health Program Specialist Did you know that the Military Family Readiness Academy webinar series has been transformed into a series of self-paced courses? It's true. The Military Family Readiness Academy series events that were offered as live webinars have all been redesigned as…

Combating Food Waste in Your Household

The topic of food waste is usually brought up around holidays when there is an abundance of food bought and evidently wasted. But the fact is that Americans waste vast amounts of food every day.

Go Beyond the Webinar| Overview of Treatment for Children Impacted by Problematic Sexual Behavior of Other Youth

On February 25th, 2021, OneOp hosted the latest webinar in the Sexual Behavior in Children and Youth Series entitled “Overview of Treatment for Children Impacted by Problematic Sexual Behavior of Other Youth.” This webinar was a great next installment in our Sexual Behavior in Children & Youth (SBCY) Series, which…

A Balancing Act: Food Safety and Food Waste

According to the CDC, about 1 in every 6 Americans or roughly 48 million people get sick each year due to foodborne illness. The USDA estimates that in the United States, our food waste is about 30-40%  of our food supply.

Early Intervention Telehealth: Thoughts from Providers – Part Four

When the COVID-19 pandemic began early in 2020, early intervention (EI) systems had to transform their service delivery model almost overnight. Over time, some states have been able to put in place forms of remote service delivery, such as telehealth in order to safely meet the needs of young children…

Breaking Down the GameStop/Reddit/Robinhood Story

 By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected]. Recent news about the meteoric rise of GameStop stock caused by an organized group of online traders provides a “teachable moment” for Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) and other financial educators. Many people have questions about exactly what happened and are interested in learning about…

Resource Discovery: Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month and with that comes lots of great resources, specifically for military families. Traumatic brain injuries received during combat affect about 1.7 million military service members and veterans annually, according to the CDC (2020). Also, the possibility of sustaining a TBI is increased for military…

Early Intervention Telehealth: Thoughts from Providers – Part Three

Early intervention (EI) service delivery has had to adapt over the last year to mitigate the risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. In some states, forms of remote service delivery, such as telehealth have been implemented in order to safely meet the needs of young children with disabilities and their…

Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) Investment Options

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC® [email protected] One of the best ways to save for retirement is in a tax-deferred employer savings plan. Like 401(k) plans in the private sector, the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a defined contribution plan that allows service members (and federal government workers) to voluntarily…

Preparing Your Emergency Food Stockpile Before the Next Disaster

Obtaining food amid a natural or man-made disaster can be an unsettling thought. I believe that we can all recount the early days of the current pandemic and the run on the supermarkets that we witnessed.

Helping Families Start on a Journaling Journey

Finding easy, accessible ways to communicate and connect becomes difficult during times of great stress. Journaling is one technique that can help. Journaling has many benefits to both physical wellness and mental health. These benefits include reducing stress, improving mood and communication skills, and helping with the healthy processing of…

Centers for Independent Living: Person-Centered Planning

Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are community-based centers that are run by and for people with disabilities and offer a broad range of services to empower and enable people to stay in the community (ACL, 2020). Watch and listen as video blog (vlog) host, Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D., Extension Program Specialist for…

Extension Disaster Education Network Provides Valuable Resources

by Sara Croymans & Lori Hendrickson, Extension Educators, Family Development - Resiliency, University of Minnesota Extension The Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) is a network of extension professionals interested in disaster education and programming. EDEN works to help make disaster preparation and recovery easier by collaborating and sharing disaster education…

Early Intervention Telehealth: Thoughts from Providers – Part Two

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the delivery of early intervention (EI) services. To safely meet the needs of young children with disabilities and their families, some states have been able to implement forms of remote service delivery, such as telehealth. Telehealth is generally defined as an alternative to providing services…

A Crash Course in Cryptocurrencies

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC® [email protected]. Pick up any personal finance textbook and you are likely to see an “Investment Risk and Reward Pyramid” graphic. The graphic will likely show low risk, low return investments, like cash equivalents and U.S. Treasury securities, at the base and high risk, high…

Preparing for Disasters

Food and nutrition are core elements of survival. Therefore, it is vital to know how to access safe food before, during, and after disasters.

Talking to Your Teen: Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Romantic relationships between teenagers can be tumultuous, passionate, and complicated. Affecting all things such as self-esteem, self-image, peer groups, and family relationships, teen dating is a huge aspect of the teenager's experience.

Maintaining Healthy Military Couple Relationships Despite Transitions

By Jennifer K. Rea, Ph.D. February is known for many things, including Black History Month, Groundhog Day, President’s Day,  and fast approaching, Valentine’s Day.  For many, Valentine’s Day is a time for recognizing and celebrating those we love. To some, the holiday is an exciting time – a night out…

What is “Learned Helplessness?”

Written by: Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D., MBP Consulting, LLC, Professor Emeritus, UW-Extension & Caregiver (Third article of three-part series on caregiver helplessness.) Helplessness is a feeling many care receivers and caregivers experience when both are dealing with a chronic or life threating disease, especially when there is a lot of distress.…

Early Intervention Telehealth: Thoughts from Providers – Part One

Historically, in the U.S., individual states have varied greatly in their delivery of early intervention (EI) services; however, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered even greater differences. Some states have begun using remote service delivery (e.g., telehealth, live video visits). Generally, telehealth is defined by the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center…

Resource Discovery: PTSD Resources for Military Service Members and Their Families

With such high percentages of military service members and veterans who have dealt with PTSD, what are some of the resources and breakthroughs that are happening today to combat the effects of PTSD? We wanted to share a handful of resources that can help with the effects of PTSD. These…

Dietary Guidelines Webinar: Your questions answered!

As promised, Dr. Donovan has answered your questions that did not get answered during the webinar that she presenter on January 27. If you missed it you can watch the recording at: oneop.org/event/79976/

Shift the Paradigm

By Sara Croymans. A common theme among academic research on disaster and hazard preparation and recovery is the importance of helping individuals, communities and organizations shift the paradigm toward preparing, rather than repairing. However, the research also shows us that many people are not financially prepared to handle unexpected expenses.…

Centers for Independent Living – Employment Services

Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are community-based centers that are run by and for people with disabilities and offer a broad range of services to empower and enable people to stay in the community (ACL, 2020). Watch and listen as video blog (vlog) host, Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D., Extension Program Specialist for…

Connecting with Families Experiencing Cases of PSB

In the latest Sexual Behavior in Children and Youth (SBCY) series webinar, "Engaging Families in Clinical Services: A Discussion on Engagement in the Family Advocacy Setting,” we discuss how service providers and families engaged in clinical services are impacted by their unique history and experiences. And how these factors shape…

Take-Aways from a Military Meet-Up

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC® [email protected]. Dr. Barbara O'Neill During the virtual 2020 AFCPE Symposium, I attended a “military meet-up” for members who provide financial education and counseling programs for service members and their families. It was a structured discussion using Zoom with a series of questions for the…

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025

Recently, The Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion in the United States Department of Agriculture recently the 9th iteration of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). Guidelines established in the DGA are intended for use as recommendations for the American public to follow.

New Year’s Resolutions- Healthy Habits for the Military Family

2020 was a bit of a rollercoaster and the events of last year will most definitely shape 2021. With everything going on in the world around us, it is hard sometimes to ground ourselves and to remember what is truly important for us and our families. With that in mind,…

Are You Making Your Care Receiver Feel Helpless?

Written by: Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D., MBP Consulting, LLC, Professor Emeritus, UW-Extension & Caregiver (Second article in three-part series on caregiver helplessness.) Knowing that I can’t be the only caregiver feeling helpless, I researched the topic to better understand the emotions associated with helplessness and to garner coping strategies.  During my…

Recap: Dietary Guidelines For Americans, 2020-2025

Every five years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) publish a new set of Dietary Guidelines for Americans based on the latest scientific evidence. This set of guidelines helps Americans understand what to eat to live healthfully and reduce their…

Ethical Issues and Standards of Practice

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC® [email protected] One hallmark of a professional credential, such as the AFCPE Accredited Financial Counselor® (AFC®) designation, is a code of ethics. Ethics are principles of proper conduct derived from morals (i.e., principles about what is right and wrong). Ethics are intimately grounded in the…

Go Beyond the Webinar| Engaging Families in Clinical Services: A Discussion on Engagement in Family Advocacy Settings

The goals of this webinar focused on factors that impact engagement for families in clinical services. Further, the research of McKay et al. related to caregiver engagement was discussed and applied to the family advocacy setting. This also included identifying the factors, protective and otherwise, that impact engagement in clinical…

Are You Feeling Helpless as a Caregiver?

Written by: Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D., MBP Consulting, LLC, Professor Emeritus, UW-Extension & Caregiver (First article in three-part series on caregiver helplessness.) I don’t know about you, but there have been many times when I felt helpless as a caregiver, especially during the past 18 months as I care for my…

Creating Healthy Habits for the New Year

With the New Year comes a new opportunity to finally get started on the habits and goals you’ve been thinking about. Maybe you had these same goals last year but weren’t able to follow through. In fact, 92% of Americans do not follow through with their New Year's resolutions.

Downsizing Holiday Debt

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected]. Like many Americans, it is not uncommon for military families to have leftover holiday debt still hanging over their heads like a big dark cloud. What can you do to help these clients? There are a number of time-tested ways to dig out from…

OneOp Family Development 2020 Year in Review

2020 has been a challenging but inspiring year here at OneOp. Despite the COVID-19 global pandemic, we were able to provide lots of new webinars, several housed within ongoing programming series, with three Anchored podcast episodes, and much more programming for our Department of Defense and clinical professional audiences. What…

Helping Military Families Prepare and Respond to Disasters and Hazards, Part 2

By Karen Shirer, PhD. Military Family Service Providers (MFSPs) along with Cooperative Extension and other community organizations play important roles in helping military families plan for and respond to hazards and disasters, especially if they are experiencing military and/or family transitions. This post is part two of Helping Families Prepare…

Centers for Independent Living – Advocacy & Self-Determination

Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are community-based centers that are run by and for people with disabilities and offer a broad range of services to empower and enable people to stay in the community (ACL, 2020). Watch and listen as video blog (vlog) host, Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D., Extension Program Specialist for…

What Service Members Need to Know About Life Insurance

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC® [email protected] One of the costliest financial risks that families face is the death of a breadwinner. This is especially true if a spouse and children depend upon that person for all of their support. Not surprisingly, given the risks inherent in military Service, life…

2020 Guest Blog Series Recap Featuring C.C. Gallagher

2020 has been a challenging year for us all. A U.S. election year, a year filled with protests and calls for societal changes, and a year that will be remembered due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic. In our OneOp blog posts, we strive to get resources and topics out…

Ensuring a Successful Transition from Military to Civilian Life for Women Veterans

by Jennifer K. Rea, PhD. “We join on the premise to be part of a brotherhood and then struggle to fit in. When we leave, we no longer struggle to fit in anymore. ‘I’m going to say goodbye to that chapter of my life.’ It’s unfortunate, but I think that’s…

Unpacking Stay-Play-Talk

Stay-Play-Talk (SPT) is a peer-mediated intervention strategy. This strategy can be so beneficial for children who are socially isolated! Stay-Play-Talk can really be adjusted in so many ways to meet the needs of both the child and teacher. In this blog post we want to briefly review the steps for…

Healthy Eating for Older Adults

Eating healthy as an older adult is essential for improving and maintaining a high quality of life. However, older individuals are more likely to face difficulties when it comes to their health.

