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Week 1: Evolving Nature of the Military FamilyFami

Week 1: Evolving Nature of the Military FamilyFamily: A simple concept, one might think. However, family can take on many meanings and definitions. Think back to the first course in this specialization and how military families were defined. Throughout history, the military family was predominately the enlisted personnel, spouses, and their children. But the evolving nature of society has impacted the composition of the military family. Consider the ways in which the composition of a military family has changed. Now, take that evolving composition and think about how survival tools for military families may also need to evolve to be effective.This week, you examine the evolving nature of the military family and how to support new families entering the military life.Learning ObjectivesStudents will:Analyze ways to support the evolving military familyEvaluate services available to military personnel, veterans, and familiesLearning ResourcesRequired ReadingsClever, M. & Segal, D.R. (2013). The Demographics of military children and families. The Future of Children, 23(2), pp. 13-39.Dorman, R., & Mixon, K. (2014, February 17). Children of gay and lesbian parents [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://blogs.extension.org/militaryfamilies/2014/02/17/children-of-gay-and-lesbian-parents/Meadows, S. O. (n.d.). Military families: What we know and what we don’t know. NCFR Report Magazine. Retrieved June 14, 2014, from http://www.ncfr.org/ncfr-report/focus/military-families/what-we-know-and-dont-knowPryce, J. G., Pryce, D. H., & Shackleford, K. K. (2012a). Social work and military families [PDF]. In The costs of courage: Combat stress, warriors, and family survival (pp. 119-144). Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books.The Costs of Courage: Combat Stress, Warriors, and Family Survival, 1st Edition by Pryce, J.; Pryce, D.; Shackelford, K. Copyright 2012 by Lyceum Books, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Lyceum Books, Inc. via the Copyright Clearance Center.Document: Program Evaluation Template (Word document)Required MediaLaureate Education (Producer). (2014b). The changing nature of the military family [Interactive graphic]. Baltimore, MD: Author.Discussion 1: Evolving Composition of a Military FamilyChange is inevitable in so many ways for military families. For example, changes can occur in stations, schools, friends, jobs, rank, rates, and experiences. This concept has been covered extensively throughout this specialization. However, what have not been discussed at length are the changes in the composition of a military family. As society changes, so does the definition of family. One might consider the concept of family to be rather simple; yet in reality, it is more complex.Think about who is eligible for military-related services and benefits, what the Department of Defense definition is of military families, and how military families have evolved.Review the media, The Changing Nature of the Military Family. Consider the composition of a military family and who the Department of Defense recognizes as a member of a military family. How does the composition of a military family influence how you might support these families?By Day 3Post an explanation of how you might reconcile the Department of Defense (DOD) definition of family and the evolving composition of the military family. Explain considerations you might need to keep in mind as you interact with military families. Explain one way DOD, military, and helping professionals should support the evolving nature of the military family.Read a selection of your colleagues’ posts.By Day 5Respond to two colleagues with an alternative perspective of considerations when working with military families or expanding upon your colleagues’ suggestions. Or, share an additional method of supporting military families.Return to this Discussion to read the responses to your initial post. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.To complete your Discussion, click on Discussions on the course navigation menu, and select Week 1 Forum to begin.Submission and Grading InformationGrading CriteriaTo access your rubric:Week 1 Discussion 1 RubricPost by Day 3 and Respond by Day 5To participate in this Discussion:Week 1 Discussion 1Discussion 2: Military Survival ListMany military families who have no prior military experience often find themselves in need of services, support, and information to survive their induction into the military. For this Discussion, consider the following situation: You are a helping professional working at the Family Support Center on a military installation or post. You are asked to gather information to help new military families transitioning onto the installation who are new to military life.Gathering data from your texts, military support sites, and any other reliable resource you identified, create a brief Military Survival List of information important for families who are beginning their military experience. Please include the top 10 pieces of information (may include services, directions, support, general information) that you think would help new military families.By Day 4Post your Military Survival List. Explain why you selected these items and why these would be important for new military families.Read a selection of your colleagues’ posts.By Day 6Respond to two colleagues by expanding their survival list with an additional suggestion. Query your colleagues about the importance of the items on their list.Return to this Discussion to read the responses to your initial post. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.To complete your Discussion, click on Discussions on the course navigation menu, and select Week 1 Forum to begin.Submission and Grading InformationGrading CriteriaTo access your rubric:Week 1 Discussion 2 RubricPost by Day 4 and Respond by Day 6To participate in this Discussion:Week 1 Discussion 2Project: Final ProjectYou may choose one of the two following options for your Final Project, which is due Day 7 of Week 10.Program Evaluation: Select a program or service and evaluate its use and appropriateness for military families.Using the template provided, identify the program and describe the details (e.g., what is the purpose of the program, what are the essential elements, who does it benefit?).Provide an executive summary of the program. In a descriptive narrative, provide any recommendations you might have for the program, what you learned about the program, and how it may or may not meet the needs of military families.How will this information help you in your future role?Volunteer or Social Service Learning Opportunity: For example, you can volunteer at an event with the Wounded Warrior Project or other military support program.Locate a military program in which you can volunteer in a social service learning opportunity. You might lead an effort to send care packages to military personnel or military families. Think about a creative way that you could engage in a program to support military personnel and their families.Describe the activity, what led you to choose that activity, and how you engaged in it.Describe your experiences, benefits, limitations, and what you learned or gained from the activity.Explain how the information you gained can help you in your role as a helping professional.Summary: Explain how your chosen project may help you understand the stressors, family dynamics, challenges, and advantages of military families.The Final Project will be a 10- to 12-page paper and must include the following:Identification of your chosen assignment (Option 1 or 2)A minimum of 5 scholarly articlesAdherence to APA style and formatAgain, your Final Project will be due in Week 10.

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