To support the youth of military families throughout the deployment cycle.
Create community support networks for military youth "in our own backyard" when they experience a loved one's deployment.
- Educate the public on the impact of deployment on a service members' children, families, and communities through awareness building and educational trainings with schools and community organizations.
- Deliver recreational, social, and educational programs for military youth in civilian communities geographically dispersed throughout the state.
We are a part of a national initiative involving 49 states and the District of Columbia with high levels of National Guard and Reserve deployment. Programs are being designed for military youth to help them find positive ways to cope with the stress of their family member's deployment.
National Guard and Reserve service members live throughout Ohio - they're in our backyard! Some counties have a higher concentration of families, while others have only one. Because these families are spread throughout the state, they do not have the support systems that are typically available to active duty military families who live on or near military installations.
Families experiencing deployment of a service member face a variety of issues that impact youth.
These issues include:
- A fear of the unknown and concern for the safety of the deployed family member.
- Family member is absent for significant events, as well as everyday matters, resulting in less family involvement.
- Youth assume more household responsibilities.
- Lack of educators' awareness of and sensitivity regarding deployment and needs of children of deployed service members.
- Children may be placed in day care so the remaining parent can work outside the home.
- There may be a constant “shuffle” between relatives and child care providers.
- Geographically dispersed families are not near family and youth programs.
- Lack of connection with other youth with deployed parents results in feelings of isolation.
- The family may experience a change in financial resources.
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