Assisting children and families with military-related disruptions: The United States Marine Corps school liaison program

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Abstract

Military families face a number of unique challenges, including frequent relocations and school transitions, as well as extended separations from loved ones. The military, schools, and communities have been working together to build the capacity of children, youth, and families to successfully cope with the stressors they encounter. Most branches of the military have instituted liaison programs within schools and communities to help military school-aged children make more seamless transitions from one school to another due to relocations. This study assessed the thoughts and perceptions of U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) school liaison professionals (SLs) regarding their work with a broad array of stakeholders, both on- and off-base. Generally, SLs expressed positive sentiments regarding the USMC liaison program. They also reported that they were working hard at developing stronger connections to various constituencies in position to assist military families. Unfortunately, there was some indication that SLs may be at risk for burnout. Given the needs of military children, youth, and families, SLs appear to be filling an important function that could enhance military–school–community partnerships. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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