A One-Hour Financial Check-Up

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC® [email protected] Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) are often in a position to provide their clients with a financial “check-up.” Like a medical exam, a review of clients’ finances can identify strategies to improve their “financial fitness” and screen for potential problems, such as a high…

Centering Ourselves this Holiday: Self-care and Wellness for Support Professionals

Our interactions with each other have transformed in major ways this year. With COVID-19 cases still rising as we head into the holiday season, connecting with loved ones will continue to look different this winter. After a year of navigating how to best support vulnerable individuals, families, and communities, establishing…

Caregiver Problem-Solving

Written by: Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D., MBP Consulting, LLC, Professor Emeritus, UW-Extension & Caregiver. Problem-solving is a task all of us have done throughout our life but as a caregiver problem-solving seems to be different. As I care for my adult son, who has cancer, I find problem solving becomes more…

Lifestyle Medicine and How to Implement it for Military Families

There is compelling evidence to show that we could eliminate 80% of all heart disease and strokes, 90% of all diabetes, and 60% of all cancers by making changes to our lifestyle. Which opens up the question: what are these changes and why is heart disease still the leading cause…

Plant-Based Diets: Health, The Environment, and Lifestyle Medicine

Author: Christian Maino Vieytes, Doctoral Student, Division of Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  Lifestyle Medicine and Plant-based Diet   The field of lifestyle medicine has seen an explosion over the last decade. Along with it, we have seen a surge in the interest and pursuit of plant-based diets…

13 Themed Baskets to Gift This Holiday Season

By Laura Royer. With the holidays approaching, military families may be looking for easy and cost-affordable gift ideas to give to family members. One cost-effective idea is to gift holiday baskets that, if strategically approached, can help your client save money on gift-giving this season. The following are 13 ideas…

Sustainable Nutrition and Why it Matters

  By: Haley Singer, Undergraduate Student in Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. What is sustainable nutrition? Sustainable nutrition is the impact of diet and the food system on the planet. Today, malnutrition continues to be a problem as the number of overweight people and…

Dealing with Depression: Self-Care for Early Childhood Professionals During the COVID-19 Pandemic

2020 has been a difficult a year for many people. As the year concludes, extra attention should turn to the issue of depression. Shortened daylight hours, holiday stress, and other factors may lead to an increase in depressive symptoms during this season. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt life…

10 Money Saving Tips

By Laura Royer One of the biggest reasons many military families do not save money is that they do not know where to start. While there are many different ways to find the money to save, here are 10 easy ways to help military families you work with as Personal…

Go Beyond the Webinar| Problematic Sexual Behavior: The Importance of a Multidisciplinary Evidence-Based Approach

The goals of this webinar were to identify normative vs. cautionary vs. problematic sexual behavior in children and where these behaviors fall on a continuum. This also included going over common misconceptions and what is supported by academic research. Also, we explored strategies that professionals across disciplines can use and…

Helping Military Families Prepare and Respond to Disasters and Hazards, Part 1

by Karen Shirer, Ph.D.  In most cases, little can be done to prevent natural and technological/responsible parties (man-made) hazards and disasters, but a great deal can be done to prepare military families before disasters occur. A recent OneOp Family Transitions blog post by Jenny Rea, Preparing Military Families for Natural…

Why Can’t They Be Friends?

Do you ever wonder how to help young children build and maintain friendships with peers?  Do you have children who struggle to have conversations, use kind words, play together, or solve social problems?  If so, this webinar is for you!

It’s the Best Sale of the Year, or is it? 13 Myths About Black Friday

By Laura Royer Black Friday is the most anticipated sale of the year because it is touted to be the “biggest” sale and “best” deal of the year. Back in the day, this was probably true, but today it is much different. Many of the deals end up being about…

Centers for Independent Living: Aging & Disability Networks

Pt. 3 Vlog Series: Centers for Independent Living – Transitioning to Adulthood. Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are community-based centers that are run by and for people with disabilities and offer a broad range of services to empower and enable people to stay in the community (ACL, 2020). Watch and listen…

10 Ways to Prepare for Cyber Monday

By Laura Royer Holiday sales are in full effect and Cyber Monday is one that many military families look forward to shopping. While there may be some great deals, as Personal Finance Managers (PFMs), it’s important to educate your clients on how to properly manage their holiday budget so they…

Celebrating our Military Families: Month of the Military Family

Military families are often new people in town due to frequent relocations. Especially during the holidays, and specifically this year with the new restrictions, many families may be celebrating far from their own families and feeling more isolated than usual. There is no better time to show your support to…

Holidays in Early Childhood Classrooms: Respecting Cultures and Beliefs

This time of year it can be easy to focus on our own cultural practices surrounding the winter holidays. However, in order to create an inclusive classroom in which all children and families feel represented and accepted, early childhood professionals should take care to avoid certain practices. Here we discuss…

Lifestyle Medicine vs. Integrative Medicine

In America, healthcare is primarily conventionally based, meaning surgical procedures and pharmacology are used to treat symptoms of diseases. However, these practices are not adequate for the many Americans facing chronic illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, and many more.

Beneficiary Designation Decisions

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC® [email protected] Having appropriate and up-to-date beneficiary designations is an important part of the financial planning process. It is not enough to build wealth over time, people also want their assets to go to beneficiaries that they care deeply about (e.g., spouses, children, and/or charitable…

Resource Discovery: Military Child Education Coalition

Children in military families face unique challenges not often experienced by children in the civilian world. With constant moves, changing schools and friends, deployed parents, and parental transitions back into the home, just these challenges alone are enough to increase stress and anxiety for military-connected children. That is why finding…

Staying Positive: Internally Focused Strategies to Help Stay Positive

Written by: Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D., MBP Consulting, LLC, Professor Emeritus, UW-Extension & Caregiver. (Fourth article in a four-part series on staying positive as a caregiver.) Since there were so many strategies to help us maintain a positive attitude two articles were needed and I’ve probably missed many others.  If your…

Investment Myths: Truth or Trick?

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC® [email protected] Investing is a frequent topic that Personal Financial Managers (PFMs) get questions about. Whether questions relate to Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) asset allocation decisions or investments made into IRAs or taxable accounts, service members typically have much to learn, and may also have…

Student Loan Debt Relief for Military Families

By Laura Royer Military service can be appealing to new recruits because of education benefits. Service members can expect to receive opportunities for financial aid as well as the benefits of lower to zero percent interest rates, deferment, and special repayment programs or even partial to full loan forgiveness. There…

Go Beyond the Webinar| Healthy Moms, Happy Babies I & II

On October 1st and 7th 2020, OneOp hosted two recent webinars called “Healthy Moms, Happy Babies I: Supporting Staff to Help Families Remotely” and “Healthy Moms, Happy Babies II: Virtually Supporting Parents Experiencing Domestic Abuse.” These webinars were, in part, to showcase some of the work being done at Futures…

Children’s Books About Disasters Open Conversations & Understanding

By Sara Croymans I love children’s books. Despite the fact that my children are grown, I continue to spend time in the children’s department at the bookstore, as well as collect and gift books to my grandchildren and others. Books are magical. Their beautiful pictures and amazing stories allow us…

Ending Hunger in The United States

pexels-august-de-richelieu-4259140 Author: Christian Maino Vieytes, Doctoral Student, Division of Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign   Optimal health derives from a complicated equation. The determinants of health are numerous, and many of them tie into the social factors that define our lives. These variables include the conditions we are…

Setting up Classrooms for Success During a Pandemic: Strategies for Early Childhood Educators

As students across the country are learning new rules and expectations related to COVID-19, early childhood educators are tasked with providing the support needed for young children to succeed and stay healthy. This post focuses on three strategies educators can use to set up their classrooms to support the needs…

Addressing Food Access for Military Families

By Molly C. Herndon, MS Many families are experiencing hard times right now, and spending money on nutritious and wholesome food may not be a top priority. However, food insecurity is a problem that has affected families long before we felt COVID’s financial impact. Food insecurity is defined by the…

Food Insecurity Among Service Members and Veterans

Unfortunately, food insecurity is a common issue among many active-duty members, veterans, and military families. Food insecurity can be defined as the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. According to a recent study, “estimates of food insecurity among veterans vary widely, ranging…

Continuing the Conversation on Caring for Children During COVID-19 and Other Emergencies

Whether you and your family are still working and attending school from home, going in for only a few days out of the week and have a new hybrid model, or are back to heading into the office or school full time, each of our professional and personal lives has…

A New Adventure for our Military Kids

Going back to school is a big change for all kids. Now, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, going back to school may be even more stressful, and may look very different for many children and families, especially our military kids.

Dealing with Hazards & Disaster: Lessons from the Military Family Readiness Academy

Written by: Christopher Plein, Ph.D. West Virginia University and OneOp Military Caregiving Concentration In a time of unprecedented fires in the West and hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, all set against the backdrop of a continuing pandemic, we are reminded of the risks posed by natural…

Working Together Isn’t Always Easy

As an early childhood practitioner, connecting with and including families of young children with disabilities to support positive behavior at school, childcare, and home is important work.  However, this isn't always easy. At times you may feel frustrated with some of the families you work with. 

Avoiding Scams during Uncertain Times

We find ourselves in a tenuous climate. The world is gripped by a rapidly spreading and deadly viral pandemic.

COVID-19 Era Personal Finance Tips for the Financially Unscathed

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC® [email protected]. Americans have lived with the financial effects of COVID-19 for more than six months. Many have experienced a loss or reduction of income, and related impacts such as food insecurity, depletion of savings, and outstanding payments for rent, utilities, loans, and other household…

Go Beyond the Webinar| Modeling Healthy Technology Behaviors for Young Children

For this latest installment, we were joined by Dr. Erin Taylor, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center – Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (CCAN) in Oklahoma City, OK. Her goals in this webinar were to share her active involvement in…

Staying Positive: Action Strategies to Help Caregivers Stay Positive

Written by: Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D., MBP Consulting, LLC, Professor Emeritus, UW-Extension & Caregiver. (Third article in a four-part series on staying positive as a caregiver.) Since every caregiver will experience stress sometime in their caregiver journey and the realization of the need for caregivers to be positive to stay healthy…

What Financial Practitioners Need to Know About Food Insecurity

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC® [email protected] The term “food insecurity” is defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as “a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle.” While food insecurity is related to hunger (i.e., many food insecure people go hungry), it is…

Resource Discovery: Disaster Preparedness Resources for Military Families

Military service members and their families face many challenges related to deployments, frequent moves, family transitions, spouses changing jobs, and kids changing schools. It is all part of the “normal” family lifecycle of a military family. However, what happens when that normal lifecycle is interrupted due to added stress and…

Centers for Independent Living: Preparing Parents & Caregivers

Pt. 2 Vlog Series: Centers for Independent Living – Transitioning to Adulthood. Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are community-based centers that are run by and for people with disabilities and offer a broad range of services to empower and enable people to stay in the community (ACL, 2020). Watch and listen…

Early Childhood Drop off and Pick-up Procedures during a Pandemic

Across the country preschools and childcare centers are working to serve children while also managing the risks of spreading COVID-19. Many centers have adjusted their drop-off and pick-up procedures to minimize exposure. Some programs require families to stay in the car while a staff member helps the child in and…

Eight Strategies to Deal with Debt

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC® [email protected] Personal financial managers (PFMs) are well aware of signs of overextended credit and debt. Some of the most common indicators that individuals and families have too much debt are when they… put off paying bills because they do not have enough money to…

Preparing Military Families for Natural Disasters by Utilizing Resiliency Skills

By: Jennifer Rea, PhD. The first hurricane I experienced was when my husband and I were stationed in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Growing up in the Midwest, hurricanes were not the natural disaster to worry about. Instead, we prepared for tornadoes. Due to our unfamiliarity with hurricanes, my husband I were…

How to Teach Nutrition to Someone with Low Nutrition Literacy

Nutrition education is important to prevent disease and to not only increase longevity but the quality of life. One major obstacle to educating military families about good nutrition practices is nutrition literacy.

Building Relationships with Children’s Families Can Make a Big Difference

Do you want to build stronger relationships with families?  Do you struggle to have conversations with families around sensitive or difficult topics?  Do you need ideas for how to meaningfully involve families in early childhood? Building positive relationships with children’s families that affirms their culture and identity is an important part…

Helping Military Families Get Caught Up on Bills

By Laura Royer. Occasionally, military families may find themselves falling behind on bills. This could be due to poor planning before relocations or deployment, or it may be due to a lack of money management skills. Regardless of the reasons, it is important for Personal Finance Managers (PFMs) to help…

Nutrition Literacy in America

The rise in overweight and obese adults has led to devastating increases in rates of heart disease, stroke, and cancer. These worrying statistics are the source of much anguish for public health professionals who worry about nutrition literacy remaining low in the United States.

