Straight to the Heart! Meaningful Communication with the the Military Child  The Holidays can be a difficult time for children of military service members, especially if a parent is away for training or on a deployment. To add further to the hardship, military families who have children with special needs may not be able to go visit extended family during this time.


Public Comments Requested! The Department of Defense (DoD) has published a Notice of Proposed Rule Making in the Federal Register and is soliciting public comments. Provisions in the Proposed Rule have the potential to have an impact on the lives of military families who have children with special medical or educational needs. If you work, or have worked, with military families, your input on the rule-making process is important! [The deadline for commentary has passed.  Thank you to all our readers who participated in the commentary process. -Branch Staff]


Need a Break? The Respite Care Question for Military Children.  The parents sitting in front of you are desperate for respite care. You’re very knowledgeable about respite care options in their community, but you’re not certain those will work out for this family-they’re a military family and might encounter difficulties. You’ve also heard there are military programs that might help this family, but neither you nor the parents know what they are or how to sign up for them.


Are You a TEN? Wanna Be! The top ten States with the highest military population have been the recipients of our targeted technical assistance this first year. Branch staff
have been reaching out to and collaborating with Parent Centers in the following States: AK, CA, HI, FL, GA, NC, SC, TX, VA, WA in a variety of ways. Many have also received assistance as they participated in parent training(s) on military installations in
collaboration with The Branch and STO MP. We thank you for your ongoing support of military families!
Other States may not be one of the top ten military States, but they are “10s” to us for their efforts to reach out to military families within their regions. Who are some of these innovative Parent Centers?

Pathfinder, North Dakota
Parent Network of Western New York
Utah Parent Center
PEAK Parent Center, Denver
FACT Oregon
Raising Special Kids, AZ
Michigan Alliance for Families
Two Parent Centers have also worked this year to hire new staff to work directly with installations and military families. These awesome folks are Parent Network of Western New York and Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center of VA.  Email us at: to find out how these Parent Centers were able to locate new funding for their military support positions.

Ready..Set..Go for Military Families! Are you the Marathon planner or the person who goes for the short track? Either way-we understand and are here to help. The Branch can help with making those initial contacts, setting up training with military families, and collaboration with installation staff.  Check out the following resources:

Working with Military Installations: Tools and Tips for Parent Center Staff


Questions and Answers from the Branch Bugle Newsletter: How do I get onto an installation to offer a workshop or training?


4 Ways Parent Centers Can Help National Guard Families


[At the time this edition of the Bugle was published, we offered a different, single resource to Parent Centers.  The resources listed above replace the one in the original article.]


We are Here to Pump You UP! Even if you don’t have a large number of military families in your area, you are likely to have military parents in your region. As of the 2013
Department of Defense Demographics, there were a total of 1,888,486 military children(including Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve). When a military family finds a resource that is helpful, they share that information. We want you, the Parent Center to be that awesome resource for our military families. We would like to help your staff understand the military family, and how they are different from the civilian families you already serve. A great way to do this is by receiving the Branch Bugle Newsletter-sign up today!