Military Family Support | Military Community
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.
Getting Help for Relationship Sexual Abuse
Learn about the various signs and forms of relationship sexual abuse and the options available to help victims.
How is the Military Protecting My Service Member During COVID-19?
The DOD continues to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other government agencies to respond to the outbreak and prevent its spread. The DOD offers free resources through Military OneSource. Each program helps with different military-life challenges or seasons.
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-dos" to be a good guardian of your family. Think about enrolling in the EFMP as one of them.
Top 10 Ways to Practice Resilience Skills During Challenging Times
Here are 10 things you can do to stay strong and practice resilience skills to help yourself, your partner, children and other loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.
10 Tips for Parenting While Your Spouse Is Deployed
When your partner is deployed, it can feel like you are a single parent.
10 Tips for Parenting While Your Spouse Is Deployed
When your partner is deployed, it can feel like you are a single parent.
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.
Transform Catastrophic Thinking Into Purposeful Action During Times of Crisis
With so much uncertainty and seemingly everything on the line because of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, it is not uncommon to have catastrophizing thoughts.
Certification Process Eases for Student Recipients of Survivor Benefit Plan
The certification process has gotten easier for students age 18 and older covered as a child annuitant under the military Survivor Benefit Plan. SBP students now have more time to file their certifications each semester and can file school certification forms online.
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.
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.
The Importance of Practicing Self-Care During Times of Stress
When stress is high with little relief in sight, taking care of yourself is key so you’ll be there for your loved ones and those you serve.
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.
Welcome to Military Life: Support Resources for Military Families
If you’ve recently married into the military, or you or your spouse has just joined, you may be feeling both nervous and excited about the future. During the adjustment period, spouses take on new roles, adapt to new schedules and learn new ways of handling many of life’s obstacles.
15 Tips for Helping Your Teenager Deal With Deployment
Patience, communication and extra care can go a long way in comforting a teenager who is dealing with deployment. Knowing how to respond as a parent to the feelings associated with deployment will ensure a successful transition for everyone.
New Military Parents: Eight Ways to Keep Your Child Safe, Happy and Healthy
Welcome to parenthood. Parenting can be the most rewarding and challenging job you’ll likely have. As a warrior, you’re trained to depend on a team and leave no service member behind.
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?
Transitional Compensation: Help for Victims of Abuse
Victims of abuse can feel isolated and discouraged. For the families of military service members, this isolation can be more intense when living far from extended family and close friends. If you've bravely decided to leave an abusive relationship, transitional compensation is a financial benefit that can help you move and get back on your feet.
Understanding Healthy Relationships
Every relationship has its strengths and weaknesses; however, some relationships are healthier than others. Addressing problems early in a relationship gives both partners opportunities to resolve issues and develop healthy habits that are important for a long-lasting and satisfying relationship.
How to Plan a Military Wedding
There are a lot of details involved in planning a wedding, especially military weddings taking place on an installation.
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.
Rights and Benefits for Abandoned Military Spouses
Family law defines abandonment as the act of deliberately leaving one's spouse without consent (or notification, in many cases) with no intent of returning.
Understanding Jealousy, Preserving Trust
How you and your partner deal with jealousy is crucial to maintaining trust and avoiding more serious problems.
Dealing with Military Divorce
Deciding to end your marriage can feel like the final step on a long journey.
Rights and Benefits of Divorced Spouses in the Military
Ease the time, expense and emotional strain of divorce by learning about unique legal issues due to military service.
Scholarship Opportunities for Surviving Family Members
One way of taking the first step to your new normal is by following your own educational dreams. If you or your children are interested in pursuing higher education, there are several scholarship opportunities available from both private organizations and federal programs providing financial assistance.
You're the One Coming Home. Now What?
If you're the one who's deployed and counting down to heading home, you can do a lot to set yourself up for success at homecoming—and beyond.
How to Strengthen Your Relationship: 14 Ways
Whether your marriage is strong, rocky or somewhere in between, the fact is many could stand to strengthen their relationship. A loving, resilient marriage is a source of personal happiness and family joy. A solid relationship also lets service members focus on their mission and daily duty requirements.
The Military Parenting Community: Enhancing Resilience One Family at a Time
Raising a child can be the most exhilarating of adventures. It can also be exhausting, overwhelming or relentless — sometimes all at the same time.
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.
Ways to Secure More Parenting Wins
MilParent Power offers tools, tips and tactics to help keep children and families healthy, safe and strong.
Moving to America and Adjusting to Life
Adjusting to a new culture and language takes time and a dose of patience. We are here to ease your transition and point you to resources that will help you adjust.
Helping Your Child Find a Mentor
Sometimes other adults have the special gift of helping our children see and use their strengths and talents. This is mentorship.
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.
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.
Becoming a New Father While You’re Deployed
Don’t let the stress of deployment spoil the bliss you feel as an expectant father. Even if you won’t be there for the delivery, you can still experience the joys of new fatherhood.
