2021 Month of the Military Child Toolkit

Every April is Month of the Military Child. This year, Military Community and Family Policy is collaborating with key partners to celebrate and support our military children. Together, we’re featuring resources from across programs to help families discover the wealth of resources and support they can turn to throughout the year.

Let’s Celebrate and Support Military Children Together

Learn about the many ways to participate:

  1. Check out our virtual events: Visit the Military OneSource Facebook page to see the exciting events we have planned throughout April. Speakers include best-selling children’s book author Trevor Romain, noted pediatrician and adolescent medicine specialist Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg, Inspector General of the U.S. Army, Lieutenant General Leslie C. Smith, and more.
  2. Military Child Appreciation Kits: The Department of Defense and Military OneSource are offering free Military Child Appreciation Kits. Visit the Month of the Military Child page for more information and to register.
  3. Promote and participate in Purple Up: Encourage military families and friends to participate in Purple Up Day by wearing purple and sharing their photos on social media with #PurpleUp21.
  4. Show your love for MilKids: Include the You’re Everything campaign emblem in your communications and on promotional materials and use the Department of Defense-wide hashtags: #MOMC2021 and #PurpleUp21.

Suggested Resources:

  • Sesame Street for Military Families: The collaboration between the Department of Defense and Sesame Workshop brings powerful support and practical tools to preschool-aged military children and their parents to help them cope with the challenges of military life. The “Talk, Listen, Connect” initiative features specially-created videos, storybooks and workbooks that guide families through tough transitions such as relocation and deployment.
  • Thrive online program for parents: The Thrive parent education course provides free, online programs that offer evidence-based, age-appropriate positive parenting practices, parent and child stress management tips, and activities to promote physical health for children ages 0 to 18.
  • Expanded hourly child care for military families: To help meet the growing and diverse needs of military parents, the Department of Defense is proud to offer expanded hourly child care options. Through Military OneSource, military families have access to a nationally recognized caregiver database to search for hourly, flexible and on-demand child care.
  • 4-H military partnerships: Over 50,000 military connected youth participate in 4-H Clubs and opportunities worldwide. 4-H provides a variety of programs that encourage children to learn, grow and develop the skills they need to become positive forces in their communities. Visit the 4-H Military Partnerships website to learn more.
  • EFMP & Me: The new EFMP & Me online tool, available through Military OneSource, expands and tailors support for families with special needs so that you can quickly navigate services, connect with resources and advocate for yourself or your family member with special needs ‒ anytime, anywhere. The tool helps caregivers understand and find medical and educational resources as well as receive step-by-step support for EFMP enrollment, PCS preparation, deployment and other military life moments.

Social Media Toolkit:

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Problematic Sexual Behavior in Children and Youth Toolkit

This page is an online centralized place for content for all professionals involved in the prevention and response to Problematic Sexual Behavior in Children and Youth across the military community. The Department of Defense has provided direct links for all training, fact sheets, guides and other learning opportunities to enhance your professional understanding and skills in working with children, youth and families impacted by PSB-CY.

Materials include those developed by the DOD, as well as external organizations. While training may not be mandatory, it is strongly recommended to provide support that is trauma-informed, aligned with the current evidence and developmentally attuned.

Background

Problematic sexual behavior in children and youth is defined as behavior, initiated by children younger than 18, that involves using sexual or private body parts in a manner that is developmentally inappropriate or potentially harmful to the individual or individuals impacted by the behavior.

A new DOD policy expands the responsibility of the Family Advocacy Program to address PSB-CY. This change in policy allows the program to support families whose children or adolescents have exhibited, or been impacted by concerning or problematic sexual behavior, and convene a multidisciplinary team to manage the coordinated community response and recommend a safe way forward for all involved.

For Parents – Understanding Child Sexual Development and Concerning Sexual Behaviors

Resources and Trainings for Helping Professionals

Tools for Helping Professionals

Resources for Clinicians

 

Course Provides Path to Creating a More Inclusive Culture Within MWR Programs and Services

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Your goal as a morale, welfare and recreation professional, service provider or leader is to create and maintain programs and services that meet the needs of as many people as possible.

A new MilLife Learning course titled, “Operating in an Inclusive Culture,” can help you do just that by addressing the needs and challenges faced by people with disabilities, and showing you how to provide opportunities for individuals with varying abilities and skills to participate together.

MilLife Learning Course on Inclusiveness

Take this course to learn the importance and benefits of reaching individuals with disabilities.

This course examines the barriers these individuals face and their specific needs across a wide range of disabilities. It also explains the benefits and incentives for including those customers. These may include:

  • Involving more community members in social and recreational activities, which among other benefits may result in a reduced demand for medical and psychological services
  • Fostering more community acceptance of individuals with disabilities
  • Ensuring that your programs are in compliance with the laws of the land
  • Enriching the culture of your programs with personalities and experiences of people who could not participate previously

There also could be a financial gain through increasing the numbers of people participating in recreational activities.

The course also:

  • Provides supplemental resource documents, including a broad list of links to contact information, samples of more inclusive registration forms and a sample of an inclusive welcoming document for MWR programs
  • Offers guidance on ways to feel more comfortable talking to individuals about their disabilities
  • Outlines disability-related legislation and requirements for providing inclusive MWR programs and services
  • Contains details about the Department of Defense’s goals for serving participants with differing abilities

Additional course details

This 2½-hour course employs an interactive audio and video multimedia approach and includes six units, designed to be taken sequentially, with each unit building on the previous one. Transcripts are also available. Certification requires the completion of all six units.

