For the fiscal year of 2016, the total number of school-aged children who are dependents of military service members in Washington State totaled approximately 30,380 kids; the majority of these children live in and around Joint Base Lewis-McChord. This figure does not account for the number of kids from veteran families. Our school districts, especially those surrounding JBLM, should be shining examples of how to best serve our military students and families. Unfortunately, more needs to be done.
Military combat deployments can affect the psychological health of school-aged children and adolescents. The long-term effects of extended wartime on children in the homes of combat soldiers and veterans has not been a focus of study as of yet, although the need is coming to the forefront.
With such a high population of military school-aged kids, the Clover Park School District has a large responsibility to the families of the men and women who are serving, or have served, our country. The need for a military child and family specialist embedded into the school district could be one step in the right direction toward improving the Clover Park School District’s service to our military kids and family members.