Military Family Support | Military Community
You're part of a military family that numbers in the millions. You share common experiences, values and feelings of being in this together. That’s community. To support and bolster your own family, lean on your military community – including Military OneSource – to find answers and guidance from those who have been there, done that.
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, or SCRA, provides financial and legal protection for active-duty service members, including National Guard and reserve members, and their families. Because details of the SCRA are complicated, service members and their families are encouraged to contact the nearest legal assistance office if they need help meeting their financial obligations.
Education Directory for Children With Special Needs
The Education Directory for Children With Special Needs is a Web-based tool that helps military families with special needs make informed decisions about education and early intervention services available on or near installations within the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Free Legal Support for Military Families With Special Needs
As a military family with special needs, you may face unique financial, medical and legal challenges caused, in part, by the demands of military service. Fortunately, you do not need to address these burdens alone; free, military department-provided support services exist to help overcome these challenges.
Certification Process Eases for Student Recipients of Survivor Benefit Plan
The certification process has gotten easier for students age 18 and older covered as a child annuitant under the military Survivor Benefit Plan. SBP students now have more time to file their certifications each semester and can file school certification forms online.
Understanding the Probate Process, Survivor Benefits and Resources for Financial Planning
While no actions can erase the pain you feel after losing a family member or loved one, getting your financial and legal affairs in order can be a small step in the right direction and can provide some peace of mind during this difficult time.
Becoming a New Father While You’re Deployed
Don’t let the stress of deployment spoil the bliss you feel as an expectant father. Even if you won’t be there for the delivery, you can still experience the joys of new fatherhood.
Finding Support After the Death of a Loved One
After the death of a loved one, you may experience a wide range of emotions. That is natural. Finding your new normal after the death of a loved one is not the same for everyone.
Department of Defense Summer Camps
Have some activities planned to keep your kids busy, engaged and having fun when school lets out. Department of Defense summer camps may be a great addition to your child's summer lineup.
Know the Laws That Protect Your Child with Special Needs
You want to be an effective advocate for your child with special needs. The first step is to understand the laws that are in place to protect children with special needs.
Making the Most of EFMP Family Support Services with the EFMP Family Needs Assessment
The Family Needs Assessment is a way for any military family who has a member with special needs to create an action plan for support.
6 Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress for Families With Special Needs
The holidays are packed with fun, food, festivities and, for some of us, - stress. For families with special needs, the unfamiliar sounds, smells and visitors can sometimes be disruptive. Minimize your stress this holiday season with six simple strategies for keeping your family member engaged and calm. Be prepared and put the fun back into your festivities.
Before-and-After Steps and Resources for Disasters
It’s crucial to understand the steps to take before and after a natural disaster strikes. As many of us personally are touched by such disasters – either directly or with family or friends– it’s important to be prepared.
Tax Breaks for Families with Special Needs
If you are filing taxes on behalf of yourself or a family member with special needs, you may be eligible for certain tax breaks.
Understanding the Role of the Casualty Assistance Officer
In its effort to ensure that military families have support in their time of need when a service member is declared deceased, whereabouts unknown or missing, the Department of Defense's Casualty Assistance Program assigns a dedicated casualty assistance officer to advise and assist the primary next of kin.
Your Checklist: Questions to Ask Before Marriage
Thinking of marrying a service member? There are lots of great reasons to marry — and some reasons that may not be strong enough for a lifelong commitment.
Staying Resilient While Your Partner is Deployed
A big part of staying strong while your partner is deployed is being positive. Staying positive can help make things a little easier on you and family members.
Domestic Abuse: Military Reporting Options
Deciding whether to report domestic abuse can be difficult. Victims of domestic abuse may feel confused, alone or afraid to get help. If your partner is abusive, knowing your reporting options may help you decide what's best for you and your family.
The Family Advocacy Program
The Department of Defense and each of the branches of the armed services are committed to promoting a military culture that supports victims. Learn more about the Family Advocacy Program, including how to connect with a victim advocate near you, for help with domestic abuse, child abuse and neglect, or problematic sexual behavior in children and youth.
