Children of Veterans Supporting Children of Veterans

Pre-assess - Understand
Strongly Disagree
Pre-assess - Inspired
Strongly Disagree
Pre-assess - Engaged
Strongly Disagree
Pre-assess - Skills
Strongly Disagree
Pre-assess - Stand Up
Strongly Disagree
Pre-assess - Reach Out
Strongly Disagree
Pre-assess - Others
Strongly Disagree
Injustice - Importance
I started philanthropic activities when I was in elementary school where I organized events such as toiletries drive for Laura House, Blood Drive for Red Cross, clothing Collection for Working Wardrobes/VetNet, book drive for CHOC, and Pennies for Patients to raise money for the Leukemia Society. In 2012, I received a Presidential Volunteer Service Award for my community service. I participated in University Synagogues Teen Leadership Series program in 2015. In 2015-2016, I also participated in the Orange County Peer/Youth Court Program, also known as youth or teen court, is an alternative approach to the traditional juvenile justice system. (http://www.courts.ca.gov/5991.htm)
Over time, my commitment has become focusing my community service on ways to help veteran children who are affected by their parents’ service to our country. This motivation comes from my own family, and from some of the volunteer work I have done. I am the son of a USMC Gulf I veteran, the grandson of an Army veteran of Vietnam, and the son of a currently serving California State Military Reserve officer. Although I have not been affected myself, I learned from my parents and grandfather about children who have been affected by their parent’s deployments. I have also met many children and youth who were affected by their parents’ deployment and began to understand much more about the needs of this group. I learned that there are more than one million children today whose parent served since 9/11.
Injustice - Who Affected
What I’ve learned about myself is that I can present myself to agency leaders and staff in a convincing way. I can learn from them about their work and make clear to them that I have the ability and the desire to help them and the children and families they serve. What I’ve learned about the world is that military-connected families have special strengths and also needs that affect the entire family, in addition to the veterans themselves. And I’ve learned that volunteers can make a difference in helping to meet those needs.
Injustice - How Affected
I am a son of a USMC veteran, the grandson of a Army veteran and the son of a California State Military Reserve officer. Although I have not been affected myself, I learned of the children who has been affected by their parent’s service and made the decision to concentrate my efforts on this population. I have met so many children and youth who were affected by their parents’ deployment and I have come to understand the needs of this group—which makes up more than one million children today.
Injustice - Who Causes
The Strong Families, Strong Children Collaborative was created to address an unmet and often overlooked need in Orange County (OC) – services and supports for the family members of physically wounded and/or mentally trauma-affected veterans and service members. While very few veterans have access to critical services through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and possibly through County systems of care, their family members and children are often ‘invisible’ and ineligible to receive the help they need. National studies indicate that 30%+ of veterans returning from recent deployments are affected by trauma and substance abuse, which are shown to impact the entire family. Those veterans with children reported experiencing educational, health, mental health, and/or behavior problems. Domestic violence in the military continues to be a significant issue which affects veteran families. The prevalence of military domestic violence is similar to what that is observed in the general population. A 2013 report conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated 1 in 3 women is a victim of domestic violence. For women veterans, the Veterans Administration recently recognized them as the fastest growing veteran group in California; and recent reports reveal they are more likely to attempt suicide than their civilian peers. Housing becomes a key barrier to success as safe and stable housing is the critical foundation that enables an individual or family to leave a domestic violence situation. This resource, along with legal support for child custody and security measures for the victim and any children in the household are essential in achieving independence and safety.
Research shows that over 70% of military families live in civilian communities (National Military Family Association, 2011); yet these families are often isolated, unidentified and/or do not access the supports they need. Significantly, in April 2017 the Office of Veteran Affairs (VA) identified 33,000+ Orange County veteran households with minor children in our own Orange County community. These children are shown to be at-risk for behavioral health disorders (anxiety, grief, depression), exhibit more aggression, and have lower academic scores than their non-military peers (Morris & Age, 2009). Research shows that before, during, and after the transition process, many military families face significant issues and barriers to treatment. SFSC three-year evaluation data demonstrates military-connected families who participated in SFSC services demonstrated significant improvement in child well-being (+58%), in family interactions (+61%), and in family health (+74%).
Injustice - Why
The first step is to add a box on veteran agencies forms asking if your military-connected client has children. Employment issues, housing issues, financial issues, legal issues, substance use issues, domestic violence issues all affect the family and families’ needs affect a veteran’s ability be successful in the referrals and legal assistance they receive. In your work with your veteran clients, we want you to feel knowledgeable about what the family needs are, what is available to them, and how you can help these families. This can be done by simply asking about their kids, spouses, and/or partners. This was done in New Hampshire but only about the veteran.
Initial Problem Statement
The project I am committed to is the Strong Families, Strong Children (SFSC) coalition, based in Orange County. The five agencies involved in SFSC, coordinated by Child Guidance Center, have worked together since 2013 to provide services to children of veterans and active duty service members. The coalition has helped more than 200 children and their families.
I have worked with these agencies to volunteer my time to help these children. As a veteran-connected youth myself, the more I learned about the problems some of these children and youth were facing, the more I wanted to do what I could to provide money and other resources to respond to the needs of children of veterans affected by their parents’ deployment. Now I’d like to work to involve other youth in my school and neighborhood in what I have been doing with SFSC, expanding what we can do to make a difference.
It has at times been difficult for me to dedicate time to SFSC, since both my parents work and I wasn’t sure how to connect with the agencies and services I wanted to help. But I collected information about these agencies and met some of their leadership and staff. Now that I am able to drive and have time after school to do more outreach and involvement with these families and the agencies that help them, I’m looking forward to making a larger contribution to meeting the needs of children whose parents served our country. Seeing and learning how many children of veterans are affected by their parents’ poverty, visible and invisible wounds of war, and other issues, I began to see ways that I could respond personally to that need for help and healing. SFSC was formed in 2013 to address the gap in services and support for military and veteran connected children and families in Orange County Child Guidance Center partners with four non-profit organizations –Human Options (Domestic Violence), Families Forward (Housing), Children and Family Futures (evaluation), and Veteran Legal Institute (Legal Support).
Initial Problem Comments
Comment
Hi Nicholas,

