Get Installation Access for Events, Parent Trainings, and Individual Assistance

A point of contact (POC) is the first place to begin.

Most common Point of Contact options:

Best practice is to begin contact at least 8 weeks before the potential date for the event, to allow time for installation access pass approval, and for time to publicize an event or training.

All visitors are required to have a sponsor who is a military ID card holder OR an installation access pass. Your POC often serves as your sponsor, although they may suggest someone else who can assist.

An access pass may admit you for one day or one event, several days, or be a longer-term access pass that you renew on a regular basis. For convenience, see if you can apply for a longer-term access pass. Your POC or the installation’s Pass and ID office should be able to get you the appropriate forms and information.

Get POC contact information for a specific installation or National Guard Family Assistance Center

Tips for your first contact:

  • Be prepared to give a brief introduction about your parent center, the services you provide, and your role. Some military-connected professionals may not be familiar with Parent Centers.
  • Present yourself and your Parent Center as potential partners that can offer civilian services and resources that complement what their programs do.
  • Be specific about what your workshop and training will cover. You might ask “Do you think your families will benefit from this?”

When you have agreement to schedule an event, be sure to ask:

“Will I need access to the installation, or is there an off-installation site we can use?” [Potential sites may include community centers in off-installation housing complexes, or other military offices that do not require installation access].

If installation access is needed, you can ask:

“What do I need to do, and which documents will I need, to gain access to your installation?”

NOTE: each installation’s procedures will vary-but most will require:

  • Sponsorship by an authorized ID Card Holder (your contact or other designated individual)
  • ID: either a valid military ID, or (prior to 10/1/2020) a state driver’s license or ID, current passport, or other ID valid for that installation (contact visitor’s center for list of valid IDs). Beginning 10/1/2020, all installation visitors must have a valid military ID or a REAL ID-compliant ID.

Read more from the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Defense, about acceptable IDs, the REAL ID law, and any differences for your state.

  • If you are planning to drive your car onto the installation, make sure that you have a current vehicle registration and proof of insurance. If you will be driving a rental car, you may provide a copy of your rental agreement.
  • You may need to fill out a form to request access, which sometimes needs to be filed well in advance of your visit and processed by installation security. This is one reason to allow ample lead time for your event. Alternatively, some installations have you fill out the installation access request on the day of your visit, so plan accordingly.

We encourage you to ask:

“What is your usual procedure for publicity?  Can this training be included on any calendars or in the installation newspaper? What posters, flyers, etc. would you like me to provide? What’s the best way to get them to you without requiring a separate time for me to access the installation? [such as, USPS, send e-documents, etc.]

Day-Of Checklist:

Bring

  • Your ID (see above)
  • Valid vehicle registration or vehicle rental agreement
  • Contact information (phone # and name) of your sponsor, and the location and time where you will meet (just in case)
  • Approved installation access document, if you have it

Meet your sponsor. They may meet you at the gate or you may need to go to the Pass and ID office or Visitors Center to obtain your final paperwork. It’s always a good idea to confirm before you go! Especially with military personnel – changes in threat levels in the nation, dignitaries and more can take precedence. Or they just may be out sick or their schedule has changed.

At the gate you will be asked to roll down your window and show your ID cards. Everyone in the vehicle must have valid ID and either a sponsor present or an approved installation pass.

Show your ID card and continue to the location of your meeting, training, individual assistance, etc.

We’re here to answer any questions you have about procedures, programs, and staff on any installation. Just give us a call  (253) 442-3214 (Eastern Time Zone) or email us at thebranch@wapave.org!

Compensatory Education and Relocating Families

On October 23, 2019, OSEP published a letter to “Anonymous” about the provision of compensatory education, as part of a complaint resolution, after a family relocates to a new state. This informal guidance can be useful to highly mobile military families.

Note that the informal guidance in the letter isn’t legally binding; it’s an “interpretation by the U.S. Department of Education of the requirements of IDEA in the context of specific facts provided.” The letter states that “if an SEA’s complaint resolution decision has ordered relief (e.g., compensatory education) that can reasonably be implemented in a new State and the parent does not reject the remaining compensatory services, the SEA must ensure the decision is implemented in the new State.” The end notes give references for how that might be done based on two lawsuits regarding out-of-district moves and claims for compensatory education.

Read the entire letter

Reference:

https://sites.ed.gov/idea/files/osep-letter-to-anonymous-10-23-2019.pdf

­E-Learning Modules for Staff Development

These quick modules are perfect for individual staff self-directed learning, on-boarding new staff (see Easy Branch Orientation and Guide to Staff Training for suggested order), or as a webinar for a group. A script is included via the “Notes” page view, supplementing the slide text and images with additional information. We’ve included a link to a quick learning quiz at the end of the module, covering key points. Staff get instant feedback at the end of the quiz; they can review the module and take the quiz as many times as they wish to solidify their learning.

