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Information for Children & Families

Soldier reuniting with his family after a year long deployment in Iraq
  • Deployment Health Assessment Program (DHAP): External Link, Opens in New Window  The Deployment Health Assessment Program (DHAP) is a Department of Defense (DoDI 6490.03) directed program that serves as a gateway to referral care, medical readiness, services and programs for Soldiers and DA Civilians in the deployment cycle.  As a critical element to the Army Ready & Resilient Campaign (R2C), the DHAP works to increase Soldier and DA Civilian well-being/resilience, and unit readiness through the early identification of physical and behavioral health concerns, which if not detected and treated, could lead to potentially serious outcomes.

  • Experts Watching Mental Health of Army Children External Link, Opens in New Window

  • Real Warriors Campaign: External Link, Opens in New Window  "The Real Warriors Campaign" is sponsored by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE).  The campaign is designed to help servicemembers overcome the stigma associated with seeking psychological help and encourage servicemembers to seek out help when they need it.  The Real Warriors Campaign uses social networking, radio, television, posters, flyers, and a Web site to reach active-duty servicemembers, military veterans, members of the National Guard and the Reserve, as well as family members and health professionals.  The campaign features stories of real service members who have sought treatment and are continuing to serve.

  • Videos Help Children with Absent Parent External Link Opens in New Window

  • Talk, Listen, Connect: Helping Families During Military Deployment: External Link Opens in New Window  View and download Sesame Street Workshop videos for children and families.  This bilingual DVD kit is designed to help military families with children ages 3-5 cope with feelings, challenges, and concerns experienced during various phases of deployment: pre-deployment, deployment, and homecoming.

Resources for Children, Couples and Extended Families:

  • Army One Source: External Link, Opens in New Window  Army OneSource provides access to all Family programs and services, regardless of geographical location.  This delivery system harnesses the resources that are already in place and uses personal contact and technology to improve on the delivery of service so that Families get support closest to where they live.

  • Becoming a Couple Again: How to Create a Shared Sense of Purpose After Deployment: External PDF File, Opens in New Window  Coming together as a couple after war deployment isn't always easy or something that happens naturally.  It requires effort, and an understanding that each person has grown and changed during the separation.  A positive way to think about this is that both of you, service person and spouse, have developed your own sense of purpose coping with new experiences while apart.  What's important now is to come together and create a "shared sense of purpose", that is essential for your well being as a couple, that of your children and your life in the community.  This won't happen overnight; it will take time, mutual compassion and a desire to do so.  Here are four steps to help you create a 'shared sense of purpose.'

  • Emotional Cycles of Deployment External PDF File, Opens in New Window

  • Defense Centers of Excellence For Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury: External Link, Opens in New Window  The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) was established in November 2007 as part of the Department of Defense (DoD) to promote the resilience, recovery and reintegration of warriors and their families who face psychological health (PH) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) issues.

  • Family Matters - The Stages of Deployment: External Link, Opens in New Window  This paper relies on narrative format to describe the process of deployment and its impact on military families.  The authors, all military psychiatrists, have integrated their professional and personal experience into a cohesive "story" which is readily identifiable by military leaders, soldiers and their families.  This story has been tempered by numerous presentations of this materiel, as well as modifications provided by military leaders, soldiers and family members.  Whenever possible, relevant literature on deployment stress is cited.

  • Helping Children Cope with the Challenges of War and Terrorism: External PDF File, Opens in New Window  Booklet contains activities that parents and caring adults can do together with their children.  The activities are appropriate for most children ages 7 to 12 years, but may be adapted for older or younger children as well.

  • Helping Children Cope During Deployment: External PDF File, Opens in New Window  This fact sheet contains useful information for you—parents and family caregivers—to help children cope during a parents' deployment.  Experts in military medicine and family trauma who understand the impact of deployment on families have written this fact sheet.  It is in the form of commonly asked questions followed by their responses.  It is important to remember that while deployments are stressful, they also provide opportunities for families to grow closer and stronger.

  • How to Prepare our Children and Stay Involved in Their Education During Deployment: External PDF File, Opens in New Window  The ideas in this booklet should be seen as flexible suggestions.  Ideas can be easily adjusted for multiple uses.

  • Military Child Education Coalition: External Link, Opens in New Window  'For the Sake of the Child'

  • National Military Family Association Fact Sheet: Resources for Wounded or Injured Servicemembers and their Families: External PDF File, Opens in New Window NMFA strongly believes that wounded servicemembers have wounded families and that our Nation must ensure the emotional, financial, and readjustment requirements of these families are met.  A quote from, President Lincoln's second inaugural address so eloquently states what our obligations are to families of wounded servicemembers: "to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan."

  • Reuniting With Your Loved One: Helpful Advice for Families: External Link Opens in New Window In response to numerous inquiries from family and friends of loved ones returning from war in Iraq, the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS) would like to share the following ideas and suggestions to enhance your homecoming and communication during the holidays.

  • Resources for Military Children Affected by Deployment External PDF File, Opens in New Window

  • Separations Happen - Activity Booklet for Ages 13-15: External Link Opens in New Window Activity Booklet

  • Tips for Parents Supporting the Child Whose Military Parent is Deploying: External Link, Opens in New Window Before a deployment, military members are usually preoccupied with many preparatory activities at their military unit, requiring extended hours and increased workload.  As a result, military members come home tired, perhaps late, and are already reluctant to address painful issues of impending separation.  Family members frequently collude in this.  It is important to overcome this resistance and make plans with the family as far ahead as possible.

  • Tricare® Online: External Link Opens in New Window TRICARE® OnLine is a secure web portal designed to increase access to care for authorized TRICARE® beneficiaries and increase access to information for designated TRICARE® physicians and support staff.

  • What Military Families Should Know About Depression: External Link, Opens in New Window Service members and their families experience unique emotional challenges.  Deployment and redeployment, single parenting and long absences of loved ones are a stressful part of military life.  At times, these events can lead to sadness, feelings of hopelessness, and withdrawal from friends, families, and colleagues.  Parenting can feel more a burden than a joy.  We may feel irritable and even neglectful of our children's needs.  When these feelings and behaviors appear, depression may be present.  Seeking care for depression, for ourselves or loved ones, takes energy and courage.

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