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.
Department of Defense-Morale, Welfare and Recreation Summer Reading Program
Making the Most of EFMP Family Support Services with the EFMP Family Needs Assessment
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Family Advocacy Program
Whether or not you've experienced domestic abuse personally, you probably know that it can have devastating consequences. Victims carry the emotional scars of abuse long after they're out of harm's way. And abusers, if not stopped, can escalate the violence until they and their victims lose everything — family, career, self-respect, and even their freedom.
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.
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.
Remember America’s Military Heroes on Memorial Day Weekend
Throughout American history, men and women have loved our country so deeply that they were willing to give their all to preserve its safety and freedom. On the last Monday in May, our nation honors the selfless heroes who gave their lives to defend the land we love and the freedoms we believe everyone deserves.
Military Spouse Benefits
The military lifestyle can be an exciting adventure for spouses as long as you're prepared. Being prepared includes knowing your military spouse benefits — and where to find them — as you navigate your way through the military community.
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.
New Liaison Connects Families with TRICARE Services
To help families with special needs get the most benefit out of their healthcare coverage, the Department of Defense Office of Special Needs has added a TRICARE liaison to their growing team. The liaison helps families navigate TRICARE to find the information and services they need.
10 Outdoor Games Your Children Will Love
Kids love playing outdoors, but that doesn’t mean you have to go to the park every day. Here are 10 outdoor activities that can help your children burn off energy, learn basic skills and have a good time.
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.
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.
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?
How to Successfully Communicate as a Couple
For service members, a loving, resilient marriage is both a matter of personal happiness and family readiness.
Transferring Your Professional License: What's Involved?
Moving across the country — or around the world — can be a great adventure. Here's some help for making sure your licenses and certifications pack up and travel with you for your next move.
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.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America: Military Partnership
Help your kids meet new people, try new things and have fun with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
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.
10 Tips for Keeping a Relationship Strong During Deployment and Separation
Whether this is the first time or the 20th time that your spouse has been called to active duty, relationships change when a spouse serves away from home.
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.
Tools for Parenting After a Suicide
You do not have to handle the grief of a suicide all by yourself. Help is available to you.
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.
Military Spouses: Find Support From a Peer
Attention military spouses: Whether you’re new to the military community or a seasoned spouse, we can all find some solace in talking with a peer who has been there/done that.
Deployment Resources for Families
While military families know how to stand strong, the stresses of deployment can bring extra challenges. At Military OneSource, we're here to help — by connecting you to a wide array of programs and services designed for military families.
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.
Understanding Dating Violence
Dating is exciting — there's no doubt about it. And when you're new to it, it can be hard to recognize a good date or a good relationship versus an unhealthy one.
Ways to Support Your Kids in Grade School
As the guardian of your family, you want to both protect your children and help them be their best. Helping them to learn and grow is a big way to achieve both goals.
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.
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.
How to Support Healthy Sexual Relationships for Your Military Teenager
Military parents or guardians like you can maximize the chances of your teenager having happy and healthy relationships in high school and beyond by learning about the emotional and health problems that can arise from common unhealthy sexual behaviors, as well as what healthy teenage relationship behaviors are.
Indoor Fun Helps Military Families Beat Cabin Fever
During the cold winter months, opportunities to take your children outdoors for fun may be limited. But don't worry, there are plenty of ways to fight cabin fever. Here are 11 tried-and-tested activities that can help children burn off energy, learn basic skills and have a good time.
Special Education Programs and Resources for Military Families
Families with special needs have a wide range of programs and services available for both family members with special needs and their caregivers. Here is a sampling of the various resources and tools available to you through the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, or OSEP.
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.
Tax Extensions for Survivors
If you're a survivor of a service member who has died on active duty, you may have the option of taking extra time to file your tax return.
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
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.
Helping Your Children Change Schools
Frequent moving to new duty stations is fact of military life. Be prepared to help your school-age children with changing schools—it can go a long way to helping them adjust in healthy ways to some of the routines of military life.
The New Parent Support Program
The New Parent Support Program helps military parents, including expectant parents, transition successfully into parenthood and provides a nurturing environment for their children.
Family Readiness System
The Family Readiness System supports every service member and family member, regardless of activation status or location, in person, by phone and online.
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.
Balancing Work and Life as Dual Military Couples
When you’re married to another service member, you both share the honor of proudly serving your country. Dealing with deployments and separation can be demanding, but learning techniques to balance work and life can help you and your spouse stay connected.
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.
Supporting Your Military Children Through the Deployment Cycle
As parents, we want to be good role models for our children. When word of a deployment comes, you’ll get a chance to show your kids what it takes to be a good guardian of your family.
How Military Insignia Works
You might be wondering what those stripes and bars are on your spouse’s uniform. Those symbols represent rank — the higher the rank, the more responsibility.
Deployment Planning: Your Relationship Checklist
Have a deployment in your future? This is where you and your partner team up for relationship resilience. Plan, trust, communicate—and be confident you're ready to support your partner and keep your long-distance relationship strong.
Dealing with Military Divorce
Deciding to end your marriage can feel like the final step on a long journey.
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.
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.
Preparing Your Family Care Plan
Whether it's a deployment or training, sometimes your military career obligates you to leave your family and loved ones for an extended period of time. While being away from home is never easy, creating a family care plan can give you some peace of mind while you’re gone.
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.