Professional Resource

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Are You Supporting a Military or Veteran Family? You Might Not Know Unless You Ask!

Military-connected families have a unique set of values and experiences that influence how they see the world. When working to engage a family, or thinking about how best to support their needs, knowing more about their culture and background makes it easier to honor their unique strengths and value their perspectives.

by Julia Yeary, Director of Training and Resources, Military Family Projects, ZERO TO THREE

Military families don’t always let others know about their military-connected identity, and many professionals who focus on the wellness of babies and toddlers don’t think to ask. With an estimated 22 million veterans and active duty service members within the United States, chances are that about 8% of the families you serve are military-connected (Department of Veterans Affairs, 2017). Why is it important to know whether the families you serve are military-connected? The same reason it is important to know about a family’s cultural identity! Military-connected families have a unique set of values and experiences that influence how they see the world. When working to engage a family, or thinking about how best to support their needs, knowing more about their culture and background makes it easier to honor their unique strengths and value their perspectives. It also is important to understand how the military experience might influence family dynamics. Of course, all of this influences how a child is parented and supported.

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