MFLC Child and Youth Behavioral Program

The MFLC CYB Program was launched in the summer of 2007 to provide non-medical counseling services and short-term problem resolution to military children and those who support them (faculty, staff and parents) on challenges they face such as school issues, deployment and reunion adjustments, and parent-child communications.

CYB MFLCs support military children in the Child Development Centers (CDCs), off-installation schools that have a military population of at least 50%, schools on installation, as well as DoDEA Summer Programs and Purple Camps.

From this page, CYB MFLCs can find latest news articles relating to military children, issues they face and new programs designed to support military children for your toolkit.

Check back often for updates!

Preventing Bullying through Science, Policy, and Practice: two new resources available from StopBullying.org:

  1. On-line toolkit – includes content from the report for different audiences, with printable PDFs: https://www.nap.edu/html/23482/toolkit/
  2. PSA-style video – aimed at teachers and others who work with children and youth: https://www.nap.edu/catalog/23482/preventing-bullying-through-science-policy-and-practice and on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/VDy-IWfC4fQ

CYB Spotlight on Delca Anderson!

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Delca Anderson, CYB MFLC on assignment at Pearl Harbor was honored with this fond farewell tribute from children and staff. Clearly, she is much loved and sorely missed!

Of her work and last day on this assignment, Delca wrote: “Yesterday was the last day of my rotation at the Ford Island CDC and Catlin Youth Center. It was a bittersweet day for me. I have really enjoyed this rotation.

It was also a humbling day for me. I felt so appreciated and so proud to work for the MFLC program. Many staff members shared how the MFLC program has impacted their lives. I was overwhelmed by the appreciation shown by the staff and by their many nice comments.  Attached is a picture of how I left the CDC yesterday. They sent me off with a lot of Aloha!”

Outstanding work, Delca!

CYB Spotlight on Kim Butler!

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Kim Butler, School MFLC supporting Hale Kula Elementary School in Hawaii, arranged for the jazz band to come in and play music for the students on their lunch break one day during Month of the Military Child. Nice work, Kim!

CYB Spotlight on Delca Anderson!

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Delca Anderson, CYB supporting the Ford Island CDC and Catlin SAC at Pearl Harbor, shared these photos highlighting the little superheroes she supports. [Children’s faces have been intentionally blurred to protect their identity.]

Per Delca: “I wanted to share some of the things I have been working on during the month of the Military Child.

Every month I facilitate a training for the staff members and parents of the CDC. Last month the topic was “How to Increase Resiliency.” This month, I spoke to the caregivers in the preschool rooms and discussed ways to increase resiliency in the classroom. The caregivers came up with some great ideas. I spoke to the trainers about the possibility of downloading some of the applications from our list of pre-approved apps into the iPads in the classrooms. I then sat with the children while they took turns exploring the new applications. One of the apps is designed to help children with emotional regulation and discussed big belly breaths so we have had many opportunities to practice those. I encouraged the pre-school teachers to check out the Sesame Street video “Small Children, Big Challenges” from the center’s lending library. This 22 minute DVD is designed to address common problems that military children face. The kids enjoyed watching the short film.  I followed up the DVD with an art activity. I shared with the kids that Military Kids are Strong (Resilient) like superheroes!”

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Thank you for making a difference in the lives of these military kids, Delca! Awesome work!

Sesame Street for Military Families Website Encourages Routines and Self-Expression

The Defense Department’s National Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2) and Sesame Workshop debuted new content on the Sesame Street for Military Families website. With the help of Sesame Street Muppets™ Elmo and Rosita, the website provides strategies for military families to help children express emotions. Parents learn tips for setting up comforting routines and preschool children find fun coping tactics with the characters they love.

Military families face constant challenges such as deployments, moves to new homes and adjustments after homecomings. The new Self-Expression and Routines topics focus on everyday things that families can do to create a caring, safe environment where children can learn and practice their resilience skills.

Dr. Cindy Alexander, a T2 psychologist, expressed excitement about the new resources for military families.

“The new Self-Expression content provides a fun, interactive way for parents to help children develop an emotional vocabulary and learn to express and manage their feelings in positive ways,” said Alexander. “Also, because we know that young children thrive when their environment is structured and predictable, the new Routines section will help parents find ways to maintain at least a measure of consistency—even when everything is in transition.”

The Self-Expression section includes videos of favorite Sesame friends showing their emotions through singing, moving, talking, laughing and hugging to demonstrate ways young children can manage feelings that come up in their day-to-day lives. Feeling Faces, an interactive activity, teaches young children how to recognize facial expressions and learn to name emotions.

