Helpful Resources for Military Families
An honor roll of some of our favorite websites for military families, including some designed especially for kids.
FOCUS Project – FOCUS provides family resiliency training at select military sites across the country and in Japan. The website also offers an interactive online version of the program that helps parents and kids work on emotional regulation, goal setting, and communication skills.
Hearts of Valor – Created by Operation Homefront, Hearts of Valor is a network made up of people caring for wounded, ill, or injured service members. The organization runs peer-facilitated support groups across the country, hosts a private online discussion forum, and sponsors an annual retreat for members to learn more about successful caregiving, share stories, and connect with other caregivers.
Home Base Program – Run by Massachusetts General Hospital, the Home Base Program offers clinical care to service members, veterans, and family members; parent and sibling support groups; online mental health self-assessments; and information about keeping kids healthy.
Military OneSource – Funded by the Department of Defense, Military OneSource has a wealth of information on deployment, managing stress, and military life, including a special section for military kids. Military OneSource also offers confidential counseling services online, on the telephone, and face-to-face. The website also hosts a blogging network called the Blog Brigade.
National Military Family Association – Committed to helping military families, the NMFA has a website that provides information on a wide variety of subjects ranging from adoption, changing schools, health care (including the Exceptional Family Member Program for children with special needs), deployment, marriage and divorce, and more. The NMFA also has a scholarship program for military spouses and runs the Operation Purple camp program for military children, as well as family retreats.
Real Warriors – A website launched by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury to encourage military members and their families to get care and support for their psychological health concerns. The website has different sections for service members and for families, and covers topics like navigating the health care system, understanding your benefits, adjusting to changes during deployment, supporting your service member, help for military spouses, and advice for helping children cope.
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) – TAPS provides support to anyone grieving the loss of a loved one who was serving in the armed forces. TAPS has a 24/7 helpline; organizes peer mentoring, seminars, and retreats; and shares helpful information and survivor stories.
Links for Kids
Military Kids Connect – With sections for kids, tweens, and teens, this site has games like Operation Care Package and Stress Blaster, offers ways for kids to express themselves by making online comics or digital stories, shares stories from other kids in similar situations, and has an interactive section that teaches kids about where their parent has been deployed to.
Sesame Street’s Military Families Near and Far – Sesame Street offers information for talking to kids about relocation, deployment, self-expression, injury, and more. Some of the information is also available as downloadable PDFs or on their mobile app. Kids can also watch topical videos starring Sesame Street characters and work on the printable activity pages.