Engaging OEF/OIF/OND Military Parents in a Home-Based Reintegration Program: A Consideration of Strategies.
Ross, Abigail M. DeVoe, Ellen R.
Published: published online February 25, 2014
Health and Social Work
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For more than a decade, the long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have placed tremendous and cumulative strain on U.S. military personnel and their families. The high operational tempo, length, and number of deployments -- and greater in-theater exposure to threat -- have resulted in well-documented psychological health concerns among service members and veterans. In addition, there is increasing and compelling evidence describing the significant deleterious impact of the deployment cycle on family members, including children, in military-connected families. However, rates of engagement and service utilization in prevention and intervention services continue to lag far below apparent need among service members and their families, because of both practical and psychological barriers. The authors describe the dynamic and ultimately successful process of engaging military families with young children in a home-based reintegration program designed to support parenting and strengthen parent-child relationships as service member parents move back into family life. In addition to the integration of existing evidence-based engagement strategies, the authors applied a strengths-based approach to working with military families and worked from a community-based participatory foundation to enhance family engagement and program completion. Implications for engagement of military personnel and their loved ones are discussed. (Author abstract)
military personnel; home based services; parent support; parent child relationships; family engagement