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Michael Rovaris, LCSW Bridgitt L. Mitchell, M.A. February 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Michael Rovaris, LCSW Bridgitt L. Mitchell, M.A. February 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Michael Rovaris, LCSW Bridgitt L. Mitchell, M.A. February 2013

2  Participants will: ◦ Understand the key components that define military family culture ◦ Examine strategies for engaging military families in Systems of Care ◦ Examine strategies for identifying community resources available to military families ◦ Examine strategies for building working alliances with military families ◦ Practice tools for facilitating military family engagement


4  Consider cultural implications of military affiliations  Recognize potential influences on child developmental  Tailor strategies for supporting military families


6 “A group’s program for survival in and adaptation to its environment” (Banks & Banks, 2007) “We do everything by custom, even believe by it; our very axioms, let us boast of free-thinking as we may, are oftenest simply such beliefs as we have never heard questioned.” –Thomas Carlyle The Military Connection “Let’s make a list” “Ghosts of the Uniform”

7  What are some events or circumstances that can be unique to the military way of life?  How might different families perceive these events in different ways?  How might these circumstances play out in parenting, both as strengths and challenges?

8  Attitudes  Beliefs  Custom  Traditions  Clothing  Food  Language  Achievements

9  Understanding that there is no monolithic military service:  Five major branches: ◦ Army ◦ Air Force ◦ Navy ◦ Marines ◦ Coast Guard

10  Commissioned and noncommissioned rank  Various Guard and Reserve units  Installations ◦ Bases, Post, Camps  Units

11 This is one of the only professions in which it is understood that you may not “live” to return home. Many families are plagued with the anxiety of “the knock on the door from uniformed officials.”


13  Children in military families are affected by stress and trauma associated with deployments and homecomings Military life is often demanding Military has unique cultures that can vary by branch, installation, mission and family Military families have historically been remarkably resilient Today’s circumstances can be extraordinarily difficult

14 “ From the time of late gestation and birth, we begin to develop a template of expectations about ourselves and other people, anticipating responsiveness or indifference, success or failure” (p. 4). Karr-Morse, R., & Wiley, M. S. (1997). Ghosts from the nursery: Tracing the roots of violence. New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press.

15 What you are born with (Nature) e.g., hyperactivity, impulsivity, attention deficits, and learning disabilities What you are born into (Nurture) e.g. Chronic Community Violence (War) Environmental Risk Factors Child Abuse Maternal Depression Domestic Violence Environmental Protective Factors Family-centered Support Community Advocacy Bronfenbrenner, 1979)

16  Deployment (self or spouse)  Displaced from traditional family supports, e.g. extended family  If deployed, exposure to environmental teratogens and high stress work place  If not deployed, single parent household management  Inexperience with day to day responsibilities of parenting  Unrealistic expectations of parenthood.

17 Developmen tal Period Gestation /InfancyPreschoolPrimary SchoolJunior High and High School Indicator(s)  Interdependency between physical and social & emotional development **Brain Development **Attachment  Difficulty with self-regulation  Exhibit challenging behaviors in group settings  Lack of empathy  Candidates for expulsion from preschool***  Learning disabilities  Impulsivity, Hyperactivity and Attention Deficits  Aggression  Referred for mental health services***  Exhibit deviant behaviors such substance abuse and violent acts  Bullying  Academic difficulties  Increase risk of committing suicide***  Incarceration

18  The ability to “bounce back” from difficult circumstances.  Adults strengthen children’s assets versus fixing deficits  Characteristics (Charlesworth, 2008) ◦ Dealing with stress ◦ Coping with challenges ◦ Developing clear and realistic goals ◦ Problem solving ◦ Relating to others ◦ Treating oneself and others with respect


20 How does the agency’s intake process interface with the needs of military families? Does the agency have a menu of services? Is there an established protocol for working with military families and collaboration with components on the military installation?

21 “Families don’t care what you know until they know that you care.”  Rapport  Trust  Partnership

22 Making sure there is a place at the table for military families

23  Expedient Services ◦ Long processes and deadlines may not align with finite residency.  Willingness to collaborate ◦ Expanding service delivery capacity by leveraging diverse resources  Going beyond “ if and only if” to “what will it take?” ◦ Developing creative service delivery strategies

24  Identifying military families  Engaging military families  Building alliances with military families

25  What is the families view of the problem? ◦ WHAT’S IMPORTANT  What does the family need? ◦ Be Specific ◦ Consider beyond your service capacity  What is the overall scope of support necessary for this situation?  What services does your organization/agency have to support this need?  What challenges/opportunities does the family’s military affiliations pose toward service delivery?  What other resources could you integrate toward this need?


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