New approach to help military families with young children

in Military
November 20th, 2008

For the first time, the Department of Defense has chosen a School of Social Work to develop a four-year program to help returning soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and their young families, particularly those with children under five years old who are in the critical stage of development. Led by Ellen DeVoe, assistant professor at the School of Social Work, the goal is to both examine the impact of deployment stress and combat trauma on military families with young children and then develop long-lasting approaches to deal with issues such as separation and reassimilation.

“We are really focusing on the reintegration piece and what that means for children and parents, and how soldiers can come back into a familiy after they’ve been gone from 6 to 18 months.

“If you think about what that length of separation means for a child from infancy to five years old, they don’t really have a way to understand where this person went, even though we tell them and show them pictures.”

Support for Troops, After Combat

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