Navigating the Ever-Changing Reality of Youth Tech Use

As our Sexual Behaviors in Children and Youth (SBCY) Series continues to evolve, our training has expanded to include a focus on healthy relationships and tech use. In our SBCY training, “Supporting Youth to Set Healthy Boundaries with Technology,” Jasmine Uribe discussed how technology is used to harm teens and…

Back to School: Special Needs & Social Distancing

Written by: Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Extension Specialist – Special Populations, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Most of us have been living a “social distancing," “quarantining," “working from home," “physically distant” type of existence since perhaps March 2020. While the circumstances that led us to these types of…

Financial Preparedness and Natural Disasters

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC® [email protected] The official dates for hurricane season are the six months from June 1 through November 30 of each year. At this same time, other natural disasters, such as tornadoes, floods, and wildfires, also occur frequently. After a natural disaster, someone’s life is turned…

Communication Methods for Low Health Literacy Patients

According to the CDC, health literacy is defined as “the degree to which an individual has the capacity to obtain, communicate, process, and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions”. It is essential for dietitians and other health professionals to be aware of their patients’ health…

Military Families and Reestablishing Normalcy: Returning to Routines amidst COVID-19 for Families with Teens

Adaptability is a trait that members of military families need to be able to pick up quickly. But change can come fast, and military families can struggle with transitions.  With these transitions, what are some of the best ways we as professionals can help military families specifically, with re-establishing some…

In-Person Learning for Young Children During a Pandemic

Across the country, many schools are beginning a new year that will look different than previous ones.  Due to COVID-19, there are new rules and expectations in place for children and adults. These changes may lead to behavioral challenges for young children in childcare, preschool, and early intervention settings. In…

Applying Positive Psychology to Financial Practice

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC® [email protected]. A major focus of Personal Finance Managers (PFMs) is helping military families thrive financially and reach financial goals. The field of positive psychology, with its emphasis on utilizing personal strengths and attaining greater happiness in life (a.k.a., flourishing), is strongly aligned with the…

Go Beyond the Webinar| Using Evidence-Based Programs to Best Support Military Families: An Intro to the Continuum of Evidence

On August 20th, 2020, OneOp hosted, “Using Evidence-Based Programs to Best Support Military Families: An Intro to the Continuum of Evidence.” In this webinar, we were joined by Dr. Daniel Perkins, Dr. Melissa Zack, and Jennifer Smith from the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State University. Their goal…

Staying Positive: How Our Bodies React to Stress

Written by: Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D., MBP Consulting, LLC, Professor Emeritus, UW-Extension & Caregiver. (Second article in a four-part series on staying positive as a caregiver) Since every caregiver will experience stress sometime in their caregiver journey and the realization of the need for caregivers to be positive to stay healthy…

Overview of Centers for Independent Living & Administration for Community Living 

Pt. 1 Vlog Series: Centers for Independent Living – Transitioning to Adulthood  Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are community-based centers that are run by and for people with disabilities and offer a broad range of services to empower and enable people to stay in the community (ACL, 2020).   Watch and…

Building Financial Resilience

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC® [email protected]. The words “resilience” and “resiliency” have been used frequently since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Children, families, communities, and the nation as a whole have all been described as resilient: having the ability to function well and maintain a positive outlook despite experiencing highly…

Caring for Your Cognitive Health

Forgetfulness can happen at any age. You may walk into a room and forget what you needed, or maybe you forgot where you put your keys.

How Military Families Can Teach Their Kids About Money

Laura Royer By Laura Royer. Understanding how to manage money wisely is one of the most important skills a parent can teach a child. It’s even more important today with teens spending on average about $2,300 annually (2020 Taking Stock With Teens). The truth is many parents may struggle with…

Resource Discovery: Committee for Children’s “The Imagine Neighborhood” Podcast Series

Anger, fear, grief, and other big emotions are all a part of the universal human experience. It’s hard enough for adults to handle these feelings and to talk about how they’re feeling. It’s even harder for kids, where emotional regulation can get a little more out of control. How can…

Keeping Current & Putting Things in Perspective: Military Caregiving Resources

Written by: Christopher Plein, Ph.D. West Virginia University and OneOp Military Caregiving concentration. There has probably not been another time in our lives when we have been so focused on public health our healthcare delivery system, and caregiving.   As we continue to navigate the unchartered waters of a global pandemic,…

Furloughs and Layoffs: What PFMs Need to Know

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC® [email protected]. Millions of American workers were furloughed in 2020. While furloughs in the military are rare, they may impact a spouse’s employment in civilian jobs. Also known as  “temporary layoffs,” furloughs occur in public and private sector workplaces. In some cases, employers ask for…

Improving Cognitive Function and Brain Health

 The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines a healthy brain as one with the ability to perform all functional mental processes such as the ability to learn, reason, use language, and remember. The brain is a marvelous organ.

Staying Positive: The Link Between Being Positive & Stress

Written by: Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D., MBP Consulting, LLC, Professor Emeritus, UW-Extension & Caregiver. (First article in a four-part series on 'Staying Positive' as a caregiver.) As a caregiver, I am sure you have heard the statement—"Stay Positive” a million times. You’ve been told having a positive attitude will help keep…

How Military Couples Can Improve Communication About Money

By Laura Royer. Money is the source of many conflicts among couples. In fact, there are several studies that report that most couples cite money as their top reason for arguing, with debt generally the most common culprit. Meanwhile, managing finances and successfully paying off debt together is proven to…

Go Beyond the Webinar| Engaging Military Fathers to Model Healthy Relationships for Their Children: Lessons from Promundo’s Global Work with Dads

In our most recent OneOp webinar training, “Engaging Military Fathers to Model Healthy Relationships for Their Children: Lessons from Promundo’s Global Work with Dads,” we were joined by Jane Kato-Wallace of Promundo to discuss social, personal, and professional expectations of masculinity.

Helping Military Families Cope with COVID-19

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC® [email protected]. Six months into the pandemic, Personal Financial Management (PFM) staff are helping military families stay afloat financially and emotionally. Starting in August, the $600 per week of federal unemployment benefits will go away, causing a “cash cliff” for unemployed military spouses. Moratoriums on…

Four Challenges For Everyday Leaders

Imagine two people sitting across from each other. They are making eye contact and their hands are up, gliding slowly through the air.

Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) Update 

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC® [email protected]. Like benefits for surviving spouses of workers who are covered by civilian pension plans, the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) provides a monthly stream of income, called an annuity, to military spouses and/or children when a Service member dies during active duty Service or…

Upcoming Webinar| Using Evidence-Based Programs to Best Support Military Families: An Intro to the Continuum of Evidence

Prioritizing the health and well-being of military families has always been important. This includes giving Service members the tools to excel both in their military careers as well as to thrive at home with their families. Managing this balance can be especially difficult for families during times of tough transitions.…

Talking to children about racism

This past spring, George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis, Minnesota was killed while being arrested by local police. The incident, along with the deaths of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery earlier in the spring (and countless others before and since), triggered uprisings across the state, nation, and around the…

Military Life Cycle and Finances

By Selena Garrison. Financial issues can vary based on a service member’s place along the military lifecycle. Whether a service member is brand-new to the military, preparing for their first deployment, getting ready to separate and transition back to civilian life, or a veteran, there are military benefits that are…

Place “Job Search” on Your PCS Checklist

Moving across state lines or to another country due to government-issued orders involves an enormous transition for any military family. Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves are a fact of life for the active-duty community. Throw in a global pandemic, and we are all trying to figure out what this…

Medicaid & Medicare in a Time of National Emergency

Christopher Plein, Ph.D.  OneOp Military Caregiving Concentration Team and West Virginia University During times of local, regional, and national crisis, vulnerable and elderly populations have often been assisted by flexible and responsive actions provided under the Medicaid and Medicare programs.  A joint federal and state program, Medicaid, provides coverage for…

COVID-19 Scams

By Molly C. Herndon. It is unfortunate but true that disasters and poor economic times are often golden opportunities for scammers to take advantage of consumers. In this post, during Military Consumer Protection Awareness Month, we highlight current COVID-19 related scams so that you and your clients can be vigilantly…

Centers for Independent Living – Transitioning to Adulthood

A Sneak Peek of an Upcoming Vlog Series! Stay tuned as the OneOp Military Caregiving concentration area launches their 9-part video blog (vlog) series on ‘Centers for Independent Living – Transitioning to Adulthood’ next month. Vlog host, Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D., Extension Program Specialist for Special Populations at Texas A&M AgriLife…

How to Prioritize Debt in Times of Financial Crisis: How to Spot a Creditor Scam 

By Laura Royer Whenever a financial crisis hits, especially a global one, it sets up great opportunities for scam artists to prey on the timely situation. Therefore, it is important that Personal Finance Managers (PFMs) working with military families or service members encourage them to be mindful of who they…

Go Beyond the Webinar| Supporting Youth to Set Healthy Boundaries with Technology

On June 10, 2020, OneOp hosted the latest webinar in our ongoing Sexual Behavior in Children & Youth Series. In “Supporting Youth to Set Healthy Boundaries with Technology,” we were joined by Jasmine Uribe, Chief Operating Officer for Break the Cycle, a great organization that inspires and supports young people…

Supporting the Unique Mental Health Needs of Military Women

By Jennifer K. Rea, Ph.D. Mental health is an essential and critical component of an individual’s overall health and well-being. As the World Health Organization (WHO) states: “mental health is more than just the absence of mental disorders or disabilities.” They further allude that: "Mental health is a state of…

Five Take-Aways from Warrior Wellness: Mental Health and Women in the US Military

By: Karen Shirer, Ph.D., Women play a growing pivotal role in military operations, and their experiences often differ from their male counterparts. A recent webinar, Warrior Wellness: Mental Health and Women in the U.S. Military,  looked at how mental health concerns manifest differently for women, especially women in the military.…

Culturally-Sensitive Practices

Cultural sensitivity in the health care setting is essential for enhancing the quality of care a patient receives. Effective and thoughtful communication in a multicultural society, such as the one we share here in the United States, is of vital importance.

Expanding Understanding of Classroom Rules

When creating and teaching classroom rules, it is very important to remember that teaching the rules is not a one-time event. Reviewing classroom rules often is necessary. 

How to Prioritize Debt in Times of Financial Crisis: The Statutes of Limitations for Collecting Debt by State

By Laura Royer. When it comes to dealing with debt in times of a financial crisis, it is helpful to determine if any of the debts owed are time-barred and, if so, have reached the statute of limitations for collection. Personal Finance Managers (PFMs) can help clients determine if their…

Parenting and PTSD: A Guide for Working with Military Families

Parenting responsibilities are a lot like learning a dance routine. Each new day there are rewards and challenges. Parenting requires extreme patience and flexibility. It is a journey full of opportunities for growth that are highlighted regularly. Some days you get to dance like nobody is watching and other days…

5 Tips to Improve Implicit Biases for Nutrition Professionals

A review by The Ohio State University defines implicit biases as unconscious positive or negative attitudes or stereotypes we associate with individuals based on skin color, sexuality, gender, age, and other features. Research shows that implicit biases are subconscious behaviors.

Questions from the Webinar: Cancer Preventive Lifestyle Behaviors: Why You Should Talk to Your Clients Now

I think if you deliver the information in a way that is empowering, you can minimize fear. For example, sharing that almost 50% of cancer cases could be prevented through nutrition, physical activity, maintaining healthy body weight, using sunscreen, and not smoking is empowering. 

How to Prioritize Debt in Times of Financial Crisis: Working With Debt Collectors

By Laura Royer, [email protected] If a military family is receiving calls or notifications from debt collectors, it’s important for Personal Finance Managers (PFMs) to help them understand their rights, which are covered under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). PFMs can tell clients that this act specifically prohibits debt…

Financial Crisis: Debt Collection

By Laura Royer, [email protected]. If a military family is experiencing financial hardship or has debt that has been sent to collection, it’s important for them to understand how to work with debt collectors. Personal Finance Managers (PFMs) can help clients understand the difference between different types of debt collectors. The…

Upcoming Webinar | Engaging Fathers to Model Healthy Relationships for their Children

With Father’s Day right around the corner, it’s important to honor and celebrate the roles of dads and father figures in our lives. A father’s role in a child’s life can be a very positive influence. We see it in research, and we see the benefits of kids having caring…

Is Caregiving Making You Feel Like Your Life is on Hold?

Written by: Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D., MBP Consulting, LLC, Professor Emeritus, UW-Extension & Caregiver. For most of my career as an educator I created and taught educational programs based on research and insights from family caregivers, military caregivers and the professional who support them.  Yet my last 18 months as a…

Using the Environment to Support Children’s Engagement and Appropriate Behavior

“Is it time for recess?” “It’s my turn to be line leader!” “Stop running!” If any of these sounds familiar, consider how the classroom environment can be used to help. The classroom environment can play a powerful role in helping children understand and follow routines and expectations. 

How Military Families Can Manage Stress During a Financial Setback

By Laura Royer When working with military families that are experiencing a financial setback, there are many ways to support clients, beyond providing financial advice. Personal Finance Managers (PFM) can also provide some tips for how to manage the stress itself while your client is navigating a financial storm. Here…

Cultural Competence for Health Professionals

“To be effective in encouraging clients to make healthier food choices and improving health outcomes, health care professionals must possess specific knowledge about food habits, preferences, and practices for the ethnic and racial groups they see in their practice” (Diabetes Spectrum). Culture is a major factor contributing to the food…

How Well are You Coping?

Written by: Alicia Cassels, MA If you are struggling to deal with overwhelming feelings of distress related to COVID-19, you are not alone. Results of a recent U.S. Census Bureau Survey indicate that, unsurprisingly, American adults are experiencing difficulty controlling feelings of worry and anxiety related to the outbreak. The U.S.…

How to Help Military Families Navigate a Financial Crisis

By Laura Royer. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many military families to feel a financial crunch. As a Personal Finance Managers (PFMs) working with military families that are experiencing a financial setback, here are things that your clients can do to navigate a “financial storm.” Assess Their Net Worth  Have…

A Path Toward Action and Advocacy

In recent months, days, and even hours, it has become more clear now than ever that we are faced with complex issues requiring more understanding, learning, and connection with others, and  immediate action. We have been asking ourselves “what can we do next?”

