Thursday, June 13, 2013
Kinship Caregivers: Understanding Children and the Military Deployment Cycle
Military professionals who work with families have identified several phases that families go through during a parent’s deployment. These phases are defined not only by what is happening in the deployment process, but also by emotional changes and challenges children experience when a parent deploys. Deployment occurs in almost every branch of the military, and the experience differs for each family and each family member.
To reflect the diversity of experiences, military professionals have proposed various models of the deployment cycle to assist families in the transition. Although each model has some unique differences, there are at least five phases that are common across models: pre-deployment, deployment, sustainment, preparation (also known as redeployment), and reunification (or home-coming). Recognizing that each family is unique, this deployment cycle, as summarized below, is intended not as a rule-book but as a helpful guide to families as they experience deployment of a parent.