204614 Coming Together Around Military Families: Addressing the special needs of infants and toddlers in military families

Monday, November 9, 2009: 12:55 PM

Lynette Fraga, PhD , Zero to Three, National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families, Washington, DC
Through "Coming Together Around Military Families" (CTAMF), an initiative that reaches states and military installations with high rates of deployment in addition to major military medical centers in the US, ZERO TO THREE provides training, consultation, and resources to on-base/post professionals supporting military families with very young children. CTAMF addresses the short- and long-term health, mental health, early care and safety implications for infants and toddlers impacted by extreme circumstances, including challenging family dynamics exacerbated by combat deployment, physical and psychological injury, and/or death of a family Military Service member. With an average of 90,000 babies born each year to Military families, military-provided services for this growing demographic on base/post has not kept pace with the need. Frequent moves, prolonged family separations, and unique parental stressors converge to place this special population of very young children at risk for an array of adverse outcomes. CTAMF has reached thousands of families and professionals over the last three years to strengthen expecting parents, and the families of very young children who are experiencing trauma, grief, and loss. A review of the CTAMF developmental materials adapted for maximum relevance to military culture and the implications for non-military community-based child-care, early education, and family-serving providers will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:
1.Describe 5 key child development messages of special importance to military families 2.List 3 family stressors that are especially common among military families 3. Explain implications of unique military family stressors on early childhood development

Keywords: Adult and Child Mental Health, Special Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Director of the initiative being presented in this session, and have a doctorate in the relevant area with more than a decade of work in this field.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.