Children’s Services & School Systems

HAVE YOU EVER SERVED IN THE MILITARY?

One question can make a big difference…

SUPPORT MILITARY FAMILIES BY:

  • Helping a student thrive when a parent is deployed.
  • Supporting families facing deployment and reintegration.
  • Improving peer sensitivity to military children.

WHY ASK THE QUESTION?

In NH, where many of our military serve in the National Guard or Reserves, we do not always know who in our community is serving.  Guardsmen and Reservists often work civilian jobs, so even their neighbors might not know they serve.  When a child has a parent or other family member serving in the military, he or she may experience a loved one’s absence for long periods of time – sometimes to a war-zone where he/she may be in harm’s way and out of touch.  The best way to identify and support a military child and family is to ASK!

At the point of school/program enrollment,

ASK THE QUESTION of the parent:

Have you or a family member ever served in the military?

WHEN THE ANSWER IS “YES,” you may consider thanking them for their service. You may also then be able to find out more from the parents about the family’s military experience that will help you to provide the best possible services and referrals.  Asking further questions will also help you to:

  • Build rapport with the parent and child and demonstrate interest and cultural competency
  • Identify any deployment-related stressors on the child and family as well as any related behavioral, emotional, social, and academic implications for the child
  • Explore deployment and reintegration challenges
  • Link to any needed military and veteran resources and benefits, including both VA and non-VA programs
  • Identify family supports and resources as well as needs for support not yet met
  • Address perceived barriers to the child or parent(s) in seeking support

Read a vignette about how providers in the
Children’s Services & School Systems can make a big difference!

Following are some questions that could be asked in the context of gathering information for more effective referrals and services.  Pay attention to non-verbal cues, and show respect, curiosity, and empathy.  Also be aware that responsiveness and effective follow-up are critical to building trust and rapport.

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When did you/your family member serve? What service era? Which Branch?

  • Build rapport with the parent and child and demonstrate interest and cultural competency
  • Identify family supports and resources as well as needs for support not yet met

In what ways may your need for services here be connected to your/your family member’s military service?

  • Identify any deployment-related stressors on the child and family as well as any related behavioral, emotional, social, and academic implications for the child
  • Explore deployment and reintegration challenges

Is your child facing or has recently faced a family member’s deployment or military duty away from home? If yes, when?

  • Identify any deployment-related stressors on the child and family as well as any related behavioral, emotional, social, and academic implications for the child
  • Explore deployment and reintegration challenges

Are you/your family member enrolled/connected to the VA or other veteran resource or organizations for support or services?

  • Link to any needed military and veteran resources and benefits, including both VA and non-VA programs
  • Identify family supports and resources as well as needs for support not yet met

What types of support are needed but not yet met?

  • Link to any needed military and veteran resources and benefits, including both VA and non-VA programs
  • Identify family supports and resources as well as needs for support not yet met

What reservations did you/your child have about coming in to seek support and assistance? Is there anything that might be a barrier to further seeking assistance?

  • Address perceived barriers to the child or parent(s) in seeking support

Select your profession to see how:

By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” senior services professionals can:

  1. Help older veterans feel understood and respected for their military service
  2. Make effective referrals to Veteran-specific programs and resources
  3. Help military widows access survivor benefits
Click here to learn how

By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” children’s services professionals can:

  1. Help a student thrive when a parent is deployed
  2. Support families facing deployment and reintegration
  3. Improve peer sensitivity to military children
Click here to learn how

By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” employment and vocational services professionals can:

  1. Identify a warrior’s transferable skills
  2. Connect Veterans to military-friendly employers
  3. Help a returning Service Member access veteran job training programs
Click here to learn how

By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” faith-based professionals can:

  1. Identify families in need of extra help during deployment
  2. Motivate communities to come together on behalf of those who serve
  3. Connect military families to the supports and services they need
Click here to learn how

By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” healthcare and medical professionals can:

  1. Build critical rapport with a reluctant patient
  2. Understand the relationship between military experiences and medical symptoms
  3. Provide effective referrals and resources
Click here to learn how

By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” higher education professionals can:

  1. Help a warrior acclimate to a civilian learning environment
  2. Improve peer sensitivity to veteran classmates
  3. Effectively accommodate service-connected disabilities
Click here to learn how

By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” housing services professionals can:

  1. Identify families that qualify for Veteran-specific housing programs
  2. Address service-related barriers to stable housing
  3. Provide effective referrals and resources
Click here to learn how

By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” law enforcement professionals can:

  1. Keep veterans and their families safe
  2. Build trust and rapport in difficult situations
  3. Partner with providers who help Veterans in crisis
Click here to learn how

By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” legal services professionals can:

  1. Support justice-involved veterans
  2. Identify legal challenges related to military service
  3. Link to effective resources
Click here to learn how

By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” mental health professionals can:

  1. Build critical rapport with a reluctant client
  2. Understand the impact of military stressors on mental health and substance use
  3. Help a family understand the emotional effects of deployment on the whole family
Click here to learn how

By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” social services professionals can:

  1. Engage reluctant Veteran clients
  2. Meet a military family’s unique needs
  3. Coordinate services between veteran and civilian providers
Click here to learn how

By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” women’s services professionals can:

  1. Partner with veteran service providers in crisis situations
  2. Identify deployment-related triggers and risk factors
  3. Identify individuals affected by Military Sexual Trauma (MST)
Click here to learn how
Call Us (844)-4ASKVET
Email Us AskTheQuestion@eastersealsnh.org