Welcome to the Topic Guide on Family & Social Supports.
This is a starting point for information and resources for military and veteran families with children.
Who is a military or veteran family or family member?
While there is often an emphasis on “card-carrying dependents” (spouses and children who are eligible for benefits), the reality is that many other family members can be impacted by a service member or veteran’s military experience. These individuals can include:
- Spouses & significant others
- Children (minor and adult)
- Grandparents and extended family members
- Close friends
What are some of the key issues affecting military and veteran families?
In many ways, military and veteran families are just like any other civilian family. They experience similar life events, some joyful, some stressful. However, on top of all of the normal life happenings, they also have experiences relating to service, deployment and reintegration that are distinct from civilian life. So it’s important to recognize that while military service often develops strengths and resilience in the service member and family members, it also comes with additional stressors. Additional support can be very beneficial to many families.
Key issues affecting military and veteran families:
- Behavioral problems with children & youth
- Family violence
- Transitions (moving, deployment, reintegration)
- Family members with special needs
- Caregiving (ill children or family members, wounded warriors)
View a Real Warriors video on families coping with deployment & reintegration:
Note: While deployment & reintegration are often a primary focus for families, even the regular demands of stateside military service can put stress upon military members and their families so it’s important to pay attention to the needs of all military and veteran families regardless of deployment status.
What kind of support is available to help?
Family & social supports
Mental health services
There are many resources available to support families dealing with a range of issues and challenges. Here are a couple of key resources that are good starting points:
Sesame Street Tool Kit: Talk, Listen, Connect – This online tool kit includes videos and information for helping military children cope.
Vet Centers – These community-based counseling centers are part of the VA, but provide confidential counseling separate from the medical facilities. Services are available to combat veterans and their family members.
Military OneSource (MOS) – MOS has a set of articles on Relationship Health & Family Wellness.
VA Caregiver website – The VA has an extensive caregiver support program, including a hotline and Caregiver Tool Box.
Arizona Birth to Five Helpline – This line is available for families with young children and professionals.
Arizona Department of Health Services: Office for Children with Special Health Care Needs – This program provides assistance to families to find services and resources.