Key Talking Points Review ‘Operation: Military Kids National Initiative’ slide with participants See additional information on next slide . . .
Key Talking Points: Review Operation: Military Kids National Initiative ‘Guiding Principles” and “States Involved’ slide with participants See additional information on next slide . . .
Key Talking Points Review Operation: Military Kids National Initiative ‘Program Components’ slide with participants Any questions?
Key Talking Points: Review Washington State Operation: Military Kids Project ‘Mission” and Project Components’ slide with participants See team member contact information on next slide . . .
Key Talking Points: Review WA State Operation: Military Kids Project Team Member contact information’ slide with participants Explain role of team members is to: Assist schools & communities in making connections with military related resources in local areas to support youth and families; Provide Operation: Military Kids project materials / resources to schools & communities to support them in the implementation of training at the local level; Provide technical assistance (to the degree possible) to local providers to assist them in further understanding the unique issues facing military (particularly National Guard & Reserve) youth impacted by the deployment of a parent or loved one.
Military Kids in Our Own Backyards Washington State Operation: Military Kids
Partnerships and joint commitment at the federal, state and local level are critical; Rapid response to the issues is necessary to affect change; Youth’s best interests are paramount; Programs must be replicable; Programs must be sustainable.
50 States currently involved in national initiative
Building Infrastructure - Identify target audiences, needs, partners & resources; Establish communication; Market program
Implementing Educational Outcomes – Educating community & providing direct support services (i.e. “Speak out for Military Kids”; Connecting with deployed parents; Working w/ media; Linkages to community services)
Providing Training on “Supporting the Children of Those Who Serve in the National Guard & Reserve” – Topics include understanding military culture & deployment; Issues & insights for families/youth; School/community responses to foster resilience; Creating action plans to provide support
*4-H State Military Liaisons serve as OMK State Team Leaders OMK State Team ------------------------------ The American Legion Representative County/State 4-H Extension Professionals Joint Family Support Assistance Program Representative Community Volunteer Partners Youth Regional & Local Boys & Girls Club Professionals School Personnel National Guard and Air Reserve Component Staff Military Installation CYS Staff OMK State Team*
• Deliver youth outreach service programs through Partner Organizations
Conduct Operation Boots On and Boots Off experiences for youth
• Coordinate Partner use of the OMK Mobile Technology Lab(s)
• Submit monthly OMK and year-end accomplishment reports to OMK Management Team
OMK State Teams OMK State Wide Support Network ------------------------------ OMK Local Community Support Network OMK Local Community Support Network OMK Local Community Support Network OMK Local Community Support Network
OMK Local Community Support Network OMK Local Community Support Network ------------------------------- Schools Veterans Organizations Local Military Components Faith Based Organizations B&GCA Private Organizations 4-H Civic Groups Others? Youth Serving Agencies/Organizations Local Businesses
4-H Professional Family Readiness Group Leader School Guidance Counselor American Legion & Auxiliary Representative OMK success is when multiple organizations come together to provide support to military children and youth in a local community. OMK Local Community Support Network -------------------------------
• Each stage characterized by a timeframe and specific emotional challenges • Failure to adequately negotiate can lead to significant strife • Promoting understanding of deployment helps avert crisis and need for intervention/mental health counseling • Five distinct stages— — Stage One: Pre-deployment — Stage Two: Deployment — Stage Three: Sustainment — Stage Four: Re-deployment — Stage Five: Post-deployment The Emotional Cycle of
• Adjusting to new or temporary family configuration • Managing new situations, especially being “suddenly military” • Accommodating physical changes • Making new contacts • Acclimating to new places • Coping with changing schools, leagues, activities Social Issues & Needs
Reorienting to new classmates, teachers, schedules, and inconsistencies in school requirements and offerings, e.g.,
• Immunization requirements