Thanks for sharing this project. As you’re working through the questions in the Understand phase of your project, please don’t hesitate to ask any questions that come up! And you can check out the Peacemaking Tools for a full set of resources: https://www.peacefirst.org/peacemaking-tools

Here is an awesome project on our platform that focuses on supporting veterans. I encourage you to check it out and comment on the ideas that resonate for you--start a conversation and share ideas! https://www.peacefirst.org/project/music-therapy-and-friendship-circle-senior-citizen-and-veterans

I hope that these resources are useful! This work is so important--Thank you for what you're doing! Let me know if you have any questions or need support in thinking about your next steps. :) I'm excited to support you however possible, and to watch this project grow!

Best,
Andrea
Commentor
Comment Date
Fri, 03/15/2019 - 12:52
Interview - Who
I have worked with veteran children for many years
Interview - How They Feel
Youth that are not veteran connected do not understand the issue or see it as an injustice
Interview - How Affected
Youth that are not veteran connected do not understand the issue or see it as an injustice
Interview - Why They Feel That Way
They do no understand the issue
Interview - How Involved
By having schools ask youth and children if they are veteran or military connected
Root Cause
invisible children of veterans
Compassionate Insight - Injustice
invisible children of veterans who need services
Compassionate Insight - Address
this need and give them services for their family and ensure that when they ge
Compassionate Insight - Action
flyers, videos, events, and with th
Compassionate Insight - Comments
Comment
Hey Nicholas! My name is Fish, I'm a Peace First Fellow, and I'm here to give you feedback on your Compassionate Insight.

Two quick things before I can approve your Insight:

1. It looks like the end of the sentences got cut off your compassionate insight. (Example: flyers, videos, events, and with th.) Can you add those in so that I can review it in full?

2. I want to understand your project a bit more. We fund projects and organizations that are led by youth under 26. The SFSC coalition, from the little bit of research I've done, looks like an adult-led organization that you're active in. So I want to clarify what your project is!

We CAN'T fund the SFSC because it's not youth-run.

We CAN fund you to lead a project on your own, with the SFSC as your community partner.

Here are some questions to think about as we figure out which it is:
-Are you making decisions about the work with SFSC as your advisor? Or are they making decisions?
-Have you set the goals for the project, or has SFSC?
Commentor
Comment Date
Wed, 04/03/2019 - 11:45
Comment
Hey Nicholas! My name is Fish, I'm a Peace First Fellow, and I'm here to give you feedback on your Compassionate Insight.

Two quick things before I can approve your Insight:

1. It looks like the end of the sentences got cut off your compassionate insight. (Example: flyers, videos, events, and with th.) Can you add those in so that I can review it in full?