Parents can explore the Routines section for tools to help alleviate the anxiety and stress children experience during changes in their lives like moving or transitioning to civilian life. Resources include Muppet videos, downloadable handouts and parenting information. Children benefit when parents learn the importance of establishing fun daily routines such as reading a bedtime story, sharing a family meal and saying a morning goodbye.

“Military families have taught us how to manage difficult situations with strength, and we know that military life is more than its challenges,” said Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, SVP of U.S. Social Impact at Sesame Workshop. “We are honored to continue supporting our nation’s military families and hope that these resources will guide families in their learning moments and build resilience among our youngest fans.”

The website design allows military parents with young children to bring their furry friends along wherever they go—including on smartphones and tablets. A free shortcut app to the Sesame Street for Military Families website is available for Android and iOS devices for download from the iTunes Store, Google Play and Amazon for Kindle Fire.

Reference: National Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2) Public Affairs, August 09, 2016

Military Youth Can Use Tech to Improve Mental Health Literacy, Coping Skills

Frequent transitions, parental separations and the cumulative effects of multiple deployments can negatively impact military youth, research shows. Military youth are generally resilient, but many are coping with increased levels of anxiety, stress, depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation and behavioral problems.

“We all have to learn how to teach military youth coping skills, how to recognize signs of psychological distress and how to get help,” psychologist Kelly Blasko of the National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2) said in a webinar sponsored by the Defense Health Agency. Blasko led focus groups whose feedback helped T2 create a website for military kids called Military Kids Connect (MKC).

Today, the MKC website has received more than a quarter million hits since its launch in January 2012. The website addresses challenges of transitions, deployment and reintegration with home and family.

Since children use interactive technology in their daily lives, it makes sense to reach them through this means of communication, Blasko said.

Teen and tween avatars in camouflage gear share tips on coping with deployments, siblings or moving. Teen-created videos offer introductions to new military bases. Among the specific offerings are “Crossroads,” instructional vignettes that help kids deal with dilemmas and make better choices, and “What’s On Your Mind,” a message board where teens can talk with each other about issues they may face.

The site isn’t just for kids, though, Blasko said.

“As parents, providers and educators, we need to attend to these youth early on, so that we can prevent further psychological distress,” she said. “There are different tracks that offer teens, children, educators and parents tools and lesson plans.”

The site is important because mental disorders often begin in adolescence.

“We have the opportunity to intervene so that they get the help that they need,” Blasko said.

Reference: Posted by Carol Roos, DCoE Public Affairs on February 12, 2016; dcoe.mil/blog

A Few Good CYB / Youth Links

Below are some great tools, resources and designed-to-support-military-kids apps – to help support you in your mission essential task of supporting military kids and those that support them.

@IBPAworld provides webinars, articles & more about bullying prevention. Check out their new website today! View at www.ibpaworld.org

 

MilitaryKidsConnectMilitary Kids Connect (MKC) is an online community for military children (ages 6-17 years old) that provides access to age-appropriate resources to support children dealing with unique psychological challenges of military life.

Some of the awesome resources found within Military Kids Connect include:

MKCCrossroadsCrossroads presents multiple challenging real-life scenarios via instructional videos to help military kids make positive choices.

MKCWhatsOnYourMindWhat’s On Your Mind is a message board where military teens can openly communicate about the challenges they face and get feedback from other teens who have been there.

MilitaryChildEduCoalitionMilitary Child Education Coalition is focused on ensuring quality educational opportunities for all military children affected by mobility, family separation, and transition.

 

 NPREduMilitary Children: Their Struggles, Sacrifices And Strengths sheds light on the challenges of being the child of soldiers. Military Children, a series documented by Kavitha Cardoza  explores the challenges facing our nation’s nearly 2 million military children. The series includes an hour-long documentary, animated video, radio and written stories from all around the world.

DeptofEducationEducators Guide to the Military Child During Deployment is a booklet designed to meet the needs expressed by teachers and other school personnel for background information and intervention strategies to support the military child during mobilization and deployment.

SesameStreetSesame Street provides much-needed support and practical education with Talk, Listen, Connect, a multiphase outreach initiative to help kids through deployments, combat-related injuries, and the death of a loved one. Videos, storybooks, and workbooks especially created for this program guide families through these tough transitions by showing how real families — as well as furry monsters — deal with similar circumstances.