Easy Branch Orientation and Guide for Staff Training

We’ve created a guide to our most useful materials on military families: their culture, their unique needs, and the military systems that support them when they have a child with a disability. There is something for every staff member, from those with lengthy experience working with military families to those just starting out. AND-links to parent handouts, including 3 handouts you can brand with your Parent Center logo!

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Contact an Ombudsman!

Want to connect with Navy families?  Contact an Ombudsman!

Ombudsmen are an amazing resource for Navy families, and they can provide very practical assistance to Parent Centers. How Navy Ombudsmen can help you:

  • Communicate with Navy families about your Parent Center’s services
  • Help invite families to trainings and workshops both on and off the installation (they use social media extensively and communicate frequently)

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Going to a Military Installation? Check Your ID

UPDATE June 2017: Current States whose non-enhanced State driver’s licenses or IDs are not accepted on military installations:

Oregon, Alaska, Oklahoma, Kentucky, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania Washington, Montana, Minnesota, Missouri and Maine are on the list of those States that do not comply with federal identification standards and whose IDs cannot be used to enter federal facilities, including military installations.

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When a Military Family Leaves the Military: Your Help with Civilian Services Matters

It can be difficult for retiring service members and their spouses to find supports outside the military system.  Like all of us, they get used to the ones they’ve been using.  Can they access the doctors and supports they have had for their child?  Does retirement change their benefits or access to health care?  How can a dependent child continue their services when their military parent retires?  This chart can help you understand which services their child will keep, and what civilian options you can help them explore.

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Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children

The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children was created to provide a smooth transition for military children as their families relocate from installation to installation. “While the Compact is not exhaustive in its coverage, it does address the key issues encountered by military families: eligibility, enrollment, placement and graduation” (NCSL, 2014). The Compact has been created with the hope that students will not lose academic time in transition, obtain an appropriate placement, and be able to graduate on time. Currently, all 50 states and District of Columbia participate in the Compact. Continue reading “Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children”

How to Use Military Rank and Insignia

The U.S. Armed Forces use rank and insignia to classify and categorize each service member from Private to General. Learning how to recognize and use these identifiers will help the Parent Center staff when working with installation service members.

What does this mean to the Parent Center? A member’s rank/insignia is where they are in the chain of command, what leadership responsibilities they have.

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Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) School System

Special Education:

Prior to June 2015, DoDEA schools operated under IDEA 1997 in providing EIS and Special Education services. In June 2015 Department of Defense issued a new directive and a manual with regulations based on the provisions of IDEA 2004.  While this change should eliminate many of the differences between public schools and DoDEA schools with regard to Special Education, some DoDEA schools may not have fully implemented the changes.

Can military families now expect the same interpretation of IDEA whether their children receive services through State and public schools or Department of Defense?  It’s early to tell, but there will (probably) still be differences in how public schools/States and DoD interpret and implement the IDEA.

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Extended Care Health Option (ECHO)

The Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) is a program offered through TRICARE, the military health care system.

ECHO may help some military families who have a family member with special needs. ECHO focuses on integrated sets of services and supplies beyond those available through TRICARE programs. Services are intended to reduce the disabling effects of a beneficiary’s condition. ECHO is only available as a supplement to TRICARE programs. If services or supplies are available through a beneficiary’s TRICARE plan, they won’t be covered under ECHO.

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