Gather ‘Round: Cooking for Creativity and Family Connectivity

If this season has given me anything it’s the gift of time. I had never really given much thought to what I would do if I had more hours in the day or week. Now I know the answer - I would spend it in the kitchen with my family.

Keep Calm & Carry On: Smoothing the Waters of Rage

Written by: Christopher Plein, Ph.D., West Virginia University, and OneOp Caregiving Concentration. Throughout these unique times, the MFLN continues to provide webinars and other programs to help build a learning network among those working with military families.  Well-known challenges, long-familiar to those who help others, take on new dimensions as…

Meet the Presenters for Cancer Preventive Lifestyle Behaviors: Why You Should Talk to Your Clients Now

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In the Cancer Preventative Lifestyle Behaviors webinar Dr. Berg and Dr. Rafie share guidelines on nutrition, physical activity, and weight management for cancer prevention.

Financial Crisis: Understanding How to Prioritize Debt

By Laura Royer When facing a financial crisis, a military household may not be able to pay all of the bills. If that is the case, it is important for the Personal Finance Manager (PFM) to help the client understand how to prioritize which bills are more critical than others.…

Resource Discovery: Caring for Each Other Initiative 

Sesame Street’s dedication to the healthy development of children and families has been reflected in the vibrant, relatable, relevant programming they have provided for more than 50 years. While Sesame Street has always been a resource for children and parents, Sesame Street in Communities is a research-based component of the…

Bachelor Degree Resource for Military Spouses: Great Plains IDEA

by  Linda R. Sheeran E.D., Being part of a military family poses many challenges as these families change locations every two to three years. One challenge is completing a Bachelor’s Degree. If a service member or spouse starts a four-year Bachelor’s Degree program how will they be able to finish…

Do cancer-fighting foods exist? Cancer prevention through lifestyle and nutrition

At its most basic level, cancer is an abnormal growth of human cells. Cancer development is associated with several factors: family history and genetics as well as lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol overuse, diet and weight, and environmental exposure, like sun tanning.

Planning for your Child’s Special Needs: Centers for Independent Living

Written by: Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Extension Specialist – Special Populations, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. For parents, guardians and youth with special needs, transition from school to adulthood and beyond can be very challenging and scary. Service providers like Centers for Independent Living (CILs) can ease the…

Financial Crisis: Evaluate and Manage Spending

By Laura Royer  Personal Finance Managers (PFM) working with military families need to know about options for their clients who are dealing with overwhelming debt. If you are working with families who are dealing with financial hardship or are knee-deep in debt, they may need to create a specific emergency…

Cancer Prevention: The Role of Nutrition and Lifestyle

When it comes to cancer, genes may play a significant role. The contributions made by genes on our cancer fate manifests through a unique phenomenon: mutations.

Upcoming Webinar| Supporting Youth to Set Healthy Boundaries with Technology

With the recent changes our world has seen, connecting with others via technology has become much more prevalent. Whether it be for work purposes or connecting with friends and family over social media, staying home and connecting through our devices has become the new norm.

Assisting Military Families as they Successfully Navigate the Military-to-Civilian Transition

by Jennifer Rea, PhD. "Transitions are times of both opportunity and vulnerability characterized by adjustments to cultural shifts that require management of relationships and social identity.” Drs. Pedlar, Thompson & Castro (2019), contributing authors in the book; Military Veteran Reintegration All individuals experience major life transitions, such as entering adulthood,…

Caregiving, Cancer, & the Coronavirus

Written by: Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D., MBP Consulting, LLC, Professor Emeritus, UW-Extension & Caregiver. Caregiving is Difficult Enough Caregiving is difficult enough but the uncertainty of the coronavirus adds another hurdle to overcome. As a caregiver living with my adult son who has colon cancer, I am personally experiencing how the…

Food Insecurity Amidst a Pandemic

Many people think of food insecurity as a person being hungry, but hunger and food insecurity are different in definition. Since hunger can be difficult to measure, the USDA measures food insecurity instead of hunger.

COVID-19 Financial Survival Strategies

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC® [email protected]. Personal Finance Manager’s offices are on the front lines helping military families cope with the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are six tips to consider personally and share with clients: Know the Terms: Words like “waived,” “suspended,” and “deferred” are being…

The Importance of Self-Care for Military Caregivers and Families

Caregivers are known to be tough and strong. You are often expected to put your needs aside to provide care for a loved one above all else. This is especially true for military caregivers that take care of a loved one who is a wounded service member. However, while you…

Supporting Military Spouses in Pursuing their Education and Career Goals

by Jennifer Rea, PhD. The military life is crazy and beautiful. It may also be a life that some “didn’t sign up for”. However, I’m a firm believer that no matter how difficult the life situation might be, there is always a silver lining. I’ve been a military spouse for…

COVID-19 & the Military Community: Keeping Informed

Written by: Christopher Plein, Ph.D. West Virginia University & OneOp Military Caregiving concentration. As I write this blog from my laptop computer on a makeshift desk set up in my living room, I take comfort knowing that I am part of a virtual learning network that spans across our nation…

The Cost of Aging: Health Care

By Molly C. Herndon. In this series, we're examining the practical considerations caregivers have around the financial side of providing care to a loved one. Part 1 took a look at housing options and this post will discuss health care considerations. Health Care Older Americans have higher life expectancies than…

COVID-19 and Advance Care Planning: Now More than Ever

By Marlene S. Stum, Ph.D. Many of us are focused on staying well and protecting others as we face the uncertainty and risk of COVID-19. Wash your hands, stay six feet apart, and wear a cloth mask are now everyday realities. There’s something else that each of us should be…

Wrap-Up of Outdoor Rx

We began our exploration of Outdoor Rx, a new and innovative way of improving health outcomes through nature-based recreation, in February of this year.  Outdoor Rx has proved to be a much-needed approach to wellness in the early months of 2020.  Let’s take a look back at what we have…

The Cost of Aging: Housing

by Molly C. Herndon. Over 36% of Americans provide unpaid care for a family member, so the chances are high that you have clients who are providing care for a family member. More than 40 million caregivers are over 65, which compounds the financial issues around providing care. The costs…

Resource Discovery: The Imagine Project

Anxiety is commonplace in today’s culture and people experience it in a lot of different ways. Anxiety can be stifling…creating fear, worry, and uncertainty.

Two Steps for Selecting and Adapting the Right Family Education Program for my Community

By: Karen Shirer Sometimes after searching for the right family education curriculum for our target audience, we come up short. That is, we have options but they don't suit our audience perfectly, such as military families or LBGTQ+ families. If that is the case, all is not lost. With careful…

Nature’s Benefits for Families

Today more than ever, we spend our time glued to screens.  And thanks to COVID-19, your time using devices has probably increased even more because of working from home, home-schooling children, and even boredom.  Luckily, many organizations and state governments are encouraging people to get outdoors to promote health and…

Your Questions Answered – FODMAPs and Athletes: Current Research and Strategies

During the  FODMAPs and Athletes: Current Research and Strategies live webinar there were so many great questions that we could not get them all answered during the allotted time.  Our presenter, Dr. Lauren Killian graciously provided her answers below for you.

Connect while Social Distancing: Host a Virtual Game Night

Written by  Alicia Cassels, MA. A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn't just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body.  -Mayo Clinic Imagine your friends laughing as they cheer you on in the heat of the game. Suddenly, you…

The Rationale for Implementing a Low FODMAP Diet

The term FODMAP is an acronym for “fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides, and polyols”. It can sound like a mouthful, but it is a term that encompasses foods with high concentrations of certain types of sugars and non-caloric sweeteners.

The Start of it All Was a Call About a Fall

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC [email protected]. Many millennials in their late 30s and Gen-Xers in their 40s and 50s balance adult caregiving with full-time jobs and families of their own. Some of them are military families, who simultaneously support both older and younger family members while performing their military…

Battling Burnout: Practices to Overcome Therapist Compassion Fatigue

For those working in helping professions, experiencing burnout and compassion fatigue is very common. Counselors and therapists are especially susceptible. It is our job as professionals to meet our clients where they are at and to help them discover meaning and understanding through life’s challenges. However, helping professionals face the…

Morale, Welfare, and Recreation: Military Families’ Connection to Adventure

As the Outdoor Rx series comes to an end, we want to emphasize how nature-based recreation is beneficial for the general population, but even more so for military families.  Luckily, military families have easy access to a program that promotes wellness through leisure, entertainment, and adventure: Morale, Welfare, and Recreation…

Connect while Social Distancing: Cook Online with a Loved One

Written by Alicia Cassels, MA. Share a meal online with a loved one. This week my sister and I did something that we have talked about, yet somehow never found time to do. We made pasta together. More precisely, my sister taught me how to make pasta. Although we are…

User’s Map to FODMAP

Researchers at Monash University developed the FODMAP diet to reduce the symptoms of IBS. The FODMAP diet reduces the intake of Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols.

Collecting Data on Challenging Behavior

In our first webinar in the “Intentional Design: Promoting Positive Behavior” webinar series, we discussed the importance of gathering information about children’s challenging behavior and shared some tools for doing so.  But how do you know what data collection tool is best?  Luckily, the tools we shared all help you…

Additional Benefits Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic for Military Families

By Laura Royer The Department of Veteran Affairs is releasing updated information with resources to mitigate the financial impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on military families. The following is a summary of a few other ways the VA is trying to assist during this state of emergency. For Existing…

Supporting Women Who Serve

By: Karen Shirer, Ph.D. “Strong, brave, resilient” “Passionate women with families” “Sacrifice” “Patriotic” “Adapt to change” These statements reflect the responses from the 321 participants in the Women in the Military: Special Considerations and Unique Challenges webinar held in late March for Military Family Service Providers. As participants entered the…

New Ways of Serving Military Families Through COVID-19

by: Jennifer Rea, Ph.D. The coronavirus pandemic brings with it a great deal of ambiguity, fear, and shifts in the way Americans are living their lives. Many have referred to this time as unprecedented, as it is a period of lots of change, or a stint of developing a new…

How to Stay Active in Nature During COVID-19

Our series on Outdoor Rx and nature-based recreation has been a wonderful learning opportunity and a way to see nature in a new perspective.  Then COVID-19 came along.  Businesses have shut down along with recreational activities that you or your family may have once been a part of.  Your morning…

Strategies to Improve Conflicts Between Care Receiver & Caregiver

Changing Family Relationships Blog Series Written by: Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D., MBP Consulting, LLC, Professor Emeritus, UW-Extension & Caregiver Families experience ups and downs as they care for family members who need care. This is the fourth article in a series on how family relationships change and experience conflict when a family member…

Long-Term Care Basics: Part 1

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected] With an average U.S. life expectancy of 78.7 and many people living longer, the cost of long-term care is an increasing financial risk. The term “long-term care” refers to a wide range of services ranging from limited assistance at home with daily activities to…

Remote Instruction Resources for Teaching Children About Finances

By Molly C. Herndon During the coronavirus quarantine and time of self-isolation, we may find ourselves acting as homeschool instructors for our children. The financial fragility highlighted by the unstable stock market, job layoffs and rising unemployment rates all point to one lesson you can't afford to miss: teaching your…

Useful Resources for Our Military Children: Month of the Military Child

Highly mobile military children make tremendous sacrifices as they deal with separation from their service member. These include enduring constant moves and new transitions. Our almost 6-year-old has lived at 4 different military installations and our 3-year-old has lived at 3.

Taking care of yourself in the time of COVID-19

By Cari Michaels Managing stress begins with self-care. Fortunately, there are many things you can do at home and on your own schedule to support your mental health, maintain healthy communication and prevent isolation during this time. Accept feelings of anxiety, worry, fear, boredom, loneliness, grief as they come. Know…

Telehealth: the future of medicine?