• School calendars/scheduling
• Entrance and exit testing
• Course content and sequencing
• Graduation requirements
• Special Education qualification and services
• Records/credit transfers
• Informing teachers, counselors, and administrators about deployment and its impact on youth
Educational Issues & Needs
• Shock/surprise for Service Members & Family members • Anticipation of loss vs. denial • Train up/long hours away • Getting affairs in order • Mental/physical distance • Stress/arguments • Timeframe: Variable Stage One: Pre-Deployment
• Mixed emotions—grief and loss combined with relief • Disoriented/overwhelmed • Numb, sad, alone/lonely, feelings of abandonment • Sleep difficulties • Security issues • Frequent communication helps all cope • Timeframe: Approximately first month, potentially more State Two: Deployment
• Separation anxiety • New routines established • New sources of support • Feel more in control—Able to cope • Independence • Confidence—”I can do this” • Phone contact unidirectional—initiated by spouse; may lead to feeling trapped as may miss call • Timeframe: Approximately months 2 through 18 Stage Three: Sustainment
• Anticipation of homecoming • Excitement • Apprehension—“Will I have to give up my independence”? • Burst of energy; “nesting” • Difficulty making decisions • Time frame: Months 17–18 Stage Four: Re-Deployment
• Honeymoon period • Loss of independence • Need for “own” space • Renegotiating routines • Reintegrating into family • Most important stage to get to know one another again— patient communication, going slow, and lower expectations are key • Timeframe: 3–6 months or more after deployment Stage Five: Post Deployment
Adjusting to Reunion and Reintegration Activity
• Fosters maturity • Growth inducing • Encourages independence • Encourages flexibility, adaptability • Builds skills for adjusting to separation and losses faced later in life • Strengthens family bonds • Civics—relationship with community • What other strengths may result from deployment? Strengths for Youth Resulting From Deployment
• Lesson Plan—includes purpose, training objectives, timeframe, and preparation/materials and activities
• Training PowerPoint Content—includes slides, materials needed, trainer tips, and “What to Do/What to Say” sections for trainers. Discussion and hands-on activities will help participants understand the topics presented
Evaluation—suggested reflection and application questions to measure impact and application of group understanding
The Program: • Common program initiative for all OMK States • Program raises community awareness of issues faced by geographically dispersed military children and youth • SOMK is a youth-led program facilitated and supported by adults • Youth participants are both civilian and military connected youth • SOMK is a community service project that builds awareness and fosters community support Speak Out for Military Kids (SOMK)
Outcomes: • Participants create a Speakers Bureau and presentations, then deliver informative briefings to a variety of audiences throughout the state. • Youth gain knowledge and skills in developing creative and informative presentations in a variety of different media. • Youth learn about the military lifestyle and culture, and gain empathy for issues that confront military families. Speak Out for Military Kids (SOMK)
Resources: • OMK Ready, Set, Go! Training Manual • Speak Out For Military Kids Manual • OMK Core Partners • Military Points of Contact Speak Out for Military Kids (SOMK)
• Outreach effort of Operation: Military Kids (OMK)
• Salute to Military Children for their strength and sacrifices made while a parent is deployed
• Combined effort of all National OMK Partners
• Community Service Project that builds awareness and fosters community support for geographically isolated Military Families
Connect Military Youth with local support programs (BGCA Program, 4-H Clubs, etc.)
Young Hero Packs for preschool and primary age children; regular Hero Packs for elementary and middle school youth
Stateside support for units in Europe
Hero Pack Project
• A Hero Pack is a age-appropriate backpack that contains fun and educational material for the Youth and informational material for Parents • Each National OMK partner provides a variety of program items • Our goal is to provide material and activities to keep Youth and deployed Parent connected What is a Hero Pack?
• Youth assemble Hero Packs and write letters of support to the families to include in the backpack • OMK State Teams find local donations to supplement Hero Pack items provided by National OMK Partners • Hero Packs are distributed to deserving Military Children impacted by deployment Hero Pack Implementation