Military Family Liaison: Role and Responsibilities
The role of a Military Family Liaison is to act as a school’s primary point-of-contact for the needs of military families. Military-connected students can move six to nine times during their parent or guardian’s military career. These students can face hardships brought on by frequent moves, a service member’s absence due to deployment and the difficulties of post-deployment reintegration. Some of the support provided to military families can also be extended to students with other military connections such as siblings and extended family. Veteran families may need support due to lasting effects from military service. The Military Family Liaison is an optional position that can be added to an existing position’s workload. Schools that take on the responsibilities listed here are eligible for the Purple Star Designation.
Military Family Liaison responsibilities include:
The responsibilities listed below are designed to guide the liaison to create a culture that is inviting to military families and provide direct support. Liaisons can create a team of building staff, community groups, parents and, at times, students to help carry out these responsibilities.
Complete professional development on special considerations for military-connected youth: Professional development is available for liaisons to learn about the unique needs of military-connected students and what resources are available. New liaisons can complete the “Military Children in Ohio’s Schools” course available in the Learning Management System. Access the Learning Management System using an OH ID account. If a liaison is not able to create an OH ID account, the Military Child Education Coalition offers a free eight-part virtual learning opportunity for education professionals.
Liaisons renewing their Purple Star designation need to provide evidence of continuing professional development. This can come from any source. Some examples include:
Identifies and informs teachers and support staff of military-connected students and their needs: Federal law requires schools to identify and report students who have a parent or legal guardian who is a member of the Armed Forces each year. Identifying military families promotes visibility and helps liaisons connect military families and students to resources. Liaisons need to know how this process works in their school and create communication methods to inform key building staff and classroom teachers about military-connected students. Visit the Identification of Military Connected Students webpage for more information.
- Maintain a dedicated webpage featuring resources for military families: When moving, many military families learn about their new school community online. A webpage directed toward military families can provide valuable information to support a family during their transition. The webpage needs to be easily accessible either from a school or district homepage. Contact information for the Military Family Liaison should be included on the webpage. If a district webpage is used, include contact information for liaisons at each building. Consider including information about enrollment, school supports and links to community organizations to support transition to school. Publicizing school events and resources that support military families on social media provides visibility in the community and gives another way for military families to learn about resources and events. Examples of resources can be found on the Students and Families Affiliated with the Military and Information for Schools about Military-Connected Students webpages.
Implement social and emotional development programs with the military child in mind: Examples of these programs include a monthly club for military-connected students, lunch groups and regular check-ins between the liaison and identified students. At the individual student level, this can include connecting students with counselors or mentors that provide support during times of difficulty.
Create a peer-to-peer transition program: These programs train student ambassadors to provide tours and engage in fun activities with all students that are new to the school, changing schools or experiencing family deployment. Programs that welcome new students create a welcoming environment for students and help build peer connections. These programs also provide service and leadership opportunities for student ambassadors. Schools can create their own local program or receive training and support from organizations such as Student 2 Student or Anchored 4 Life. The Boomerang Project provides professional development to schools on creating programs specifically for middle and high schools.
Celebrate the Month of the Military Child (MOMC): A high point of the year in celebrating military-connected students is in April with the Month of the Military Child. During this month, many schools put on celebration events that include military themed spirit weeks, Purple Up Day and other special recognition events. The organizations listed below publish toolkits and ideas:
- Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC)
- Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3)
- Military OneSource
- U.S. Department of Defense
The activities listed here correlate to the earning of the Purple Star Designation. The resources listed here are not exhaustive and liaisons can be creative in how they meet these responsibilities. For questions or concerns, contact Purplestar@education.ohio.gov.
Last Modified: 12/4/2023 3:00:15 PM