12 Can’t-Miss Parenting Resources for Military Parents
From new parent support assistance to newsletters packed with information, military parents have access to numerous resources to make your job of raising kids a little easier and a lot more fun.
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.
Military Spouse Support
If you’ve recently married into the military, or you or your spouse has just joined, you may be feeling both nervous and excited about the future.
You Can Do This: Your Checklist for Living Positive While Your Partner's Deployed
During deployment, your partner's not the only one who has to step up and serve. Your job is standing tall here at home. The power of being positive can go a long way to supporting your spouse. You'll find it can give you extra strength as well. Try these practical, positive tips.
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, or SCRA, provides financial and legal protection for active-duty service members, including National Guard and reserve members, and their families. Because details of the SCRA are complicated, service members and their families are encouraged to contact the nearest legal assistance office if they need help meeting their financial obligations.
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.
Free Legal Support for Military Families With Special Needs
As a military family with special needs, you may face unique financial, medical and legal challenges caused, in part, by the demands of military service. Fortunately, you do not need to address these burdens alone; free, military department-provided support services exist to help overcome these challenges.
Finding Support After the Death of a Loved One
After the death of a loved one, you may experience a wide range of emotions. That is natural. Finding your new normal after the death of a loved one is not the same for everyone.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Before-and-After Steps and Resources for Disasters
It’s crucial to understand the steps to take before and after a natural disaster strikes. As many of us personally are touched by such disasters – either directly or with family or friends– it’s important to be prepared.
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.
Understanding the Role of the Casualty Assistance Officer
In its effort to ensure that military families have support in their time of need when a service member is declared deceased, whereabouts unknown or missing, the Department of Defense's Casualty Assistance Program assigns a dedicated casualty assistance officer to advise and assist the primary next of kin.
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.
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.
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.
The Family Advocacy Program
The Department of Defense and each of the branches of the armed services are committed to promoting a military culture that supports victims. Learn more about the Family Advocacy Program, including how to connect with a victim advocate near you, for help with domestic abuse, child abuse and neglect, or problematic sexual behavior in children and youth.
How to Document Technology Misuse by Your Partner
Does your partner use technology to keep tabs on you? Perhaps even harass or intimidate you? That’s the misuse of technology to abuse, sometimes called digital abuse. If you or someone you know is dealing with digital abuse, it can be useful to know how to document this behavior.
Top 4 Tips for Cell Phone Safety
According to one study, 89% of service members own a smart phone, and over half report regular social media activity. Our cell phones contain a lot of information about us, so keeping it secure and private from prying eyes is important. Privacy on a smartphone is especially relevant for anyone who may have a spouse or partner who is misusing technology to harass or control them. Here are 4 tips that technology safety experts recommend to keep your device safe and secure.
Technology (Mis)Use and Your Relationship
Technology facilitates modern life, with nearly all of us relying on our cell phones, email and social media to communicate, stay connected, and talk with our spouses and partners. According to one study, 89% of service members own a smart phone, and over half report regular social media activity. Smartphones and other devices are the place where much of life happens, including where unhealthy relationship patterns can develop.
Together While Apart, Military Families Connect for the Holidays
You can make this holiday meaningful even if you are thousands of miles apart.
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.
In an Unhealthy Relationship? You Have Options
It’s never easy to end a relationship. But the decision is even harder and more complicated when your partner is hurting you either physically or emotionally.
How to Successfully Communicate as a Couple
For service members, a loving, resilient marriage is both a matter of personal happiness and family readiness.
An Overview of Special Education
Special education is designed to meet unique needs of children with special needs, ages 3 through 21.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How to Report Child Abuse or Neglect In The Military
Everyone has a role to play in creating safe and healthy communities. This is particularly true when it comes to the health and safety of children.
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.
Parent Centers: Connecting Military Families to Resources
Do you need help advocating for your child's next Individualized Education Program meeting? Are you confused about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act? Perhaps you would like to become a better champion for a child with special needs. Parent Centers may be the resource you have been looking for.
Marine Study Finds EFMP Enrollment Does Not Negatively Impact Military Careers
Good news: Enrollment in the Exceptional Family Member Program, or EFMP, does not negatively affect career progress and promotion, according to a study conducted by the Marine Corps Operational Analysis Division.
Plan Your Operation Back-to-School for Your Military Child
Transition smoothly from summer to school by making a great game plan for the school year with your child. By doing so, you can help your child establish a sense of ownership in the plan to prepare them for – and perhaps even get excited about – going back to school.
Honoring Gold Star Families
Gold star families – spouses, children, parents, siblings or others whose loved one died in service to our nation – are a vital part of the nation’s military community and history.
Teach Your Kids Healthy Body Boundaries
Talking to your children about their bodies can help protect them from sexual abuse. From the time your children are quite young, have a conversation with them about who can touch them and what to do if they are uncomfortable with someone's touch.