The new “Toolkit for the Well-Child Screening of Military Children” will help pediatricians and other healthcare professionals identify and address the signs of deployment-related stress among children in families of military members. The online resource is made available as a public service of the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program and the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project (MCPAP).
“There is a saying in the military — when one family member serves, the entire family serves,” says Paula Rauch, MD, program director of the Home Base Family Support Team and a Mass General child psychiatrist. “With strong family and community support, over the long run, most children weather the stresses associated with deployment cycle challenges, but some need extra attention.”
“Pediatricians and other primary care clinicians are in a unique position to monitor and promote the resilience of our military children,” says John Straus, MD, vice president of Medical Affairs, MCPAP. “We hope that all family caregivers can use this toolkit to convey their sensitivity to the needs of military families and to raise awareness among civilian families of the needs of military-connected children in their community.” Currently, more than 13,000 Massachusetts children have at least one parent serving in the military.
The toolkit provides materials to help primary care physicians and other clinicians screen children and youth for deployment stress; determine the level of support required; provide information to parents; and request a consultation from MCPAP. To access the materials, please visit www.homebaseprogram.org or www.mcpap.org.