How to Document Technology Misuse by Your Partner
Does your partner use technology to keep tabs on you? Perhaps even harass or intimidate you? That’s the misuse of technology to abuse, sometimes called digital abuse. If you or someone you know is dealing with digital abuse, it can be useful to know how to document this behavior.
Top 4 Tips for Cell Phone Safety
According to one study, 89% of service members own a smart phone, and over half report regular social media activity. Our cell phones contain a lot of information about us, so keeping it secure and private from prying eyes is important. Privacy on a smartphone is especially relevant for anyone who may have a spouse or partner who is misusing technology to harass or control them. Here are 4 tips that technology safety experts recommend to keep your device safe and secure.
Technology (Mis)Use and Your Relationship
Technology facilitates modern life, with nearly all of us relying on our cell phones, email and social media to communicate, stay connected, and talk with our spouses and partners. According to one study, 89% of service members own a smart phone, and over half report regular social media activity. Smartphones and other devices are the place where much of life happens, including where unhealthy relationship patterns can develop.
Scholarship Opportunities for Surviving Family Members
One way of taking the first step to your new normal is by following your own educational dreams. If you or your children are interested in pursuing higher education, there are several scholarship opportunities available from both private organizations and federal programs providing financial assistance.
Together While Apart, Military Families Connect for the Holidays
You can make this holiday meaningful even if you are thousands of miles apart.
Medicaid for Family Members With Special Needs
Medicaid is a federal program that provides eligible military families with benefits beyond TRICARE. It covers basic health and long-term care services for eligible children, adults, pregnant women, individuals with disabilities and the elderly, and for families with low income and limited resources.
In an Unhealthy Relationship? You Have Options
It’s never easy to end a relationship. But the decision is even harder and more complicated when your partner is hurting you either physically or emotionally.
MilParent Power is Help for Parents
MilParent Power offers helpful information and practical tools to help busy military parents build family togetherness, readiness and resilience.
How to Successfully Communicate as a Couple
For service members, a loving, resilient marriage is both a matter of personal happiness and family readiness.
An Overview of Special Education
Special education is designed to meet unique needs of children with special needs, ages 3 through 21.
Person-center planning is a military-supported initiative to help individuals with disabilities direct their own lives — with options to plan housing, work, finances and more.
Financial Planning and Assistance for Families with Special Needs
When you have a family member with special needs, financial planning is vital. Be prepared to take good care of your family member by tackling the money issues today.
Benefits for Families with Special Needs
There are federal and state programs committed to providing additional assistance for families with special needs. As a military family, you also can count on the support of the Exceptional Family Member Program, or EFMP, and Military OneSource special needs specialty consultants.
An Overview of Adults With Special Needs
Supporting adult family members with complex needs may involve collaboration with a variety of support systems and community-based services.
The Exceptional Family Member Program: A Program for Families With Special Needs
When your family member has special needs, you have an extra roster of must-do's to be a good guardian of your family. Think about enrolling in this program as one of them.
Department of Defense Directory on Early Intervention, Special Education and Related Services in OCONUS Communities
Whether your family is moving to Ansbach, Germany, or Camp Zama, Japan, you'll want to know everything you can about overseas schools, especially if you have children with special educational needs.
You Can Do This: Your Checklist for Living Positive While Your Partner's Deployed
During deployment, your partner's not the only one who has to step up and serve. Your job is standing tall here at home. The power of being positive can go a long way to supporting your spouse. You'll find it can give you extra strength as well. Try these practical, positive tips.
How to Report Child Abuse In The Military
Everyone has a role to play in creating safe and healthy communities. This is particularly true when it comes to the health and safety of children.
Sesame Street for Military Families: Helping Kids Through Life’s Milestones
For many years, colorful Sesame Street characters like Elmo and Big Bird have helped children learn while having fun. The Department of Defense has drawn on these familiar friends to help children ages 2-6 through the milestones of relocations, deployments, transitions and more.
