The School Counselor's Role in Supporting Military-Connected Youth

The School Counselor's Role in Supporting Military-Connected Youth

Taqueena Sharell Quintana
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7319-8.ch010
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Throughout their K-12 educational experiences, military-connected youth often face a high degree of uncertainty and mobility due to their parent's service. These transitions often create stressors that impact the academic and social-emotional development of children and adolescents from military families. Because of their position and training, school counselors play an important role in addressing the educational needs of military-connected youth. Within this chapter, the author discusses military culture, describes the transitional challenges in which military-connected youth experience and highlights ways in which school counselors can utilize interventions to support this unique population. Recommendations and suggestions for future research are also explored.
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There are approximately 1.65 million military-connected youth across the globe, one million of which are school-aged youth enrolled in grades K-12 (U.S. Department of Defense, 2018). In contrast to their civilian peers, military-connected youth experience distinct transitions including deployments, relocation, and reintegration into civilian life (Cole, 2016). With these consistent changes, military-connected youth are often faced with academic, social, and emotional challenges that impact their educational achievement (Ruff & Keim, 2014). Additionally, 80% of school-aged military-connected youth attend civilian schools (Cole, 2016). Civilian school educators, including school counselors, are often unfamiliar with addressing the unique concerns of military-connected youth (Chandra et al., 2010). Because school counselors are trained to address the academic, social/emotional, and career development needs of all students, it is imperative that they are equipped with the necessary skills to meet the needs of military-connected students (American School Counselor Association [ASCA], 2015).

By the end of this chapter, readers will:

  • Enhance their knowledge of military culture and transitions.

  • Understand the educational challenges faced by military-connected youth.

  • Identify interventions to support military-connected youth in schools.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Service Member: An individual who serves within the United States Military.

Civilian: An individual who does not serve in the United States Military.

Deployment: The movement of military service members to a place or position for action.

Transition: The process of changing from one condition to another.

Military-Connected Youth: Children and adolescents with at least one parent who serves in the United States Military.

Installations: Facilities operated by or for the United States Military. Installations shelter military equipment and personnel.

Relocation: Is a long-term assignment by which a service member and their dependents, if any, move from one military duty station to another. Also called a Permanent Change of Station or PCS.

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