This week in Military Community & Family Policy 13 MAR 2010

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This week in Military Community & Family Policy 13 MAR 2010

  1. 1. PLEASE PASS TO ALL PERSONNEL MyCAA In the days following the announcement of a temporary pause of the Career Advancement Account - MyCAA - we have heard your feedback, suggestions and concerns. We are pleased to announce that the MyCAA program has resumed operations as of March 13, 2010, at 12 p.m., noon (EST), for military spouses who currently have existing MyCAA accounts. Those who have an existing account will have access to the entire Web site, including the ability to create and have financial assistance documents approved. We are currently developing long-term options for the program and expect to announce the details soon. Until then, no new accounts can be created. During this time, Military OneSource Spouse Education and Career Consultants will continue to be available to provide education and training, career exploration, assessment, employment readiness and career search assistance. --- States Assisting Military Members and Their Families – Update Child Custody: On March 3rd, Governor Jim Douglas of Vermont signed legislation addressing what the Department believes is the consideration that should be given to separations due to mobilization, temporary duty or deployment when determining custody and visitation rights of Servicemembers. The Department believes the welfare of the child is paramount; however, it also believes that absence due to military service should never be the sole basis for a loss of custody or diminished visitation rights. With this legislation, Vermont becomes the first state this year, and the 33rd overall, to have addressed military-specific issues of child custody and/or visitation in some manner. In September, the Secretary of Defense assessed that the States were in the best position to balance the equities of the child and the Service member. He stated that the Department would (1) continue to encourage the States (through the DoD-State Liaison Office -- DSLO) to pass military-specific child custody protections, (2) revise its Family Care Plans to emphasize the importance of addressing potential conflicts between the custodial Service member and the non-custodial parent well before actual deployment, and (3) to work closely with the American Bar Association (ABA) to publicize, emphasize, and support the ABA’s Military Pro Bono Project. SECDEF sent a letter to the governor of each state that had yet to address the custody considerations. Interstate Compact: On March 9th, Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico signed legislation approving the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (the Compact). New Mexico becomes the 28th state to approve the Compact, which provides a vehicle for states to follow common guidelines in handling issues that impact children of military families as they transition between schools. These issues include class placement, records transfer,
  2. 2. immunization requirements, course placement, graduation requirements, exit testing, and extra-curricular opportunities, among others. The Compact establishes a commission of member states to oversee the implementation of the compact and provide for education, administration, limited rulemaking, and enforcement. For more information on these issues and the other eight issues impacting the quality of life of our Service members and their families which the Department is working with state governments, visit usa4militaryfamilies.dod.mil or usa4militaryfamilies.org. --- Respite Child Care through the YMCA Many family members of deployed guard, reserve and active duty personnel serving on Independent Duty and their families live far from a military installation and are isolated from the family programming, support services and recreational opportunities offered at these installations. Respite child provides temporary relief or a “short break” to the parent or guardian who is responsible for caring for their child. The care is free for children up to age 12 for up to 16 hours of care per month, per child. Respite child care is not intended to offset or substitute for full-time, daily child care or for a part-time preschool program. Eligibility for the Respite Child Care program is extended to: - Families of National Guard and Reserve personnel who are deployed under title 10, United States Code, regardless of the length of the deployment. - Families whose Service member is serving at an Independent Duty location. - Service members assigned to a Community Based Warrior in Transition Unit For a listing of the specific YMCAs who are participating in the respite child care program and for a copy of the registration form, visit www.militaryonesource.com. In addition, families eligible for the YMCA fitness membership program can also take advantage of free on- site child care while they are in the facility. This ‘respite’ child care is available wherever on-site child watch care if offered. --- Coming Together Around Military Families (CTAMF) Coming Together Around Military Families (CTAMF) is an initiative developed by ZERO TO THREE (ZTT), which strengthens the resilience of very young children and their families who are experiencing trauma, grief and loss as a result of a service member’s deployment to Afghanistan and/or Iraq. This initiative increases parent and professional awareness of the impact of trauma, grief and loss on very young children; as well as to build professionals’ knowledge and capacity to support families in promoting positive development and emotional health during the course of these stressful experiences. A core component of the CTAMF initiative is the Duty to Care (DTC)