Parent Centers: Connecting Military Families to Resources
Do you need help advocating for your child's next Individualized Education Program meeting? Are you confused about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act? Perhaps you would like to become a better champion for a child with special needs. Parent Centers may be the resource you have been looking for.
Marine Study Finds EFMP Enrollment Does Not Negatively Impact Military Careers
Good news: Enrollment in the Exceptional Family Member Program, or EFMP, does not negatively affect career progress and promotion, according to a study conducted by the Marine Corps Operational Analysis Division.
Plan Your Operation Back-to-School for Your Military Child
Transition smoothly from summer to school by making a great game plan for the school year with your child. By doing so, you can help your child establish a sense of ownership in the plan to prepare them for – and perhaps even get excited about – going back to school.
Honoring Gold Star Families
Gold star families – spouses, children, parents, siblings or others whose loved one died in service to our nation – are a vital part of the nation’s military community and history.
Teach Your Kids Healthy Body Boundaries
Talking to your children about their bodies can help protect them from sexual abuse. From the time your children are quite young, have a conversation with them about who can touch them and what to do if they are uncomfortable with someone's touch.
Rights and Benefits of Divorced Spouses in the Military
Ease the time, expense and emotional strain of divorce by learning about unique legal issues due to military service.
Military Spouse Jobs Overseas
You’ve just found out you're moving overseas. You're shaking up your world, and new possibilities and experiences await you. Perhaps a new job awaits you, too.
Military Spouse Support
If you’ve recently married into the military, or you or your spouse has just joined, you may be feeling both nervous and excited about the future.
Military Couples: When Both Spouses Are Service Members
Families where both spouses are service members have a unique challenge. While the dual-military life is rewarding, time apart can strain communication. Learn techniques to help you balance work and family life so that your relationship thrives. Develop strategies for dealing with stress and sacrifice so that your marriage is strengthened by your and your spouse’s service to the country.
Managing Your Emotions When Your Spouse Is Deployed
Having your spouse deployed can bring up a wide range of emotions, starting when you first learn about the deployment and continuing until well after your spouse has returned home.
Keep Your Relationship Strong: 8 Tips for Military Parents Raising Children With Special Needs
Research shows raising a child with special needs can test a marriage. As a military family you have a strong foundation to work from, but the ability to depend on one another and teamwork are key.
How to Strengthen Your Relationship: 14 Ways
Whether your marriage is strong, rocky or somewhere in between, the fact is many could stand to strengthen their relationship. A loving, resilient marriage is a source of personal happiness and family joy. A solid relationship also lets service members focus on their mission and daily duty requirements.
Marriage Enrichment Programs
With deployments and frequent relocations, military relationships can be put to the test. You've aced military life. Now can you bring that same strength and sense of adventure to your marriage?
Gold Star and Surviving Family Member Representatives
The National Defense Authorization Act 2014, Section 633, requires each secretary of a military department to designate a specific member to assist spouses and other dependents of service members, including Reserve Components, who die on active duty.
Signs of Child Abuse
Child abuse offenders come from all ranks, races, religions and income levels. As hard as it can be to imagine, an abuser can be your neighbor, co-worker or even friend.
10 Questions to Ask Child Care Providers for Your Child With Special Needs
Finding a great child care provider is like finding a new member of your military family. After all, your child will spend a significant amount of time there each week, and what happens at daycare can impact what happens at home.
Moving After the Death of Your Loved One
Moving after the death of a loved one can be an important step toward creating your new normal. However, it can be emotionally exhausting.
Welcome to Military Life: Support Resources for Military Families
If you’ve recently married into the military, or you or your spouse has just joined, you may be feeling both nervous and excited about the future. During the adjustment period, spouses take on new roles, adapt to new schedules and learn new ways of handling many of life’s obstacles.