TRICARE-Healthcare for Military Families

By the end of this e-learning module, you’ll have found out why it’s important to know about this military healthcare program and learned how TRICARE benefits may affect or support special education services.

TRICARE MODULE-CLICK HERE

The ECHO Program and ABA for Military Families

screenshot of e-learning module slide for the TRICARE ECHO ABA module

This module is a basic introduction to two important military benefits for families you help. You will understand what benefits are available, who is eligible, and the distinction between these benefits and school services under IDEA.

ECHO PROGRAM AND ABA MODULE: CLICK HERE

Mental Health Resources for Military Families

screenshot of e-learning module slide for the Mental Health module

By the end of this e-learning module, you’ll be familiar with mental health resources available for active duty, reserve, and veteran military children and youth. You will earn about programs and apps military parents can use to reduce stressors for military kids and teens. At the end of the module are several slides with links to relevant articles, and military and national organizations that provide mental health services for military-connected families. There is also a link to a printable handout for all the resources.

MENTAL HEALTH MODULE-CLICK HERE

National Guard Families-Fresh Ideas and Resources for your work

Good Reasons for Intentional Outreach

  1. Many National Guard families are new veteran families who were recently on full-time active service and may be new to your community and to non-military services for individuals with disabilities
  2. Some National Guard are actually full-time military and move from state-to-state for duty
  3. For many National Guard families, their commitment to the military and its mission is much more than a part-time job.  Like active-duty families, they turn mostly to the military for information and support:
Continue reading “National Guard Families-Fresh Ideas and Resources for your work”

Branch Resources with Handouts

Handouts can be branded with your Parent Center’s logo, contact information, edited for state specifics, etc.  Download the handouts directly from each article in the website.

Relocation for Military Families-PCS

Extended Care Health Option (ECHO)

Medicaid: Referring Families to Supports and Services

Help for Grandparents and Other Temporary Caregivers

Post-High School Transition Resource for Military Families

Scholarships Financial Resources for Military and Non Military Youth with Disabilities

16 Financial Resources for Military Families

Help Military Families Prepare Their Child’s School for Deployment

Resolve School Issues with the Interstate Compact

Help Decide the Course of Medical Research-Benefits for Your Center and Families You Serve

The Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRPs) relies on medical consumers, their families, and caregivers to provide direction on which research is most likely to benefit people like themselves. Parent center staff and volunteers, military-connected family members and civilian family members may be eligible to join review panels that decide which research on their disease, injury or condition will get funding from Congress. According to previous participants, it’s an amazing way to help others in similar situations.

Continue reading “Help Decide the Course of Medical Research-Benefits for Your Center and Families You Serve”

Frequently Asked Questions-Answers from the Branch

Many parent center staff, even those who often work with military-connected families, contact the Branch team with questions about how things work in the military system.

Here are some examples of questions we’ve received—you may have similar questions. While you are  free to contact us, many answers can be found in the resources on our website, such as the resources listed below.  You can also find answers by going to branchta.org and entering the topic in the search area.

K-12 and Post-Secondary

  • “A military family I’m helping is having difficulty getting their child’s records transferred-who can they talk to?”
  • “The new school is insisting the student take an alternate exit exam due to her disability, which will prevent her from getting a regular diploma. The family is active duty military—is there anything to help?”
Continue reading “Frequently Asked Questions-Answers from the Branch”

“Military Families, Welcome to Our State”

We’re delighted to announce a very special resource developed in collaboration with the Military Family Support Online Discussion Group. The group includes parent center front-line staff and directors from all over the parent center network, primarily from the most heavily military-impacted states. Group members drew on their experiences working with military families to identify what those families need when they arrive in a new state. Their conclusions: state-specific information about a state’s education system is essential for relocating military families, along with how and why to contact a parent center. The result is Military Families, Welcome to Our State! which puts all that information at a military family’s fingertips.

Continue reading ““Military Families, Welcome to Our State””

Find Partners for Outreach to Veterans’ Families

In helping new veterans’ families navigate civilian services and systems, the Branch highlighted situations where parent centers can make a crucial difference.  New veterans’ families are those whose service member has recently transitioned to civilian life. They may be new residents or have lived for years in your state but are now new to all its resources as civilians and parents of a child with a disability. These families may have always used military-provided supports and services and may not even know parent centers exist.

How will veterans’ families know about your parent center?

Continue reading “Find Partners for Outreach to Veterans’ Families”