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:


  • 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!

“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”

Key Topics on the minds of military families

Feature your parent center’s information, training and resources on these topics to reach and assist military families:

  • State-specific Information
  • Moving and your child’s IEP
  • Community resources at your new duty station

Highlighting these three key areas using language familiar to military-connected families (“PCSing”) demonstrates your parent center’s knowledge of the issues they face.

Continue reading “Key Topics on the minds of military families”

Meet Your New Super-Volunteers-Military Families!

Does your parent center need volunteers to expand and continue your work?

Military family members are super-volunteers!

According to the results of the 2017 Military Lifestyle Survey, military spouses place high value on their civic responsibility. 78% of those respondents volunteer in their civilian communities. The military strongly encourages service members to volunteer, and military children and teens are active volunteers as well. Find out how to tap into this volunteer-strong community.

Continue reading “Meet Your New Super-Volunteers-Military Families!”

New Tools and Updates Plus Essentials for Your Military Family Toolkit

We know you store, save and have useful tools available for your work with families.  Whether it’s bookmarks with folders labeled by topic or subject, saving resources in Word or Excel documents or printing some to easily share during your one-to-one support or at resource fairs, we’ve got you covered! In our back to school season it’s only logical we offer you new tools, essential resources and updates that you can look at today, save for another time and store for your work with military families. Continue reading “New Tools and Updates Plus Essentials for Your Military Family Toolkit”

OPSEC and Ham: Personal Information and Your Work with Military Families

Your work with military families can be rewarding, especially when they share information with you that’s useful for getting them the help they need. Military families don’t always share information freely, because they are told not to share personal details—or even the fact that they are a military family. This is because of Operational Security, often referred to as OPSEC. This article explains the ways OPSEC may limit what a military family can share, and how you can build trust with military families. Oh yes, and it explains the ham!

Continue reading “OPSEC and Ham: Personal Information and Your Work with Military Families”

Providing Training: Ideas for your work with families, youth, and young adults who are military connected

We know how hard you work to provide in-person and virtual training, and information for parents. According to the Center for Parent Information and Resources, Parent Centers achieved more than 1 million contacts, just through trainings and individual assistance. This number is in addition to the millions of website visits and resource dissemination numbers that were accomplished. Most importantly, at least 90% of those surveyed found that programs and services met their needs, helped them understand how to get their child’s needs met, and that they were able to put the information to use.

Continue reading “Providing Training: Ideas for your work with families, youth, and young adults who are military connected”