2. I want to understand your project a bit more. We fund projects and organizations that are led by youth under 26. The SFSC coalition, from the little bit of research I've done, looks like an adult-led organization that you're active in. So I want to clarify what your project is!

We CAN'T fund the SFSC because it's not youth-run.

We CAN fund you to lead a project on your own, with the SFSC as your community partner.

Here are some questions to think about as we figure out which it is:
-Are you making decisions about the work with SFSC as your advisor? Or are they making decisions?
-Have you set the goals for the project, or has SFSC?
Commentor
Comment Date
Wed, 04/03/2019 - 11:45
Comment
Hi folks! Great to see the Memphis team of SOSS on here. My name is Fish, I'm a Peace First Fellow, and I'm here to give you some feedback on your compassionate insight.

I'm so excited about this project! Economic inequality and food deserts are two serious injustices, inextricably linked. You've identified an interesting, and profound, root cause - that not having access to resources creates a cycle that furthers economic inequality. And as you note, while developing a sustainable garden doesn't solve every problem, it gives families access to a key resource -- healthy food. That's important, and can have ripple effects, because healthy food means better health and better health means families can avoid high medical bills and kids can focus in school. Even small actions can have big impacts.

So your insight is approved and good to go -- I think a community garden is a great start.

I do want to ask -- what's your plan for thinking about the bigger picture? A garden is great - and you also have the power to raise your voices and do more. You have a good grasp on the systemic problem -- how will you create a systemic solution? You mentioned Rep. Steve Cohen - do you have plans to reach out to his office about the injustice? Plans to highlight the food deserts in Memphis to people in power who can correct the injustice? Think about how you might advocate for systemic change alongside your work building the garden...we are more than happy to help you brainstorm.

I'm approving your insight, so you can move on to the next stage. As you move forward, the Plan tools in the next section will help you create an action Plan to bring your project to life! To remain eligible for the Power of Youth Accelerator grant of $5,000, you should submit your Plan by April 15th. Once we approve your plan, you'll be able to submit your budget and mini-grant application for up to $250.

As you Plan your project's timeline, you might also want to keep in mind that to be eligible for the $5,000 grant, you'll want to plan to carry out your project and submit your Reflection by June 30th.

We can't wait to see what you do - please let us know how we can help!
Commentor
Comment Date
Wed, 04/03/2019 - 11:57
Plan - Goals
Helping children of Veterans
Plan - Compassion
Making of a video on how children of veterans are affected by not having a box on the form Assisting with flexible funds with gift cards for family’s to buy school supplies and basic needs for children of veterans that are struggling and are assessing counseling and other support services
Plan - Courage
I will assist other children of veterans to have the courage to seek help. I will create a video and a handout for agencies that serve children of veterans but do not have a box on their form and show them how important it is to recognize this population and serve them with resources, services and possible counseling.
Plan - Collaborate
Please see previous response on previous page
Plan - Direction
The project collects data and assessments and will also be able to show the impact of the funds used for these children and the impact and changes made by the video and handouts.
Plan - Steps
1. Create video 2. Create Handout 3. Create Box on the Form Presentation 4. Meet with agencies 5. Document results 6. Provide referrals for services and transportation gift cards, if needed 7. Complete final report
Plan - Comments
Comment
Hey Nicholas! How are you?

Thanks for your passion about supporting the children of veterans.

Before we can evaluate your plan, we need:
-A more specific list of goals
-A list of steps
-A clear statement about how you'll show courage
-You'll need to revise your compassionate insight because some of the pieces have been cut off
-We need to understand your relationship to SFSC (is this a project you're leading independently or is this their project?)

Once these items are complete we can move forward quickly.

Thank you!
Commentor
Comment Date
Sat, 04/13/2019 - 21:11
Details - Country
United States
Details - Location
Orange County, California
Grant - Resource
Resource
Materials and Resources on Veterans Children
Cost
250.00
Grant - Confirm Age
Yes
Grant - Confirm Use
Yes
Grant - Confirm Start
Yes
Grant - Confirm End
Yes
Grant - Confirm Report
Yes
Payment - PF Affiliated
No
Payment - Bank Account
No
Payment - E-Check
No
Payment - Agree to Terms
No
Grant - Total
250.00
Reflect - Accelerator
No
Details - Public
Yes
Slug
children-veterans-supporting-children-veterans
Details - Video
Previous Changed
Step
7.10