You will learn about the wide spectrum of disabilities, including a focus on:

  • Amputees
  • Brain injuries
  • Visual or hearing impairments
  • Spinal cord injuries

You will also hear about some of the myths and truths surrounding people with disabilities and learn what language to avoid when interacting with those individuals.

You don’t have to be an MWR professional, service provider or leader to take this course. It can also be of value to service members wanting to learn more about inclusiveness and the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities.

Areas of focus that may be of interest to all service-connected individuals include the risk factors for post-traumatic stress disorder, how it affects a person and the challenges it may bring. The use of and need for service animals is also discussed.

Take the course today

Make yourself better informed and ensure that your program staff is prepared to meet the needs of all participants by signing up for this free course. Click on “Create an Account” if you are a new user; no common access card or External Certification Authorities are needed.

Once you are registered, or if you are a returning user, log in and click “Launch Course” to begin.

How the Military Supports Diversity and Inclusion

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The diverse makeup of the armed forces is one of its greatest assets. When service members of different races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations and other identities unite for a common mission, the result is a stronger and more effective force.

As someone who cares about a service member, you may have questions about how the military ensures equal opportunity and acceptance of individual differences among all its members. The DOD has taken steps to root out bias, ensure the military reflects the nation’s diversity and promote an environment in which every member is treated with dignity and respect.

Over the coming months, there will be an effort to get input from service members – both officers and enlisted – to hear their views and concerns about diversity and inclusion in the military.

Some changes have been implemented to advance diversity and inclusion

Military leaders have been charged with making equal opportunity and inclusion a priority. Your service member may have already benefited from some recent changes, including:

  • Removing photographs and references to race, ethnicity and gender from personnel files in promotion and selection processes. This eliminates the risk of bias when considering a candidate for a promotion, assignment, training, education or command.
  • Enacting stronger protections against harassment and discrimination including prohibiting discrimination because of pregnancy.
  • Training to detect and respond appropriately to bias – both conscious and unconscious. Service members and leaders are also receiving training on recognizing and understanding the impact of their own biases and prejudices.
  • Reviewing hairstyle and grooming policies for racial bias.
  • Training for commanders on guiding discussions on discrimination, prejudice and bias.

As an ongoing effort, the DOD collects and analyzes information to identify prejudice and bias, measure the effectiveness of its actions and expose areas requiring improvement.

Longer-term steps toward diversity and inclusion

Building upon the above, the Department of Defense Board on Diversity and Inclusion has recommended further steps to improve racial and ethnic diversity and broaden equal opportunity in the military. These recommendations include:

  • Updating recruiting content annually to reflect the nation’s racial and ethnic makeup.
  • Diversifying senior-level positions so they reflect the nation’s racial and ethnic makeup.
  • Identifying and removing barriers to diversity in aptitude tests while retaining a rigorous screening process.
  • Identifying and removing barriers to senior leadership for diverse candidates.
  • Disclosing demographic information about promotion selection rates. This will improve transparency and reinforce the DOD’s focus on achieving equity across all grades.
  • Creating a diversity and inclusion mobile app and website that will allow service members to easily connect with each other and locate resources.
  • Prohibiting involvement with extremist or hate group activity.

To ensure continued progress, the DOD has established the independent Defense Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion in the Armed Services. This committee will continue the work of examining any and all issues that will improve equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion in the military.

Diverse and inclusive ranks are essential to morale, force cohesion and readiness. Your service member plays an important role in maintaining an environment that values and respects individual differences.

Combat Human Trafficking — Service Providers and Leaders Toolkit

Trafficking in persons, or human trafficking, is a crime in the United States and globally. The Department of Defense is committed to ending this human rights violation through the Combating Trafficking in Persons program.

Human trafficking includes sex trafficking, forced labor and child soldiering. Though it may seem like these abuses happen only in faraway places, trafficking in persons occurs in the United States as well. The military community can do its part to prevent human trafficking, by:

The first step is learning about Combating Trafficking in Persons. You can explore the resources provided on this page, or visit the program webpage, which provides information, training and resources.

Courses

Take the following courses to learn more about human trafficking:

Joint Knowledge Online provides 24/7 access to the online courses above and more web-based training. You can access these on military classified and unclassified networks. Information on JKO is found at http://jko.jten.smil.mil for classified and http://jko.jten.mil for unclassified access. Direct access to JKO courses is available with a Common Access Card or login and password by going directly to https://jkodirect.jten.mil or http://jkolms.jten.smil.mil.

You can self-register for a JKO account if you have a CAC. If you don’t have a CAC but have a government or military email account (ending in .mil, .gov, nps.edu, or dodea.edu), you may obtain a login and password account. If you do not have a CAC or government or military email account, you may request a sponsored account. You can find a link to request the sponsored account on the JKO login page.

Resources

Check out the following resources to learn more about human trafficking, including DOD official policy:

Contacts

If you see or suspect trafficking in persons, report it.

EFMP Forms

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DD Form 2792, “Family Member Medical Summary,” January 2021 This form is used to document a family member’s special medical needs and for enrollment in the Exceptional Family Member Program. This information assists military assignment personnel in matching the family member’s special medical needs against the availability of medical services at the projected duty station.

DD Form 2792-1, “Special Education/Early Intervention Summary,” January 2021 This form is used to document the special education needs of a child with a disability, birth through age 21, and for enrollment in the Exceptional Family Member Program. This information will assist military assignment personnel in matching the child’s special education needs against the availability of educational services at the projected duty station.