  3. 3. training series, which is designed to bring together and build collaboration between a multidisciplinary audience including health, mental health, family support and early childhood education professionals to increase the resilience of very young children and their families. The DTC training will be provided at 65 installations, Joint Family Support Assistance Program (JFSAP) states, and medical facilities over the next 30 months. “Duty to Care I (DTC I): Supporting Young Children through Challenging Times,” is a training event that provides information about the core needs of infants and toddlers; explore how stress, trauma, grief, and loss stemming from complicated deployments, psychological and/or physical injury, and death of the service member might affect very young children and their families; give details about existing resources available to families, as well as to dialogue over creating new resources; and convene multidisciplinary professionals in an effort to enhance collaborative relationships and promote systems building, within both the military and the surrounding civilian communities. Upcoming trainings are scheduled for the following locations: 15-16 March 2010 JFSAP State: Massachusetts 7-8 April 2010 JFSAP State: California 8-9 April 2010 JFSAP State: Pennsylvania 22-23 April 2010 Joint Base Lewis-McChord 28-29 April 2010 Eglin AFB --- New Resources Added Over 50 new disability-specific resources have been posted to the Special Needs Resource and State Resource section on MilitaryHOMEFRONT (www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil) --- Plan My Move Given the current state of our economy, the Employment Overview in Plan My Move, http://www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil/moving, and MilitaryINSTALLATIONS, http://www.militaryinstallations.dod.mil, is extremely important to the relocating service members. The Employment article contains information on Employment Options both on and off the installation; the Employment Documentation required to obtain a job; how to obtain/continue Unemployment Benefits; and information on Transition and Tuition Assistance. --- Family Matters Blog Elaine Wilson, editor and writer for American Forces Press Services, launched the Family Matters blog to provide resources and support to military families, as well as to encourage a dialogue on topics ranging
  4. 4. from deployments and separations to the challenges of everyday life. MC&FP’s Special Needs/EFMP Family Support Program Manager, veteran and military spouse, Isabel Hodge, contributes regularly to the Family Matters blog as a guest blogger. Read Isabel’s latest blog titled "Parent of a Special Needs Teen Shares Journey," (http://afps.dodlive.mil/2010/03/01/parent-of-special-needs-teen- shares-journey/#more-2447) --- New Records Organizer for Adults with Special Needs Available on MilitaryHOMEFRONT The new Special Care Organization Record (SCOR) for Adults with Special Health Care Needs is available for downloading from MilitaryHOMEFRONT. The SCOR is specifically designed as an organizing tool for families with an adult member with special health care needs. This includes spouses and adult children with special health care needs as well as any other adult dependent family member. The SCOR for Adults is intended to help track and organize information in one central location and to make it easier for someone to care for your family member when you are unable to do so. The SCOR was vetted by national disability expert, author, and advocate, Dr. Ann Turnbull. It completes a set of records organizers available under Tools for Families in the Troops and Family Member section of MilitaryHOMEFRONT. --- eSponsorship Application & Training (eSAT) Soft Launch MC&FP initiated a “soft launch” of eSponsorship Application and Training (eSAT) (http://apps.mhf.dod.mil/esat). It was designed and developed with the Military Services to bring standardized sponsorship training to all appointed unit sponsors regardless of Service. Under Public Law, relocation managers in Family Centers worldwide are charged with the responsibility of training unit sponsors. Using the eSAT application, after the sponsor completes his/her online training, they receive an official certificate for their files. Once training is complete, the application allows the sponsor to create an online registration and record for their newcomer. The system generates a customizable congratulations message from the sponsor to the newcomer with a link to a detailed online needs assessment for the newcomer to complete. Upon completion and electronic submission of the needs assessment, the sponsor is notified electronically that the needs assessment is available. The sponsor then has the ability to send a custom electronic welcome correspondence which is Service and unit specific. The entire process, between sponsor and newcomer, is tracked online and creates a high level audit trail of important touch points in the sponsorship process. The application has been released to the Services for their use at all levels. ---
