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 as of December 3, 2019:

Can you use your current ID to gain access to a military installation, under the Real ID Law? The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been phasing in this law’s requirements, and almost every state is in the process of issuing new, compliant driver’s licenses and IDs. The DHS website states”DHS is working closely with all states and territories to provide assistance and guidance to achieve full compliance by the October 1, 2020 deadline. As of September 5, 2019, 50 states and territories are fully compliant with the REAL ID requirements, and all states are on track to begin issuing compliant licenses and IDs by the October 1, 2020 deadline.” 

Regarding military installations, the DHS website states “The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) recently finalized an update to its DoD-wide installation security policy and is in the process of no longer accepting noncompliant marked cards across all of its facilities and installations. However, DoD will continue to accept state-issued noncompliant unmarked “legacy” cards until the October 1, 2020 deadline.”

If you think you might still be using a current, non-compliant ID after October 1, 2020, due to your state’s rollout schedule for the new, compliant IDs, you should know that  other types of documents can be used for installation access. Contact the installation you wish to access to find out what IDs are currently accepted-installation command have the discretion to consider other, supplemental forms of identification. You may also accompany someone with a valid military ID card.

DHS’s REAL ID FAQs page  can answer many of your questions about the REAL ID law and how it will impact activities such as installation access and commercial air travel. 

You can find out more about your state’s process to issue REAL ID-compliant licenses and IDs through the main DHS REAL ID webpage.

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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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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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”

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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