Photo from Unsplash by Javier Molina By Sarah Pittman, BS Graduate Student in Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. What is telehealth or virtual health care?  Telehealth is the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and…

Nature-Based Therapy for Treatment of Substance Use Disorders in Veterans

As we keep moving through this series that started as simply exploring how initiatives like Outdoor Rx can benefit military families, more resources and uses for nature-based therapy become apparent in the current literature.  Because veterans are at a higher risk for suicide, last week we explored how NBT can…

Helpful Resources for Difficult Times

Written by: Christopher Plein, Ph.D. West Virginia University & OneOp Military Caregiving concentration Many of us recall the tragic events of September 11, 2001.  In the days that followed, we were anxious and apprehensive.  Finding comfort and confidence was the order of the day as we moved into a new reality.…

Child Identity Theft Scams

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC [email protected] The statistics are startling. According to a survey by Javelin Strategy and Research, more than one million children, two-thirds of them age 7 or younger, were identity theft victims in 2017. More than one million children! Even more shocking: 6 in 10 child…

Resources for Constructive Conversations with Your Child about Coronavirus

With news updating by the hour, we are all experiencing uncertainty over the global COVID-19 outbreak. For many, every part of daily life is shifting. This includes changes to family routines, parental schedules, and children staying home from school. Considering this, fears, stress, and discomfort that often come with big…

COVID-19 – Family Social Science offers coping resources

By: Pauline Boss, Professor Emeritus of Family Social Science, University of Minnesota Unanswered questions, uncertainty and the disruption of family and work life due to COVID-19 are causing a pandemic of anxiety and distress. What can help? Pauline Boss, professor emeritus of Family Social Science, says giving it a name…

Planning for Your Child with Special Needs – Managing Social Distancing

by: Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Extension Specialist – Special Populations, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Due to school closures and stay-at-home directives during the coronavirus, families need to plan for how to manage the special needs of their children on a daily basis. Particularly challenging is finding resources…

Using Nature-Based Therapy for Veteran Suicide Prevention

Suicide is public health concern in the United States among civilians and military service members and veterans.  However, the experiences of military life create an increased risk of suicide for veterans.  Bettman et al. (2019) reported that veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom are at a risk…

COVID-19: Military Personnel, Pay, & Benefits Q&A

COVID-19 - or coronavirus - has impacted military personnel, pay and benefits. Here is a collection of Frequently Asked Questions answered by the Department of Defense, as of March 26, 2020. Image of COVID-19 Alternate Places of Duty and Telework Q. I am unable to report to duty with my…

Caregiving for Older Adults During the Coronavirus

In the midst of the worldwide coronavirus, or COVID-19 pandemic, there is a lot of fear and uncertainty, especially if you are caring for someone who is older or has a chronic condition. Older adults are particularly vulnerable (CDC,2020) meaning they, their caregivers, and the professionals who serve them need…

Community Involvement During COVID-19

The last few weeks have seen frequently changing guidelines and updated information regarding how to keep ourselves safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.  While we are all taking precautionary measures to stay healthy, it can seem like life is on hold during the coronavirus.  You may be working from home, quarantining,…

Identity Theft: Reduce Your Risk

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected] According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), military families report identity theft at twice the rate of civilians. Identity theft is not typically a “stand-alone” crime but, rather, part of another crime such as credit card fraud. A 1998 law made it a federal…

The Battles They Fought: A Brief History of Women in the U.S. Military

By: Jennifer Rea, PhD "War holds many ironies and among them is the liberating effect upon women” - Doris Weatherford, Women’s History Scholar American women have served in the military for a long time and with much distinction. Their service (although prohibited at the time) first began during the Revolutionary…

Are You Prepared to Provide Mental Health First Aid?

By Sara Croymans, MEd, AFC Mental health is an issue that impacts everyone in some way. In the spring of 2019, the University of Minnesota Extension formed a rural stress task force to address a wide variety of socioeconomic issues. The effort was in response to the stress on farm…

A Closer Look at the Benefits of Nature-Based Therapy for Service Members

Welcome back to Friday Field Notes! Last week, we explored how nature-based recreation is helpful for all humans regardless of cultural background, but also how culture affects access to such recreation.  This week, we’ll focus specifically on military service members and the benefits of increasing contact with nature. History of…

Preparing for Children with Special Needs – Traumatic Brain Injury

Written by: Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Extension Specialist – Special Populations, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Did you know that March in TBI Awareness Month?  Defining Traumatic Brain Injury Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) occurs when there is sudden trauma to the brain (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and…

You are what you eat – and how you sleep?

In today’s fast-paced world, we often feel pressured to reduce sleep to increase productivity. However, studies show that this is actually an ineffective method.

PAWS Up! The Benefits of Service Dogs and Mental Health

A few months back, my wife and I added a new member to our family. His name is Copper and he is a two-year-old Basset Hound. Copper is a rescue dog, and as common with rescues, we didn’t get much info on his past. His life before he ended up…

Unique Challenges Faced by the Powerful Women Who Serve in the United States Military

by Jennifer Rea Today, over 210,000 women serve on Active Duty (AD) across the military services (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force), and another 5,955 serve in the Active Coast Guard, according to the Defense Manpower Data Center. This number represents 16% of women in the total enlisted force…

Outdoor Rx: Revisiting Total Force Fitness

Think back to our series on Total Force Fitness (TFF), specifically the environmental domain…. What do you remember most? Was your overall lasting impression of the environmental aspects of TFF positive or negative?  Was it something to be avoided? Embraced? In the context of military service members who are defending…

Supporting Military Families During the Coronavirus Outbreak

With the recent outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), military service members and civilians alike must take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.  Here in Community Capacity Building, we want to take a look at the ways that we can all support our communities during this outbreak and time of…

What is Challenging Behavior? What Can We Do About It?

Families and teachers often identify challenging behavior as a significant problem in the home and school/childcare settings.  Challenging behavior is defined as "any repeated pattern of behavior...that interferes with or is at risk of interfering with the child's optimal learning or engagement in pro-social interactions with peers and adults" (Smith…

2020 Tax Filing Strategies

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected] Are you getting ready to file your federal income tax return? 2020 is the second tax filing season following the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Because of the TCJA, over 25 million taxpayers claimed the standard deduction instead of itemizing deductions on their…

Sleep On It: A Guide to a Healthy Night of Sleep

Can you remember the last time you woke up from a restful night of sleep, without the aid of an alarm or of a child requiring attention? This question may evokes a longing for that restful, deep sleep you have not enjoyed for some time.

Resources for Trying Times: The Impact of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

I was out this weekend having dinner with a close friend. While waiting for food and listening to the band, she told me that her childhood best friend had experienced mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). I listened to her share the struggles her friend was facing, as a young, outgoing…

Outdoor Rx & Its Importance for Military Families

If you’re reading this week’s Friday Field Notes (or on the OneOp website to begin with), then you are most likely already very familiar with the unique challenges and stressors that military families can face.  Similarly, you may already know that parents, spouses, and/or children of military families are incredibly…

Caregiving & Conflict with Family Members

Changing Family Relationships Blog Series Written by: Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D., MBP Consulting, LLC, Professor Emeritus, UW-Extension & Caregiver   Strategies to Improve Conflicts between Family & Individual Family Members This is the third article in a series of four on how family relationships change and experience conflict when a family member needs…

American Indian History and Current Contributions to the Military

By Jennifer Garbow According to the National Congress of American Indians, “There are 573 federally recognized Indian Nations (variously called tribes, nations, bands, pueblos, communities and native villages) in the United States. Approximately 229 of these ethnically, culturally and linguistically diverse nations are located in Alaska; the other federally recognized…

Intuitive Eating Combating Eating Disorders

The Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) estimates there are at least 30 million people who suffer from disordered eating.  Disordered eating does not only mean being diagnosed with anorexia, bulimia, or other commonly recognized eating disorders.

Military Considerations for the 2019 Earned Income Tax Credit

By Selena Garrison  The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) can help working people with low to moderate income reduce the amount of tax they owe or even allow them to receive a refund. As a fully refundable tax credit, people who qualify for the EITC can get a refund above…

The Importance of Outdoor Rx: Improving Health Outcomes Through Nature-Based Recreation

Welcome back to Friday Field Notes! Last week, we explored what Outdoor Rx is, why it is important for military families and how it is related to Total Force Fitness (TFF).  This week, we take a deeper dive in to Outdoor Rx, its benefits, and why it is a great…

Military Family Readiness: Keeping Up with the National Defense Authorization Act

Written by: Christopher Plein, Ph.D. West Virginia University  Military life is complex and ever changing. The challenges involved are increasingly being recognized across society and in the halls of government.  Such issues as access to healthcare, education, child care, housing, and employment opportunities are vital to military family readiness. These…

Pension Advances: Not a Good Option for Military Retirees

By Carol Church As anyone who works with service members knows, a military pension is a valuable and honorable thing. It signifies many years of hard work and devotion to our county. And for many people, it is an incredibly important financial lifeline. That’s why it’s so galling to hear…

Resource Discovery: CDC’s Dating Matters Initiative

Today’s teens are bombarded with stressful situations. From social media pressures, the torrents of school life, personal life, and balancing the unique challenges youths in military families face, the changes and development youth undergo from elementary to high school are vital to their development into adulthood.

Introduction to Outdoor Rx

Welcome back to Friday Field Notes! Over the next weeks, Military Family Learning Network's Community Capacity Building team will be exploring Outdoor Rx.  We are excited to share this unique way to improve mental and physical fitness and explore how it can impact military families.  Remember Total Force Fitness? If…

Resources for a Healthy & Successful Special Education Journey

Written by: Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Extension Specialist – Special Populations, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Are you considering getting your child evaluated to determine his or her special needs? Has your child recently been diagnosed with a disability or special need? Are you in the process of…

In this interview, OneOp spoke with Ms. Juanda R. Bryant, author of The Mini Adventures of Danny and the Deployer and Operation Care Package.

TSP Investment Options: Learning More about the G Fund

By Carol Church Military service members are fortunate to have the investment options of the Thrift Savings Plan, or TSP, available. This defined contribution plan offers excellent savings and tax benefits that are similar but arguably substantially superior to those provided to private sector employees via 401K plans. From tsp.gov…

Managing the Transition to Higher Education for Service Members

by Jennifer Rea, PhD Have you ever seen the movie Back to School? The plot of this 1986 film centers on a wealthy, uneducated father, Thornton Melon (Rodney Dangerfield). Thornton enrolls in college with his son, Jason (Keith Gordon), to show solidarity and the importance of earning an education. Service…

Be a Diet Detective: Spotting a Fad Weight Loss Diet

With the new year, often comes diets promising quick and incredible results. The diet typically sounds simple: “Eat this one food and see awesome weight loss results!” or “Don’t eat this food group to lose weight!”.

Long-Term Care Basics: Part 2

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected] Long-Term Care Basics-Part 1 described guidelines for considering the purchase of long-term care (LTC) insurance, basic LTC insurance terms such as inflation riders and elimination period, and tips for purchasing a LTC policy. Below is some additional background information and expert recommendations to consider:…

Relationships and Intimacy: Resources for Military Couples

What are the keys to a long-lasting and happy relationship? Everywhere you turn, websites, television, and magazines get readers and viewers by asking this question and then providing a top ten list of ways to make loving relationships last.

Military Families & Disaster Preparedness: Series Wrap-Up

We have spent time recently on the blog learning about disaster preparedness by touring each OneOp concentration area and sharing what each can contribute in terms of resources that will ultimately benefit military families.  At the end of this series, we want to thank all of you who have joined…

Reasons for Family Conflict while Caregiving

Changing Family Relationships Blog Series Written by: Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D., MBP Consulting, LLC, Professor Emeritus, UW-Extension & Caregiver   Reasons for Family Conflict This is the second article in a four-part series on changing family relationships of families who are caring for someone with cancer. All families have conflict and caregiving is…

Webinar| An Overview of the Branch Out Parenting Program and Other Thrive Resources

OneOp is excited about the ongoing Thrive Series! This series includes an Anchored podcast episode to introduce the Thrive Initiative, as well as webinars highlighting the first three parenting programs.

Military Families & Disaster Preparedness: Network Literacy

We have made it to the end of our series on disaster preparedness! To wrap up this series, this week’s Friday Field Notes will feature OneOp Network Literacy (MFL NetLit).  The OneOp NetLit team helps individuals become more resilient and adaptive within complex social systems through relationship building, personal growth,…

Military Health Care: A Changing Landscape

Christopher Plein, Ph.D., West Virginia University  Much of the work of OneOp focuses on providing ready access to important information relating to trends and developments in family readiness resources and services.  Among the most important of these are services and benefits offered through the Defense Health Agency, such as the…

What’s Included in My Gross Income?

Selena Garrison, University of Florida It’s that time of year again: Tax Time. With the many different forms of income that can received by members of the Armed Forces, it is important to know what income is taxable and what income is excluded from taxation. IRS Publication 3, Armed Forces’…

Resource Discovery: Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse

How do we better understand child sexual abuse and what are ways in which we can prevent it from happening before it starts? Answering this question has been one of the main goals of OneOp’s Sexual Behavior in Children and Youth Series. To understand, not just the laws and consequences…

Military Families & Disaster Preparedness: Family Development

This week’s Friday Field Notes will take a look at the OneOp Family Development (FD) team’s resources for helping families through disasters.  The FD team focuses on family strengthening and the prevention and treatment of family violence.  With a focus on prevention, the FD team has fantastic resources for service…

Keeping Diet and Activity Goals on Track While Traveling

With the start of the new year, many of us have set goals to eat healthier and be more physically active. Until the new routine becomes a habit, it can be challenging to stick to our goals while away from home.