How to Guard Your Military Family Against Child Sexual Abuse
You can help protect your children from sexual abuse by providing careful supervision, establishing open communication and giving them the information they need to be safe.
Child Care Options For Military Families With Special Needs
Finding the right care for your child with special needs starts with asking the right questions. The military offers quality, affordable child care options, both on the installation and off.
Healthy Sexual Behaviors in Children
The birds and the bees. It can be a tough conversation for any parent to have with their children. Rather than avoiding it, prepare early by understanding the childhood stages of healthy sexual growth. Understanding their development stages can better prepare you for “the conversation” and any questions they may ask you about gender, sexuality and relationships along the way.
Children and Technology: 5 Tips for MilParents
Parenting today means staying in the know and up to date on technology with all of its gadgets and apps – and being able to guide its use in your home.
Don't Get Left Behind: How to Evacuate When Disaster Strikes
Evacuations occur more frequently than most people realize. Know what protective measures to take before, during and after an evacuation.
Grief and Loss of a Loved One, The Days Ahead
Grief is a natural response when a loved one dies. How you grieve depends on your personality, your life experiences, the nature of your loss and your coping style.
Bereavement Camps: An Opportunity to Grieve and Heal
Grieving can be a lonely experience. Being with others who are grieving can reassure you that what you're feeling is perfectly normal. Bereavement camps, seminars and retreats offer opportunities for you to connect with people who understand how to help you move forward in your grief journey.
Ways to Secure More Parenting Wins
MilParent Power offers tools, tips and tactics to help keep children and families healthy, safe and strong.
Military Families: How You Can Advocate for Your Child with Special Needs
All parents advocate – speak on behalf of, even fight for – their child’s needs to teachers, doctors and others so their child can grow up happy and successful. When that military child has special needs, that advocacy grows to include learning laws, finding resources and even representing your child to special program administrators, school boards and others
Exceptional Family Member Program Family Support
Exceptional Family Member Program family support teaches military families with special needs the skills they need to make the best decisions for the person they’re supporting and gives them the confidence and strength to improve their quality of life.
Understanding Jealousy, Preserving Trust
How you and your partner deal with jealousy is crucial to maintaining trust and avoiding more serious problems.
Understanding Healthy Relationships
Every relationship has its strengths and weaknesses; however, some relationships are healthier than others. Addressing problems early in a relationship gives both partners opportunities to resolve issues and develop healthy habits that are important for a long-lasting and satisfying relationship.
Prevent Domestic Violence: Strengthen Your Community
No relationship is perfect. All partnerships or marriages lie somewhere on the scale of healthy and unhealthy relationships.
Child Custody Considerations for Members of the Military
Many service members have custody of, or visitation rights with, children whose other parent is not the service member's current spouse. Absences due to military service can undermine and disrupt existing arrangements, creating stress on parents and children.
New Military Parents: Seven Ways to Keep Your Child Safe, Happy and Healthy
Welcome to parenthood. Parenting can be the most rewarding and challenging job you’ll likely have. As a warrior, you’re trained to depend on a team and leave no service member behind.
MilParent Power Tips
Parenting is a perfect example of family readiness and resilience – it’s an “always-on” job. Like a military mission, responsible parenting requires attention, smarts, skills and support. Here are 19 tips to help you step up your parenting and improve your childrearing skills. Everyone wins with responsible parenting.
Parenting and Teen Stress
Teens juggle many things: fitting in at school, managing classwork and clubs, the daily tidal wave of hormones, and the ups and downs of high school romances.
10 Great Resources for Military Spouse Jobs
There are two things military spouses should know: 1) change happens and 2) your military community has support to help you make the most of it.
Protect Your Children from Health Risks by Building Family Resilience
As a parent, being aware of factors that can impact your child’s well-being – even into adulthood – is mission-critical. Research shows that when a child has a secure bond or attachment with their parent or caregiver, they can better manage stress.
MilParent Power: Keeping Your Children Safe
In many ways parenting is a lot like a military job: it’s a 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year commitment.