  5. 5. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Military Spouse Fellowship Program Applications are now being accepted for the annual FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship Program from 1 March to 30 April for military spouses to be selected for a free fellowship to become certified as an Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC), a professional financial certification maintained by the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE). Approximately 200 spouses (all Services, all Components – Active Duty, National Guard, and Reserve) will be selected for this prestigious fellowship. After completing the required curriculum, passing the necessary tests, and completing the assigned practicum hours, spouses will be certified as an AFC, which can lead to a portable career as a financial counseling professional. Applications are being accepted at www.nmfa.org; to receive e-Notificiations, go to: www.militaryfamily.org/publications/enewsletters/enewsletter-sign-up- 1.html. --- The Learning Center for Child and Adolescent Trauma offers a series of presentations and podcasts, "Essentials for Those Who Care for Military Children and Families," assist providers in caring for military children and families. The learning series was developed through a partnership betweenthe Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Learning opportunities include a master speaker series and 20 minute audio presentations. The next presentation, "Impact of the Military Mission and Combat Deployment on the Service Members," will be offered on 23 March 2010 at 1300. For more information about this presentation and others, visit: http://learn.nctsn.org/course/category.php?id=10 --- Joint Service Training – Inclusive Recreation for Wounded Warriors. Attendees have been selected for the seventh “Inclusive Recreation for Wounded Warriors Training Course” on March 14-18 at Penn State University. The four-day course recognizes the important role recreation and sports can have in the recovery process. Taught by highly credentialed Penn State faculty, the course includes discussion on post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), limb amputations, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and spinal cord injuries, adaptive/specialized equipment, accessible design, age appropriate inclusive recreation programming, and societal and cultural issues. Students develop a plan of action to add inclusive recreation programs at their installation, which will be evaluated six months after course completion. There are 176 recreation programmers from all military Services that have completed the training. Feedback has been very positive with enhanced programming skills and lots of networking among dedicated professionals. The next course will be held on April 11-15,
  6. 6. 2010. The final four courses will be offered beginning in the fall of 2010. --- Iraq War Veteran Named U.S. Flag Bearer for Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games The U.S. Olympic Committee announced that alpine skier Heath Calhoun (Bristol, Tenn.), a veteran of the Iraq war, has been selected as flag bearer for the U.S. Paralympic Team at Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games on March 12. Calhoun lost both his legs above the knees while he was serving as a Squad Leader for the famed 101st Airborne Division. After enduring nine months of rehabilitation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C., Calhoun became involved with the Paralympic Military Sports Program, and then in 2008, dedicated himself to competing at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. 2009 Paralympic Military Program Highlights include: • Within the Paralympic Military Program, approximately 10,085 injured service members have been introduced to physical activity through ongoing sports programs at 64 Military/Veteran Medical Treatment Facilities and/or installations. • Training in the development and implementation of sports programs for injured service members has been provided to nearly 1,800 community leaders within the past year. • More than 175 injured service members have been identified as individuals who have demonstrated the potential to pursue higher levels of athlete training and performance. • Paralympic Sport Clubs have been developed to support injured service members/veterans in 112 local communities. The USOC and Paralympic Organizations throughout the country continue to utilize existing infrastructure and resources to meet the needs of injured service members and veterans, thus making the program extremely cost effective. --- DoDEA joins schools around the country in the observation of March as Music in Our Schools Month (MIOSM). The purpose of MIOSM is to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children. "Music! Just Imagine" is the official theme. --- Beginning School Year 2010-2011, we will change the name of the Professional Technical Studies (PTS) program to Career Technical Education (CTE) to match the designation given in other state education programs. This change will allow DoDEA students to have smooth interface between the US public school systems and the DoDEA system. The U.S. Department of Education reviewed and researched this name change over the last few years for state offices of education. When the change is completed, the HQ, area, district and school staff will
