It is estimated that the children of parents either who are currently in the military or who are veterans numbers over 4 million in the United States. These children and their families have and/or continue to experience multiple deployments, family separation, frequent transitions and relocations, and other stressful life events that their non-military-connected peers usually do not undergo. Supportive school environments can help shield students from the intense depression, conduct problems, feelings of alienation, anxiety, and school failure. But in order for schools to meet the needs of military-connected students, personnel need to be aware the population exists in their schools and that these students have particular needs.
In light of this growing need, NASW Press and Oxford University Press jointly have publishes a special issue of the journal Children & Schools, issued January of 2014. The editors and publishers of this special issue wish to highlight the particular needs of military-connected students. School social workers in the U.S. can take a leadership role on a national level in developing and implementing practices and policies that will increase awareness of military-connected students, foster an understanding of their unique culture, and directly address their specific needs.
Contents of this special edition include:
- Editorial: Supporting Military-connected Students: The Role of School Social Work, by Ron Avi Astor and Rami Benbenishty
- School-Age Children of Military Families: Theoretical Applications, Skills Training, Considerations, and Interventions, by Carlos V. Guzman
- Impact of Geographic Mobility on Military Children’s Access to Special Education Services, by Jessica Carol Jagger and Suzanne Lederer
- Development and Use of the California Healthy Kids Survey Military Module to Support Students in Military-connected Schools, Tamika D. Gilreath, Joey Nuñez Estrada, Diana Pineda, Rami Benbenishty, and Ron Avi Astor
- Schoolwide Impact of Military-connected Student Enrollment: Educators’ Perceptions, by Joanna K. Garner, Pamela L. Arnold, and John Nunnery
- Military Social Work Field Placement: Analysis of the Time and Activities Graduate Student Interns Provide to Military-connected Schools, by Monica C. Esqueda, Julie A. Cederbaum, Keren Malchi, Diana M. Pineda, Rami Benbenishty, and Ron Avi Astor
- Student–Instructor Assessments: Examining the Skills and Competencies of Social Work Students Placed in Military-connected Schools, by Julie A. Cederbaum, Keren Malchi, Monica C. Esqueda, Rami Benbenishty, Hazel Atuel, and Ron Avi Astor
- “Us” as the United States: Sparking Community-based Solutions for Supporting Military-connected Children and Their Families, by Joe Buehrle
- Military Parents’ Perceptions of Public School Supports for Their Children, by Ruth Berkowitz, Kris M. T. De Pedro, Julie Couture, Rami Benbenishty, and Ron Avi Astor
- Understanding Teaching and Learning with Military Students in Public School Contexts: Insights from the Perspectives of Teachers, by Pamela L. Arnold, Joanna K. Garner, and John A. Nunnery
- Responding to the Needs of Military Students and Military-connected Schools: Perceptions and Actions of School Administrators, by Kris T. De Pedro, Hazel Atuel, Keren Malchi, Monica C. Esqueda, Rami Benenishty, and Ron Avi Astor
Some of the content not available in the print edition is available online.
As Ron Avi Astor and Rami Benbenishty point out in their editiorial:
The overarching goal of this special issue is to present articles that describe the current state of school social work knowledge and best practices in [military-connected] schools. These articles provide insight and implications that will help teachers, principals, school social workers, and other staff better serve [military-connected] students in the future. In this special issue, we present articles examining the perspectives of school staff, students, and parents in [military-connected] schools and outline best practices for such schools.