Family & Relationships
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How to Successfully Communicate as a Couple
For service members, a loving, resilient marriage is both a matter of personal happiness and family readiness.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How to Help Your Children Protect Themselves From Sexual Abuse
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Understanding Your Child’s Development: An Overview for Military Parents
Children change quickly. Suddenly your sleeping infant is an independent 3-year-old. Before you know it, your kid is off to high school.
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.
Employment Resources for Family Members of Deceased Service Members
Joining the workforce after the death or disability of a loved one can ease financial strain and provide a way to find your new normal. When seeking employment with the federal government, military family members may be eligible for special preference programs. While these programs don’t guarantee a job, they provide a qualified candidate entry into the applicant pool.
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.
After the death of a loved one, the last things you want to think about are taxes. However, your loved one may be entitled to certain benefits, including tax forgiveness. Here are answers to some common questions about tax liability and forgiveness.
Top Military OneSource Parenting Resources
You have a busy life working, caring for the kids, cleaning the house, running carpool and making dinner. Military OneSource understands that and does your homework for you. We highlight the latest resources, information and advice on parenting so that you don’t have to spend hours at the computer on your downtime looking up services.
Making the Move Easier for Military Kids
Moving with kids can be a little like assembling a jigsaw puzzle. A little perspective and patience is needed for you to fit all the pieces together.
Rights and Benefits for Abandoned Military Spouses
Family law defines abandonment as the act of deliberately leaving one's spouse without consent (or notification, in many cases) with no intent of returning.
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.
How to Communicate With Children From Birth to 5 Years
The way your child communicates will change a lot between birth and the age of five, and children have a language of their own. Knowing what to expect can help you understand and respond to your child in meaningful ways.
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.
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.
An Overview of Special Education
Special education is designed to meet unique needs of children with special needs, ages 3 through 21.
Keeping Your Child Healthy and Engaged Over the Summer
A little leisure is much needed when school lets out; however, children with special needs thrive with a little structure. It’s beneficial to maintain a routine during the summer as a way to keep your child learning and developing healthy habits.
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.
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.
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.
Supplemental Security Income
Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is a federal income supplement program designed to help the aged, blind and people with disabilities who have limited income. It provides them with cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing and shelter
Family-to-Family Health Information Centers
Family-to-Family Health Information Centers are nonprofit organizations familiar with the issues facing families with special needs. They can connect you to resources that can provide and finance health care for your children, help locate assistance, and explain legislation.
What Is Social Security Disability Insurance?
Social Security Disability Insurance is a payroll tax-funded, federal insurance program administered by the Social Security Administration that provides supplemental income to people whose disability prevents them from procuring employment or staying employed.
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.
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.
Understanding Accessible Housing: The Fair Housing Act
An accessible home is one that allows its occupant to do what he or she wants and needs to do, as independently as possible. If you or someone in your family is disabled, your home may need specific modifications to make it accessible for daily living.
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.
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 the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act
Every child deserves a quality education. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ensures that all children with special needs have access to a "free appropriate public education" and they have the necessary tools to meet their educational goals.
Moving With an Individualized Education Program
If you have a child with an individualized education program, don’t be nervous about moving schools. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, ensures that all children with special needs have access to a free, appropriate public education and the tools needed to meet their educational goals — no matter where or how often your family moves.
How Military Parents Can Create Safe Sleeping Environments for Infants
One of the easiest ways for military parents to keep your children safe – and avoid the possibility of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS – is to arrange for a safe sleep place before your infant comes home from the hospital.
How to Teach Your Military Child About Healthy Boundaries
The best way for military families to show children healthy boundaries is to model it yourself – both with them and with other adults. Here’s a list of some common ways you can help your children learn to build this resilient skill in everyday family life.
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.