  7. 7. use a common language which will make us compatible with US stateside school districts. --- DoDEA joins the nation and the DoD this month in celebrating National Women's History Month. This year’s theme is "Writing Women Back into History." To learn more about DoDEA’s celebration of National Women's History Month, please visit the DoDEA celebrates website at http://www.dodea.edu/dodeaCelebrates/2010_womenshistory/index.cfm. --- DoDEA will be featured in an “Armed with Science” Webcast on March 17, 2010. Dr. Lynn Smith, European Regional Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) Director, will lead a team of students in this program hosted by the Defense Media Activity. The Junior Science and Humanities Symposium is a program that allows high school students the support and resources to design and conduct original research in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) areas. The Armed with Science webcast features 30-minute interviews with Defense Department scientists, engineers, and other subject experts. --- A college education may be the key to success. But how do you decide what kind of career path to take? TSgt Sean Devine shows us a program at Aviano Air Base that gives students real-world experience to help make the choice a little easier. Weblink: http://www.afneurope.net/itemlink.aspx?itemId=11955 (AFN) --- Store Openings DeCA is excited to announce the Grand Opening of the Keesler AFB Commissary scheduled for April 6, 2010. This new facility will replace the temporary store which began operations after Hurricane Katrina hit the installation in late August 2005. AAFES also plans to open their new exchange in April. This month, the MCX opens the newly constructed Marine Mart Manana at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. --- DeCA is delivering the benefit at the following Guard and Reserve locations: March 13 Oregon National Guard Roseburg, OR March 13-14 West Virginia Nation Guard Charleston, WV March 14 Coleville Family Housing Coleville, CA There are no on-site sales scheduled for the week of 15 March at Guard and Reserve locations. ---
  8. 8. Financial Tip of the Week Who’s Calling? Recognize & Report Phone Fraud Every sales call you get by phone is an opportunity for a gut check: Ask yourself these questions — and if the answers give you some doubt about the caller’s intentions or methods, end the call. Who’s calling - and why? Telemarketers must tell you it’s a sales call, the name of the seller and what they’re selling before they make their pitch. If they don’t, say “no thanks,” and get off the phone. What’s their hurry? Fast talkers who use high pressure tactics could be hiding something. Take your time. Most legitimate businesses will give you time and written information about an offer before asking you to commit to a purchase. If it’s free, why are they asking me to pay? Question charges you need to pay to redeem a prize or gift. Free is free. If you have to pay, it's a purchase - not a prize or a gift. Why am I “confirming” my account information - or giving it out at all? Some callers have your billing information before they call you. They’re trying to get you to say “okay” so they can claim you approved a charge. What time is it? The law allows telemarketers to call only between 8 am and 9 pm. A seller calling earlier or later is flouting the law. Do I want more calls like this one? If you don’t want a business to call you again, say so. If they call back, they’re breaking the law. Report Phone Fraud • Recognizing fraudulent callers is important; reporting them to the appropriate law enforcement authorities is critical, too. When you report, you can help stop telephone scammers. Report telephone hucksters to the FTC and your state Attorney General so they can prosecute fraudulent telemarketers who try to steal your money. • If your number is on the National Do Not Call Registry, you should get calls only from those companies with which you do business - or those that have your permission to call. If you get calls from a company you don’t have a relationship with - or from a company you have told not to call you - report it. Jot down the name and number of the caller, and the date and time of the call. • To report phone fraud, visit FTC.gov or call 1-877-FTC-HELP. • To report violations of the National Do Not Call Registry, visit DoNotCall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222. • Your complaint is entered into the Consumer Sentinel Network, a database that is used by law enforcement agencies across the country and around the world. It can help them track down scam artists, detect patterns in their calls, find other victims, and ultimately, stop the fraud. Register Your Number