Lease-to-Own: The Newest Trends

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected] A costly, but popular, way to purchase household goods is rent-to-own (a.k.a., lease-to-own) plans. The rent-to-own (RTO) industry began in the 1970s with a limited selection of goods to offer consumers. Most of the items were low-end furniture and appliances. Today, RTO is an…

All in the Family: OneOp Parenting Programs and Resources

Raising healthy children is a full-time job, as many parents can attest to. Every child and family is unique and many require additional help to navigate all the challenges both inside and outside of the family unit. Military families have unique challenges as well, often involving issues around parental military…

Military Families & Disaster Preparedness: Early Intervention

As we continue our discussion of disaster preparedness, we want to take time to address children through exploring the resources offered by the OneOp Early Intervention (OneOp FDEI) team.  OneOp FDEI is a subdivision of the Family Development team that addresses service providers who work with military families with young…

Military Families & Disaster Preparedness: Military Caregiving

As we return from the holidays, Friday Field Notes continues touring concentration areas of OneOp and highlighting resources related to disaster preparedness.  This week’s focus is on the OneOp Military Caregiving (MFLNMC) concentration area.  MFLNMC works diligently to provide professional development opportunities to service providers working with caregivers of wounded…

Factors that Influence Family Relationships when Caregiving

Changing Family Relationships Blog Series Written by: Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D., MBP Consulting, LLC, Professor Emeritus, UW-Extension & Caregiver   Family members typically provide support to cancer victims and are in it for the long haul. They do whatever is needed and often at the expense of their own health or needs.  No matter…

Insights from Age Proof

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®,  [email protected] Personal Financial Management program personnel often counsel military families about many aspects of their lives including finances, health, and relationships. I recently read the book Age Proof by Jean Chatzky and Dr. Michael Roizen that discusses a crucial intersection in people’s lives: their bodies…

Go Beyond the Webinar| From Hysteria to Hope: Bringing Reason to Sexual Abuse in Childhood

On November 21, 2019, OneOp hosted the latest webinar in our ongoing Sexual Behavior in Children & Youth Series. In “From Hysteria to Hope: Bringing Reason to Sexual Abuse in Childhood,” Dr. Elizabeth Letourneau provided her insights into how problematic and/or illegal sexual behavior in childhood can be framed as…

Recap of 2019 & Looking Forward to 2020

As we begin a new year, we want to take time to look back and reflect on Community Capacity Building’s offerings in 2019, as well as look forward to what is to come in 2020. The Total Force Fitness (TFF) blog series was introduced in February 2019, however, Total Force…

Planning for Children with Special Needs: Managing Routines During Times of Change

Routines at home and school help children with special needs feel safe and secure. Consistently set expectations and knowing how to respond to them enables children with special needs to be: Responsible members of the family and classroom. Calm during unexpected changes. Resilient when faced with unpredictability. Thoughtful and ask…

Don’t Make Resolutions – Create Good Habits

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, [email protected] At the start of each year, some people set New Year’s resolutions and there is a lot of media coverage about them. Common resolutions are healthier eating, increased physical activity, saving money, decreased debt, improved personal relationships, quitting smoking, learning a new hobby or…

Adapting Programs and Services For New Military Family Realities

by Karen Shirer, PhD US families, including military connected families, continue to change and become more diverse. Trends show that: • Increasing numbers of women and men are single, and a growing number of these single adults are parents • People continue to divorce/separate and re-partner, leading to more complex…

OneOp Programming Year in Review 2019

2019 has been another great year here at OneOp with tons of new webinars, Anchored podcast episodes, and other programming. We launched several new webinar series this year, which there will more great content in those series throughout 2020. But shifting focus from the future, let us look back on…

The New Kids on the Block: Military Families’ Shift in Family Structure and Change in Family Demands

by Jennifer Rea, PhD Far more couples today are choosing to cohabit and to have children in cohabiting relationships. Cohabiters are also choosing to either delay or forgo marriage (Pew Research Center, 2018). Similarly, societal attitudes and public policies have changed to enable same-sex couples to marry. Therefore, the number…

Military Families & Disaster Preparedness: Safety Tips During the Holidays

This week, we are taking a detour from resources that concentration areas offer to focus on promoting safety during the holiday season.  During these winter months, different regions of the country can be affected by disasters in various ways, which can cost the public billions of dollars.  Whether you are…

15 Year-End Financial Planning Strategies

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, [email protected] Photo by Pixabay via Pexels.com, CC0 The end of one year and start of another is a great time to assess your personal finances and take action to improve your net worth and overall financial well-being.  Not sure how to get…

Combating Holiday Loneliness

Written by: Alicia Cassels, MA Not everyone looks forward to the holidays. As the holidays tend to be a time for merriment, celebrating with family and friends, and enjoying time away from work and school, it can be easy to overlook the fact that not everyone looks forward to the…

Military Families & Disaster Preparedness: Family Transitions

This week’s Friday Field Notes will focus on the OneOp Family Transitions (FT) team and the resources that the team offers related to disaster preparedness.  The Family Transitions concentration area focuses on building resilience and navigating life cycle transitions that are unique to military families like deployments or permanent changes…

Final Thoughts for 2019

Written by: Christopher Plein, Ph.D.  West Virginia University  The 21 gun salute left me quiet and pensive. The volley was fired by a group of young student veterans, all in their dress uniforms and representing the different service branches. A Marine Corps League detachment, made up of elderly veterans, made…

The ‘Inside-out’ Perspective

In recent years, there have been many powerful autobiographies, blogs, novels and movies about the lived experiences of autistic . Many of these narratives encourage us to examine our assumptions about normality and the notion of impairment. They challenge the framing of autism as a deficit within the individual that…

529 College Savings Plans: What Financial Practitioners Need to Know

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, [email protected] Saving for a child’s post-secondary education is an important financial goal for many military families. There are four basic ways to pay for college or post-secondary vocational/technical school costs: “Pay-as-you-go” from parents’ and/or a student’s current income Borrow money (student loans)…

Celebrating the Holidays When You Live Away from Immediate Family

Families of military service members often face major life changes and transitions that shape their career, their higher education goals, and their relationships and family dynamics. With military families experiencing moves three times more often than the average civilian family, military family life is often accompanied by unique stressors .…

Effective Collaborative Leaders Utilize “Pull” and “Win-Win” Strategies

by Russ Linden In the 2019 OneOp Virtual Conference Relationships for Readiness, I used some polls in my presentation on Collaboration across Boundaries. One of them asked participants to assess themselves on the 5 characteristics of effective collaborative leaders: Which of these characteristics are strengths? Here are the results (participants…

Military Families & Disaster Preparedness: Personal Finance

We continue our tour through MFLN’s concentration areas, where we highlight how each concentration area contributes to disaster preparedness, which is an important but often overlooked part of Total Force Fitness. This week’s Friday Field notes features the Personal Finance team.  MFLN’s Personal Finance team focuses on strengthening financial management…

Death – The Elephant in the Room

Written by: Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D., MBP Consulting, LLC, Professor Emeritus, UW-Extension & Caregiver to her son Will. In life the issues of money, politics, sex and death are often avoided because they are too sensitive and personal.  So, it is understandable why death isn’t talked about when cancer upsets the life of…

Implementing the Recommended Practices: Resources for Early Childhood Practitioners

In 2009 The National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Division for Early Childhood issued a joint statement in support of inclusion. The position statement highlights three defining features of inclusion: access, participation, and supports. However, turning these inclusion features into inclusion practices can be challenging for…

Estate Planning Tips for Service Members

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, [email protected] With the exception of policemen and firemen, nobody puts themselves in harm’s way for their job more often than service members. Thus, it is not surprising that Personal Financial Management (PFM) program staff often counsel military families about estate planning. An…

Military Families & Disaster Preparedness: Nutrition & Wellness

To kick off our tour through MFLN’s concentration areas and how each one can contribute to disaster preparedness, this week’s Friday Field Notes will focus on Nutrition and Wellness.  The Nutrition & Wellness team at OneOp mainly focuses on applying research with education and counseling to meet the needs of…

Anchored Podcast Series: Year in Review 2019

Hey there Anchored podcast listeners! 2019 has been a great year for our Anchored podcast series. For those of you who don’t know, Anchored is a professional development podcast series brought to you by OneOp. In this series, we wanted to provide a space to not only learn about timely…

Treat Yourself: Catch up on CEs Over the Holidays

By Molly C. Herndon Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile via Pexels.com We've noticed a trend; many of our network participants are cramming in views of our recorded webinars over the holidays. Are you among the professionals who need to play catch up on your credentialing agency's requirements? While this may not…

Finding Hope through the Cancer Journey

Written by: Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D., MBP Consulting, LLC, Professor Emeritus, UW-Extension & Caregiver to her son Will. As National Caregiving Month comes to a close, I’d like to end this month with a message of hope for not only caregivers but care recipients as well. Whenever I talk with someone about my…

Military Families and Disaster Preparedness

Disaster preparedness is a crucial part of any community, but for military families, preparing for a disaster can look differently compared to the civilian population.  Military families have additional documents to keep track of, family members who might have special needs, or may even be separated from family due to…

Supporting the Inclusion of Young Children with Autism

In 2009 The National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Division for Early Childhood issued a joint statement in support of inclusion. The joint statement includes this definition of early childhood inclusion: "Early childhood inclusion embodies the values, policies, and practices that support the right of every…

Kinship Caregiving & Military Families

Written by: Justin McKenzie, Master of Public Administration Candidate, West Virginia University MLFN Military Caregiving concentration recently hosted a webinar on What Helping Professionals Need to Know about Kincare, presented by OneOp team members Andrew Crocker and Kacy Mixon, Ph.D. The webinar provided information on: What kinship care is and how…

Dr. O’Neill’s Personal Finance Year in Review

By Molly C. Herndon Did you know in 2018 42% of student loan holders were late with a payment? Or that 3 in 10 working Americans uses a side hustle to cover living expenses? Or in 2017, 1 in 5 commissioned military officers were women? Have you read the World…

Inclusion of Young Children with Disabilities in Childcare

In the final webinar of the 2019 webinar series on autism, OneOp discusses the inclusion of young children with autism in a variety of settings.  Recently we sat down with several experts in the field of early childhood special education who each share a passion for inclusion.  

Go Beyond the Webinar| Kids Serve Too Series

  It is coming up on the one-year anniversary of our kickoff to the Kids Serve Too! Webinar series featuring Sesame Street for Military Families! Since December 2018, OneOp has hosted five webinars in this series and it has provided a ton of info and resources to help in working…

Does being a military family invite overindulgence?

By: Lisa Krause, M.A. “My partner is deployed, and it is so hard on the kids. I want to make their life easier. I just want them to be carefree kids, so I don’t expect them to help around the house.” “When my child's other parent is deployed, I don't…

Military Family Appreciation Month

The month of November is military family appreciation month.  Though we appreciate our military families throughout the year for their sacrifices and support of our active service members as well as veterans, this month is a special opportunity for OneOp Community Capacity Building to show extra support. Spouses, children, and…

Meet us at AFCPE

The Personal Finance team will be set up in the Exhibitor's Hall at the AFCPE Symposium November 19 – 21, 2019. Will you be there? Stop by our table to share your feedback of our webinars, blog posts, podcasts. What topics would you be interested in learning more about in…

Inclusion of Young Children with Disabilities in Private Preschools

In the final webinar of the 2019 webinar series on autism, OneOp discusses the inclusion of young children with autism in a variety of settings. Recently we sat down with several experts in the field of early childhood special education who each share a passion for inclusion.

The Impact of Resilience

This blog discusses resilience and the impact of resilience on military families.

The Uncertainty of Cancer

Written by: Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D., MBP Consulting, LLC, Professor Emeritus, UW-Extension When doctors mention the “C” word, referencing cancer feelings of uncertainty surface immediately. Uncertainty is a feeling that is always with the cancer victim and the family as they move through the cancer journey. There isn’t anything throughout the cancer journey…

Inclusion of Young Children with Disabilities in Montessori Schools

In the final webinar of the 2019 webinar series on autism, OneOp discusses the inclusion of young children with autism in a variety of settings. Recently we sat down with several experts in the field of early childhood special education who each share a passion for inclusion.

Financial Advice for New Recruits: “What We Wish We’d Known”

By Carol Church Have you ever wished that you could go back in time? I think we all have, at least occasionally. Unfortunately (or fortunately), nobody’s invented that magic machine just yet. However, while we can’t go back in time, we can benefit from the advice of those who have…

Promoting Successful Transitions for Military Families with Young Children

By: Dr. Hope Gerde Transitions are a regular part of life, particularly military family life. Military families move from installation to installation, often across state and international borders. Military children move from home-to-school or school-to-school. On average, military families move six to nine times during children’s school years (Astor, 2011;…

Resource Discovery: TedMed Talk on Child Sexual Abuse Prevention

This blog asks, how do you have difficult talks about child sexual abuse with children, youth, and their parents?

