Army Child and Youth School Liaison Transition Services
What is it?
Army Child and Youth School Liaison Transition Services provides a variety of programmatic strategies and resources that the Army has undertaken to help “level the playing field” for transitioning military students, prepare school and installation to respond confidently to the complexities of transitions, and provide Families the assurance that their children’s academic well being is a priority. Above all, it represents the unwavering commitment the Department of Army has made, and continues to make, to ensure transition challenges are minimized. The collaborative efforts of school systems, national, state and local education agencies, public and private sector youth serving organizations, community groups, and Army and DoD personnel is unprecedented and reflects a true and enduring partnership in support of military children.
What has the Army done?
Since 1998, an infrastructure has been in place to support school transitions consisting of the following:
- School Transition Services: Serves as a core competency of Child and Youth Services to better address the many issues facing military-connected, transitioning school-age students.
- School Liaison Officers: Hired at all Army installations to be primary advisors of garrison command staff, parents, and educators.
- School Transition Specialists: Hired at the six Installation Management Command Regions to evaluate and work systemic school transition issues.
- Army Family Action Plan (AFAP). Provides for Education Summits, focus groups, and research to complete school transition–related issues raised at AFAP conferences.
- Army Senior Stabilization Policy for Soldiers with High School Seniors: Allows Soldiers to remain in current assignments so as to permit their children to complete the senior year of high school.
- Army In and Out-Processing Protocol: Requires garrisons to establish procedures that ensure Soldiers with school age children connect with garrison School Liaison Officers to ensure a smooth school transition.
- Transition Counselor Institute I, II, and III: Provides professional development for counselors regarding education-related issues associated with frequent moves.
- Special Education Leadership Institute I & II: Promotes awareness of transition challenges of children with special needs.
- Supporting Children of the National Guard and Reserve Institute: Provides professional development to help educators respond to the needs of the “repeatedly military” child.
- Living In The New Normal: Supporting Children through Trauma and Loss: A comprehensive initiative to provide community professionals, educators, Family members, and concerned adults with information to help support military children during times of uncertainty, trauma and grief.
- Student-2-Student and Junior Student-2-Student: Establishes campus-based, student-led, and faculty-sponsored programs that train teams of peers to support transitioning students.
- Parent-to-Parent Cadre Teams: Establishes parent-centered initiative that empowers parents to be informed, positive, and proactive transition specialists at home.
- Secondary Education Transition Study Memorandum of Agreement: Encourages school districts that sign the agreement to develop reciprocal practices to support transitioning school-age students.
- Army School Transition Action Plan 2005-2013: Outlines strategies, actions, and timelines to minimize disruptions for more than 55,000 military-connected students relocating to and within stateside school systems. The plan establishes an Army wide framework and tools for schools and installations to successfully integrate these students into new academic settings through collaborative efforts with private and community organizations, national, state, and local education agencies.
- Military Family Life Consultants: Augment existing military support services and meet emerging needs of active and reserve component Soldiers and their Families during deployment cycles.
- Child Behavioral Consultants: Provides for a licensed mental health professional to ensure information, coaching, training, and education to military Families on issues concerning children and adolescents.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
In conjunction with the Army Family Covenant and the Community Covenant goals, the FY 08 Army Education Summit will address the school transition issues of the most highly impacted deployment sites.
Why is this important to the Army?
A mobile and transforming Army has a responsibility to prepare Families for multiple transitions from one location to another during the course of a Soldier’s career. Providing this kind of support also allows our Soldiers to focus on their mission and be prepared for short-notice calls to duty around the world.