  9. 9. • You can limit the number of telemarketing calls you receive by placing your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. Once your number is registered, feel free to hang up if you get a cold call from a company with which you don't already do business - or report it! • You can register your phone number at DoNotCall.gov, or by calling 1-888-382-1222 (TTY: 1-866-290-4236) from the number you wish to register. If you register online, you must click on the confirmation email you receive to complete your free registration. Your registration will not expire. Your number is on the list until you take it off, or your number is disconnected and re-assigned to someone else. • Placing your number on the Registry stops most telemarketing calls, but not all. Once your number has been on the Registry for 31 days, you still may get calls from, or on behalf of: - Political organizations, charities, and pollsters - Companies with whom you have an existing business relationship - Companies you’ve given permission to call • Companies that you do business with may call for 18 months. If you ask a company for information, it may call for three months. However, if you request that the company place your number on its own do-not-call list, it must honor your request. You should keep a record of the date you make the request. • The Registry accepts personal cell phone and home phone numbers. Federal Communications Commission regulations prohibit the use of automated dialers to call cell phone numbers, so most telemarketers won’t cold-call consumers on their cell phones – despite urban myths and emails to the contrary. • To learn more about how to recognize and report phone fraud, and how to place your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry, go to ftc.gov/phonefraud. --- Military Spouse Tip of the Week Are you taking care of an elder parent or relative? Military OneSource offers comprehensive information on issues such as caring for seniors, living arrangements, paying for healthcare, advocating for seniors, and end-of-life planning. Military OneSource also provides an opportunity for you to speak with an Elder Care Specialist. Contact Military OneSource at 1-800-342-9647 for further information or visit www.militaryonesource.com. --- Parenting Tip of the Week Each year in the United States, more than 4,500 infants die suddenly of no obvious cause. Half of these Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID) are due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the leading cause of SUID and of all deaths among infants aged 1–12 months. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following to help prevent SIDS: • Place your baby in a safety-approved crib with a firm mattress and a fitted sheet. • Never put your baby to sleep on a chair, sofa, water bed, cushion, or sheepskin.
  10. 10. • The safest place for your baby to sleep is in the room where you sleep, but not in your bed. • Place your baby's crib or bassinet near your bed (within an arm's reach) to make breastfeeding easier and help you watch over your baby. • Blankets, if used, should be tucked in around the crib mattress. They should not reach any higher than your baby's chest. Try using sleep sacks or sleep clothing instead of a blanket to avoid the risk of overheating. • Keep pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, and stuffed toys out of your baby's crib. They can cover your infant's face—even if she is lying on her back. • Pacifiers may help reduce the risk of SIDS. However, if your baby doesn't want it or if it falls out of his mouth, don't force it. If you are breastfeeding, wait until your baby is 1 month old before using a pacifier. • Give your baby plenty of "tummy time" when he is awake. This will help strengthen neck muscles and avoid flat spots on his head. • Share this information with anyone who cares for your baby, including babysitters, grandparents, and other caregivers. --- Nutrition Tip of the Week If 2½ cups of vegetables daily seems like a lot, look at it this way: Six baby carrots and two celery sticks with your lunchtime sandwich, and three spears broccoli along with one small sliced tomato with dinner adds up to 2½ cups. For more information on making healthy and nutritious food choices, check out the Commissary’s website at http://www.commissaries.com/. --- Getting support: . Commanders can request support and resources from the Joint Family Support Assistance Program by calling the Joint Family Resource Center at 1-888-256-9920. . Military OneSource: This free 24-hour service, provided by the Department of Defense, is available to all active duty, Guard, and Reserve members and their families. Consultants provide information and make referrals on a wide range of issues, including financial issues. You can reach the program by telephone at 1-800-342-9647 or through the Web site at www.militaryonesource.com . Military OneSource (MOS) continues provide free tax filing services and free tax consultations to military service members and their families during the tax season. Visit the website or call the phone number above for more information. --- Have a great week. Your MC&FP Team!

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