A Simple Way to Brew Some Connection

We have a Keurig in our office - a newer, fancy-ish model. We have a box of shared coffee pods, a stash of cups, and often a bottle of coffee creamer someone bought and wrote “for everyone” on the label so we could all partake.

FinTech: What Financial Practitioners Need to Know

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, [email protected] FinTech, short for “financial technology,” refers to a wide array of applications (apps) that help users manage various aspects of their personal finances. Specific uses include budgeting, bill-paying, credit monitoring, applications for personal loans, loan refinancing, and insurance, financial education, product…

The Highly Mobile, but Very Resilient: Identifying and Addressing School- and Transition-Related Needs of Military Youth

by Jennifer Rea, PhD The Department of Defense (DoD) Demographics Report (2017)  states that 1.7 million children and adolescents have one (or both) parent serving in the U.S. military. According to the report, 1 million of these children have active duty parents and 683,000 have parents serving in the Reserve…

Keeping Up to Date: Some Key Resources in Healthcare Research

Written by: Christopher Plein, Ph.D. West Virginia University As a professor, I teach classes on healthcare policy and administration.  This work complements my responsibilities with OneOp, in the sense that I often come across resources and seek to share lessons that are relevant to both students and professionals. There are…

Making the Case for Retail Dietitians

Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) fulfill a variety of roles including clinical practice, public health, and community nutrition. A new role has emerged more recently that utilizes skill sets found in each of these practice areas, the supermarket RDN.

Doctor Appointments with Children with Autism

Going to a doctor appointment can be stressful for many young children and their caregivers. However, for children with autism and their families this can be even more stressful. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention one in every 59 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with autism…

Things You Didn’t Know You Could Rent…But You Can

By Carol Church In parts 1 and 2 of this series, we talked about why renting consumer goods is gaining a broader appeal, what to consider when renting, and poor and good candidates for rental. In this last section, we’ll talk about some of the surprising rental options. Note that…

A Follow-up to the 2019 OneOp Virtual Conference

It has been just a little over a month since our annual OneOp Virtual Conference entitled “Relationships for Readiness”. The 2019 three-day conference was a great opportunity to showcase  the innovative ways that service providers and educators can rethink their work with military families. The primary focus of this year’s…

Successful collaboration requires effective leadership

By: Betsy Olson Russ Linden is passionate about collaboration. In his September 18 session, Collaboration Across Boundaries, part of the OneOp 2019 Virtual Conference, Relationships for Readiness, Mr. Linden outlines the components of a collaborative mindset and how to lead in a collaborative environment. In it, he reminds us of a…

Planning for your Child’s Special Needs: Animal Therapy

Written by: Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Extension Specialist – Special Populations, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service It is well-known that well-behaved pets such as cats, dogs and rabbits provide comfort, reduce stress and help alleviate depression among individuals. The principle benefits of animal therapy however are also particularly…

Things You Didn’t Know You Could Rent

By Carol Church In part 1 of this series, we discussed the increasing popularity of renting some consumer goods, and why renting appeals to military families. In part 2, we’ll talk about things to consider when making the rent vs. buy decision, and items experts commonly advise for and against…

Saying Something About Abuse: Domestic Violence Awareness Month

This blog highlights the history of Domestic Violence awareness month, as well as shares resources helpful in giving teens and parents tools for support.

Upcoming Webinar: Building a Battle Plan for Military and Veteran Families

This week’s blog post is to inform military service providers of a free webinar that Community Capacity Building (CCB) will be hosting on October 24 from 11 am to 12 pm, EDT. Building a Battle Plan for Military and Veteran Families will be presented by Barbara Thompson, the Department of…

Resource Discovery: THRIVE Initiative

by Courtney O'Grady, Ed. M.The Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State has partnered with the Office of Military Community and Family Policy within the Department of Defense and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture within the U.S. Department of Agriculture on an initiative designed to empower parents…

Handling a Windfall

By Carol Church As far as financial issues go, experiencing an unexpected windfall or a sudden infusion of cash may sound like a solution in search of a problem. But as anyone who’s experienced something like this (at least on a large scale) can testify, it can be destabilizing to…

Retail Marketing in Your Commissary!

Can the retail environment be harnessed to affect positive change? Can retail be used as a means to advocate for public health?

Cancer & Caregiver Emotions

Written by: Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D., MBP Consulting, LLC, Professor Emeritus, UW-Extension As a mother of a cancer victim, I remember vividly when I first heard my son had cancer. I prayed and hoped that the doctors were wrong and that it wouldn’t be cancer. I was overcome with emotions—fear, uncertainty, anger, hope,…

How to Read a Mutual Fund Prospectus

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, [email protected] A critical personal finance skill is knowing how to read a mutual fund prospectus. It is not uncommon for workers in employer retirement savings plans (e.g., 401(k) and 403(b) plans) to be given a stack of prospectuses to decipher to choose…

Get Connected with Your Food Again

As the years go by, it seems that people are getting more and more unaware of where their food originates. There have been significant social movements to bring people back to the source of their produce and meat.

Wrap-Up: Total Force Fitness & OneOp

Over the past seven Friday Field Notes, we have examined the ways in which OneOp can help military family service providers support fitness in all eight domains of Total Force Fitness. Social Fitness:  The 2019 Virtual Conference, Relationships for Readiness, is a great example of how networks are crucial to…

Trauma-Informed Care

Written by: Alicia Cassels, MA, OneOp Military Caregiving blog contributor A Case for Trauma Informed Care According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) trauma can be defined as, An event, series of events, or set of circumstances experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or…

Community Outings with Children with Autism

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every 59 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with autism.  The two primary characteristics of autism include deficits in social communication and interactions and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior.  These characteristics can make community outings, such as going to…

Sports Betting and Gambling: What Financial Practitioners Need to Know

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, [email protected] One of the most far-reaching events of 2018 with implications for the personal finances of millions of people was the legalization of sports betting nationwide. Sports betting is the process of placing bets on the outcome and/or features (e.g., how many…

“Here, First Sergeant!”

By: Sara Croymans, , MEd, AFC Over the recent long Labor Day weekend I attended a deployment Activation Ceremony in Aberdeen, SD for 114 soldiers of Alpha Battery, 1-147th Field Artillery Battalion and 147th Forward Support Company. The Unit will be supporting Operation Atlantic Resolve, which builds readiness, increases operability…

The Paths Converge: Reflections on Lessons Learned About Family Readiness

Written by: Christopher Plein, Ph.D. West Virginia University & OneOp Military Caregiving concentration Life is full of serendipity. In just a short time, diverse conversations, discussions, and experiences can converge to create moments of insight and clarity.  Over the past week or so I have had the great opportunity to learn more…

Suicide Prevention & Wellness Resources

This blog posts shares resources to promote suicide prevention and wellness for military families.

Total Force Fitness and OneOp: Family Development

In this week’s Friday Field Notes, we will continue our exploration of the resources and programming that OneOp provides to support Total Force Fitness with our   (FD) and Early Intervention (EI) teams. Family Development and Total Force Fitness Military families face similar challenges as civilian families, but they can…

What is Bitcoin? And Should Anyone Be Buying it?

By Carol Church Has anyone you know been talking about bitcoin lately? If your life is like mine, perhaps someone you know can’t STOP talking about it! It’s enough to make a financially minded person either very curious or very skeptical. MichaelWuensch/Pixabay.com, CC0 What is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a currency…

The Many Health Benefits of the DASH Diet

Several diets have been advertised in the media as being “silver bullets” but the reality is that the reported benefits of such diets are not backed by science. Only a handful of  these “diets” have been investigated using trusted research methods.

Planning for Children with Special Needs: Factors Related to Suicide

Written by: Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Extension Specialist – Special Populations, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service September is Suicide Awareness Month. Very few statistics exist about disability in relation to suicide. What is known is that suicide rates are much higher among people with spinal cord injuries and…

Total Force Fitness and OneOp: Military Caregiving

In this week’s Friday Field Notes, we will continue our exploration of the resources and programming that OneOp provides to support Total Force Fitness with our Military Caregiving team. Total Force Fitness and Military Caregiving  Supporting military families of wounded service members and those caring for individuals with special needs requires…

Add a Dash of the DASH Diet into Your Daily Eating!

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH diet) was developed in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a dietary treatment to reduce high blood pressure. Similar to a Mediterranean eating pattern, the DASH diet emphasizes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean proteins, and a limited intake…

Investing Basics: Part 2

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, [email protected] In a prior post, five key action steps related to investing were presented: Address the prerequisites, Set SMART investment goals, Understand risk-reward relationships, Understand and accept specific investment risks, and Assess your risk tolerance. This blog post continues the conversation about…

Go Beyond the Webinar| Nurturing Family Resilience Through a Strengths-Based Framework

On August 22, 2019, in the second webinar within our OneOp Resilience Series, Dr. Froma Walsh provided her insight and expertise on building resilience through tough times for couples and families. Dr. Walsh highlighted how highly stressful adverse situations impact the whole family and, in turn, how families dealing with…

Supporting Total Force Fitness: 2019 Virtual Conference, Relationships for Readiness

In this week’s Friday Field Notes, we will explore how OneOp’s 2019 Virtual Conference, Relationships for Readiness, can help military family service providers support Total Force Fitness. The 2019 Virtual Conference will focus on the Department of Defense Family Readiness System, a network that supports military family readiness and quality…

Military Caregivers Care for Someone with Cancer More than Non-Military Caregivers

Written by: Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D., MBP Consulting, LLC, Professor Emeritus, UW-Extension Cancer has many causes. It can be linked to an individual’s heredity or the environment. Members of the military and their family members along with veterans have the same risks from heredity as others do, but appear to be at a…

Investing Basics: Part 1

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, [email protected] People invest for various reasons: To achieve financial goals (e.g., buy a car) To earn a higher return than bank savings accounts, money market funds, and certificates of deposit (CDs). To increase current income (e.g., dividends, interest, and capital gains) To…

Total Force Fitness and OneOp: Nutrition and Wellness

In this week’s Friday Field Notes, we will continue our exploration of the resources and programming that OneOp provides to support Total Force Fitness with our Nutrition and Wellness team. Total Force Fitness and Nutrition and Wellness  In addressing all aspects of Total Force Fitness, incorporating nutrition and wellness is of…

Collaboration: Breaking Down Silos and Building Networks to Support Military Families

By: Jennifer Rea, PhD Today’s military families are diverse. Military families themselves come in many forms, including their structure (e.g., single-parent families; dual-service families) as well as their experience with military life (e.g., new to the military vs. 10+ years of experience). “Moreover, military families’ needs change over time as…

Nutrition and Brain Power

The young adult human brain represents only 2% of body weight but requires 20% of the body’s resting energy needs, but this is not true for children. At age 10, a child’s brain represents 5-10% of body mass and consumes 1.5 times the oxygen per gram of tissue compared to…

Military Families Getting United Through Reading

By: Jason Jowers, M.S. MFT US Air Force One of the most challenging parts of school for many kids is learning how to read. And with the school year getting back into full swing, many children are facing these educational challenges for the first time. For military families, it can…

Total Force Fitness and OneOp: Family Development Early Intervention

In this week’s Friday Field Notes, we will continue our exploration of the resources and programming that OneOp provides to support Total Force Fitness with our Family Development Early Intervention (FDEI) team. FDEI and Total Force Fitness Supporting military families who have children ages birth to five years old or…

Resilience Matters for Military Families

By: Karen Shirer, PhD Military families play an important role in ensuring that the U.S. military is total force ready and its service members are prepared. The Total Force Fitness model defines family readiness as “the ability of a family to use physical, psychological, social, and spiritual resources to prepare…

Readiness: Preparing for Journeys Ahead

Written by: Christopher Plein, Ph.D. West Virginia University The summer is coming to an end.  It’s always a bittersweet time for me.  As a professor, I am fortunate to have some free time between semesters to explore and travel.  While I am excited about the start of the new academic…

Idea-catcher journal for OneOp VC2019: Relationships for Readiness

For OneOp VC2019: Relationships for Readiness, we have created a printable IDEA-CATCHER journal you can download and print and use during each session of the conference. The IDEA-CATCHER journal is a holder of doodles, a container of thoughts, and a catcher of ideas for OneOp VC2019: Relationships For Readiness. Doodles…

Financial Troubles & Stress: Curbing the Cycle

Financial professionals know that clients’ financial troubles impact all areas of their lives. We also know the cycle of stress this can create; clients with financial trouble experience stress with leads to unhealthy behaviors, such as overspending, which adds to their financial troubles.   Examine the Intersections of Financial Health…

Resource Discovery: Warrior Expeditions

By: Jason Jowers, M.S. MFT Pixabay The healing power of nature cannot be understated. There are countless articles and blog posts out there that highlight the importance of being in nature for both physical and mental well-being. Also, there are many great organizations that are infusing exercise and the great…

Total Force Fitness and OneOp: Family Transitions

In this week’s Friday Field Notes, we will continue our exploration of the resources and programming that OneOp provides to support Total Force Fitness with our Family Transitions team. Family Transitions and Total Force Fitness Supporting military families through transitions (e.g., PCSing, retirement) requires a holistic approach like that of…

Helping Caregivers with Guilt

Written by: Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D., MBP Consulting, LLC, Professor Emeritus, UW-Extension As a professional, you hear over and over again caregivers expressing how guilty they feel about something that happened or didn’t happen. Their guilt is told in stories of being unkind, ugly or short -tempered with their care receiver. They wish…

Building a Healthy Relationship with Food

As with friendships and romantic relationships, a healthy relationship with food requires thought and effort. What is a healthy relationship with food, you ask?

