Parent asking questions at parent center.

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.

I had so little knowledge of what he needed. I knew what he needed at home, but not what his school was supposed to give him.... I learned so much [from the parent center] about how to help my son, which helps me help others.

Vicki F., military parent

What are Parent Centers?

Parent Centers can assist in many ways, such as helping you learn how to advocate for your child and connecting you to available civilian resources. There are a couple of different types of Parent Centers, including:

  • State-Level Parent Training and Information Centers: These help military parents and families who have children with disabilities access information, resources and services. They train and produce materials for the local-level Community Parent Resource Centers so the centers can better help military families in their communities and states, for example, for a family who moves from one state to another and needs comparable education services for their child with special needs.
  • Community Parent Resource Centers: As Parent Training and Information Centers focus on statewide issues affecting families with special needs, Community Parent Resource Centers focus on underserved populations in a particular area – for example, helping non-English-speaking families who have a child with special needs navigate the education system.

How Parent Centers can help military parents

All Parent Centers assist families with children with special needs on a range of issues – from helping with early intervention services and special education to matters relating to teens and young adults after high school. Parent Centers can help military families with special needs fill in information gaps and connect them to important resources that they may miss out on as a result of frequent moves.

The more informed you are as a parent of a child with special needs, the more empowered you can become. Learning as much as you can about federal and state laws regarding families with special needs helps you to better advocate for your child. Parent Centers are well-positioned resources to help you become a champion for your child.

Find a Parent Training Center near you or your next duty station by clicking your state on the map, or contact your local EFMP Family Support staff for more information. You can also contact Military OneSource’s special needs consultants at 800-342-9647 for help finding available resources for you and your family. OCONUS/International? Click here for calling options.

Call for Back-Up With EFMP ROC

The Exceptional Family Member Resources, Options and Consultations, or EFMP ROC, helps military families with special needs access resources and additional military and community support. Find out more about how EFMP ROC supports families just like yours.