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Caring For Your Child

Parenting is a learned experience with many challenges. Yet, having your own family and raising children can be the most satisfying experience in one's lifetime. In times of a crisis, families often need help in sorting out the problem spots while attending to their day-to-day responsibilities. Thus military families are faced with some unique challenges and we have provided this section as a resource. However, families who are experiencing difficulties that are beyond their control or ability to cope should seek help from a trained family counselor or healthcare professional.

While good parenting involves a host of factors, children who grow up in a safe, caring, and stable home environment feel loved and safe. To assist family efforts to create such environments, we have provided links to resources on child development and rearing along with educational materials from reliable sources.

Table of Contents

Understanding your Child

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Talking to Your Child

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Child Abuse & Neglect

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DoD Family and Child Programs and Services

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Related Links

  • For Parents

    • Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC is a nonprofit, world-wide organization that focuses on ensuring quality educational opportunities for all military-connected children affected by mobility, family separation, and transition. MCEC performs research, develops resources, conducts professional institutes and conferences, and publishes resources for all constituencies.)

    • Military OneSource (Military OneSource is a free service provided by the Department of Defense to service members and their families to help with a broad range of concerns including money management, spouse employment and education, parenting and child care, relocation, deployment, reunion, and the particular concerns of families with special-needs members. They can also include more complex issues like relationships, stress, and grief. Services are available 24 hours a day by telephone and online.)

    • MilitaryHOMEFRONT (DoD Web site for official Military Community and Family Policy (MC&FP) program information, policy and guidance designed to help troops and their families, leaders, and service providers.)

    • STOMP: Specialized Training of Military Parents (STOMP is a Parent Training and Information (PTI) Center established to assist military families who have children with special education or health needs. It is funded through a grant from the US Department of Education.)

    • Children of Military Service Members Resource Guide, Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE), Apr 11 (An online resource to assist parents, other family members and health care providers in addressing the mental and emotional health needs of military children through topic-specific, age-related, public-domain literature, including books, films, websites and social media and support groups.)

    • National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (Military Families Program) (NAACRRA works with more than 600 state and local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies to ensure that families in every local community have access to quality, affordable child care. It is working with the US Military Services to help those who serve in the military find and afford child care that suits their unique needs. Through the fee assistance program, families are eligible to receive a monthly subsidy to help offset the cost of child care in their communities.)

    • Healthy Children (Web site of the American Academy of Pediatrics providing health advice for parents and caregivers.)

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  • For Youth

    • MilitaryKidsConnect (MKC) is an online community of military children (ages 6-17 yr old) that provides access to age-appropriate resources to support children from pre-deployment, through a parent's or caregiver's return. MKC is an inititave of the National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2) that offers informative activities, games, videos, and user surveys that can guide and reinforce understanding, resilience, and coping skills in military children and their peers.)

    • Military Youth on the Move (DoD Web site designed by the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy (MC&FP) for military youth dealing with topics such as deployment, moving to a new location, and other everyday youth topics.)

    • Operation Military Kids (OMK is the US Army's collaborative effort with America's communities to support children and youth impacted by deployment. OMK's goal is to connect military children and youth with local resources in order to achieve a sense of community support and enhance their well-being.)

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Located at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD (MRMC)