Investing On a Shoestring

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, [email protected]   Many people mistakenly think that they need to have at least several thousand dollars to invest. This is simply not true. It is possible to invest on a shoestring, with small dollar amounts ($1,000 or less). Even people with modest incomes…

Total Force Fitness and OneOp: Network Literacy

In this week’s Friday Field Notes, we will continue our exploration of the resources and programming that OneOp provides to support Total Force Fitness with our Network Literacy team. Network Literacy and Total Force Fitness Network Literacy’s work directly supports social and psychological fitness in their efforts to increase resilience…

Breastmilk, the Microbiome, and the Enduring Health Corollary

Knowledge about the benefits of breastfeeding has exploded in the last 20 years thanks, in part, to the burgeoning realm of microbiome science, or the study of the gut flora. These terms collectively refer to all of the micro-organisms, and their genetic material, that inhabit our gastrointestinal tract (primarily from…

Budgeting Strategies That Work

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, [email protected] A budget (a.k.a., spending plan) is a plan for spending future income and expenses, including setting aside savings for future financial goals. Ideally, a budget should be written (paper, computer spreadsheet, etc.) with specific categories of income, spending, and dollar amounts.…

The Ever-Changing Faces of PTSD

By: Jason M. Jowers, M.S. MFT U.S. Army I’ve always been a fan of history; from learning about and soaking up all I can about ancient civilizations to the history that is being made day by day in our modern world. A huge part of that fascination has always been…

Total Force Fitness and OneOp: Personal Finance

In this week’s Friday Field Notes, we will begin our exploration of the resources and programming that OneOp provides to support Total Force Fitness with our Personal Finance team. Personal Finance and Total Force Fitness While financial fitness is not one of the eight core domains of Total Force Fitness,…

New Podcast Series Coming Soon!

Calling all podcast listeners! Be on the lookout this fall as our OneOp Military Caregiving concentration will be releasing their latest iTunes podcast project, “PCS Caregiving." Permanent Change of Station or PCS is a common term used in the military as service members and families transition to different duty stations;…

Correlations Between Health and Wealth

By Molly C. Herndon Studies have shown a positive correlation between good health and higher income. That is people who earn more money tend to have less disease and better health, overall.  Poor health and higher rates of disease are associated more with those in lower income groups. Those living…

Upcoming Webinars| Resilience Series

MFLN’s Family Transitions, Family Development, and Network Literacy are gearing up for our upcoming Resilience Series, which will take place in just a few weeks beginning on August 20 and continuing on August 22 and August 27. Each webinar in the series will begin at 11 AM EST and end…

Supporting Total Force Fitness: Resources and Opportunities from MLFN

In previous Friday Field Notes, we have described the resources and programs available through Cooperative Extension that can support Total Force Fitness. In this next series of Friday Field Notes, we will explore the resources and opportunities available through OneOp that can support Total Force Fitness. OneOp (MLFN) provides online…

What Researchers Know About Building a Happy Life

Written by: Alicia Cassels, MA You may have heard about a Harvard study of adult development that has, to date, run consecutively for more than 80 years. Initially the study included only male students from Harvard. The subject pool was expanded to include a more diverse set of subjects. Over…

Health and Wealth Research Relationships

Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP® [email protected] What makes some people practice positive health and financial behaviors while others do not? Many people, including health and financial educators, policy makers, and behavioral researchers, are interested in knowing the answer to this question. Findings from recent research studies provide some interesting insights: A…

Military Consumer Protection Month: Tech Support Scams

From the Federal Trade Commission  Tech support scammers want you to believe you have a serious problem with your computer, like a virus. They want you to pay for services you don't need to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. They often ask you to pay by wiring money, putting money…

Make Food Safe: Minimizing Your Risk of Foodborne Illness

The week of September 14, 2006, is one that has gone down in the history books. It marked the first time in history that individuals in the United States were without spinach for a total of five days.

Wrap Up: Total Force Fitness and Cooperative Extension

Over the past eight Friday Field Notes, we have examined the ways in which cooperative extension can help military family service providers support fitness in all eight domains of Total Force Fitness. Social Fitness: In the first post of the series, we explored how cooperative extension can support healthy interpersonal…

Investment Fraud and How to Avoid It

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, [email protected] Each year, thousands of consumers lose billions of dollars to investment fraud. Con artists use chat rooms and social media to post “urgent” messages telling people to buy a particular stock. They also use telephones to take advantage of unsuspecting victims.…

Holding a Food Safe Picnic 101

Summer picnics are a wonderful way to spend time outdoors with friends and family, but if the food is cooked or stored improperly someone may become sick due to pathogens such as norovirus and salmonella. Every year, nearly 50 million people in the United States fall ill due to foodborne…

Resource Discovery: It’s Perfectly Normal!

By: Khushbu Patel Pexels Children often display behaviors considered sexualized by the adults observing them. It is important for parents and professionals to understand the various factors constituting normal and concerning sexualized behavior. This will help keep children safe and flourishing throughout their childhood and youth. Discussing the topic of…

Total Force Fitness and Cooperative Extension: Environmental Fitness

In this week’s Friday Field Notes, we will explore the resources available through cooperative extension to promote environmental fitness. Total Force Fitness (TFF), combined with human performance optimization (HPO), engages service members, their loved ones, and units while they’re healthy and performing well. The TFF framework also provides tools to…

Avoiding Burnout

Wellbeing and self-care are multifaceted. The dimensions of health and wellness include physical, social, emotional, psychological, intellectual, and spiritual.

Sesame Street: All Roads Lead to Military Families

Written by: Christopher Plein, Ph.D. West Virginia University I am a little too old to have watched Sesame Street as a kid.  Indeed, my childhood viewing experiences were a mashup of cartoons, monster movies, and sitcoms.  My memories align with descriptions of the time that television was a “vast wasteland.” …

Helping Military Families Become More Resilient Through Various Transitions

By: Jennifer Rea, PhD Why do some military families bounce back after stressful transitions (e.g., transitioning into civilian life), while others struggle to readjust? Cover image and logo- used with permission from the MilitaryTimes.com   Military life is dynamic and interrelated with its own life challenges (1).  Service members and…

Rebuilding Credit After Bankruptcy

By Carol Church Bad credit can and does happen to good people. Whether it's the result of a huge and unexpected medical bill, or a painful divorce, bad decisions made in someone's youth, bankruptcy, or a foreclosed home, the results can be a lot of anxiety, self-blame, and fear that…

Going Tiny: Living Simpler and the Benefits for Military Families

By: Jason M. Jowers, M.S. MFT PixabayWhen searching for our first home, my wife and I made a list of “must haves” and established a budget. It was important for us to have a house that fit our short term needs, while honoring our long term goals. Having always viewed…

Meet the Presenters for Yuck! I Don’t Eat That! Nutrition & Selective Eating in Young Children with Autism

Did you miss this webinar Yuck! I Don't Eat That! Nutrition & Selective Eating in Young Children with Autism? 

Food insecurity in America’s Heroes

Food insecurity in America’s Heroes By Sarah Pittman, Human Nutrition Graduate Student at the University of Illinois   Food insecurity is one definition that has changed meaning since the term first came into existence. The current definition of food insecurity by the USDA is “a lack of consistent access to…

Resources to Support Children with Feeding Concerns and Food Selectivity

There are many articles written about young children attaining developmental milestones such as walking, producing multiple word phrases, and writing their name. There are also external influences on the development of these skills including prematurity and exposure to language models, that may result in milestones being achieved at differing times.

Understanding Resilience as a Dynamic Process

What comes to mind when you think about resilience? Is it the person who successfully dealt with a serious illness? The individual who was able to overcome extreme disadvantages and ultimately thrive?

Bankruptcy Q&A for Service Members

By Carol Church What is Bankruptcy? In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, debtors liquidate all assets, except any that may be exempt in their states. In return, all debt is discharged. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, filers may be allowed to keep property and are given 3 to 5 years to pay off…

Total Force Fitness and Cooperative Extension: Spiritual Fitness

In this week’s Friday Field Notes, we will explore the resources available through cooperative extension to promote spiritual fitness. What is Spiritual Fitness? Ideology and spirituality are a broad spectrum of behaviors, values, and beliefs that individuals hold in regards to their own spirit or soul. For some, their spirituality…

Military Consumer Protection Month

By Molly Herndon July marks the month that many agencies focus education efforts and resources available to those working to protect the military consumer. Military service members and their families are at heightened risk for fraud, scams, and identity theft. Frequent moves and deployments that take the service member away…

Exploring Resilience

  By: Sara Croymans We hear a lot about the concept of resilience in relation to military service members and families. When I think of resilience the concepts of bouncing back or overcoming adversities come to mind. Resilience may be thought of as a trait, a process or an outcome…

Total Force Fitness and Cooperative Extension: Behavioral Fitness

In today’s Friday Field Notes, we will examine how cooperative extension can support the behavioral fitness domain of Total Force Fitness (TFF). What is Behavioral Fitness? Behavioral health focuses on the relationship between behaviors and their impact on overall health. This includes the reduction of risky health behaviors and increasing…

A Little Summer Reading: 2019 Edition

Written By: Christopher Plein, Ph.D. West Virginia University Over the past few years, when June rolls around I have offered a blog on the theme of, “A Little Summer Reading.” Past blogs have focused on such topics as recent developments in healthcare and Medicaid.  The idea of the “Little Summer…

Building Resilience One Step at a Time

We often think of resilience as our ability to tough it out through a bad situation alone. But, resilience is much more.

Planning for your Child’s Special Needs: Applying Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)

Written by: Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Extension Specialist – Special Populations, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Major General Paul D Eaton – retired of the United States army states that “the future of our kids will be greatly enriched and enhanced if we infuse their earliest years with…

Break [n.] an interruption in continuity

Interruptions to typical daily routines can happen often.  These breaks in routine can be unexpected, like when a family member comes down with the flu.  They can also be expected, such as a holiday or summer vacation.  Some families, particularly military families, may frequently experience a break in their routines…

Life Insurance Basics

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, [email protected] Compared to their civilian counterparts, service members at any age (as well as police and fire fighters) have a greater need to understand and purchase life insurance. When your job requires you to “put yourself in harm’s way,” it is important…

Resource Discovery| Danny and the Blue Cloud: Coping with Childhood Depression

By: Jason M. Jowers Pexels Recently, I had the pleasure of spending some time with my brother, his wife, and my 15-month old niece. While the adults talked, my niece (who just so happens to be building increased confidence since she started walking) fell and landed on her hands and…

Total Force Fitness and Cooperative Extension: Psychological Fitness

In today’s Friday Field notes, we continue our series of examining how cooperative extension can support Total Force Fitness. This week will explore the programs available through cooperative extension that support psychological fitness. What is Psychological Fitness? The ability to cope with the stressors associated with military life is at…

How to File a Homeowner’s Claim: Part 2

By Carol Church Homeowners should be sure file soon after the damage as there will be a time limit on the policy as to how long there is to file. When filing, ask how long it will be before an adjuster can come. Also ask what to do as far…

Go Beyond the Webinar | Sexualized Behaviors in Children & Youth

On May 22, 2019, Dr. Shelly Martin provided her expertise on working with children and families in recognizing normal childhood sexualized behaviors, as well as what to do when that behavior might become concerning or problematic. Dr. Martin is a child abuse pediatrician and a Colonel in the US Air…

Total Force Fitness and Cooperative Extension: Medical and Dental Fitness

To continue our exploration of how cooperative extension can support Total Force Fitness, in today’s Friday Field Notes, we will examine the resources cooperative extension provides for medical and dental fitness. What is Medical and Dental Fitness? Military medical fitness involves being free of contagious disease and free from medical…

Food and Mood

Food plays a big part in our society today. Food is not only used for nourishment and fuel for our bodies, but we also use it for celebrating, gathering and enjoyment. But the food we put into our bodies has a major impact on our gut-brain axis