Support Networks for IA Sailors and their Families
Resources for Navy IA Sailors and their families come generally in the form of Support and/or Services. Support Networks provide answers, advice and community for those left behind by their deployed IA Sailors. Services are those resources which attempt to provide specific products or aid and are covered separately on this page. The support resources described below are broken into three categories:
- CIAC & Ombudsman: Your primary, "real person" point-of-contact (POC) for personal and family issues
- Brick-and-Mortar Bases for Support: Organizations providing support activities for families that meet in person
- Online Communities: Sites providing information and virtual community for IA Sailors and their families
1. CIAC, Ombudsman & IDSS
The first Point of Contact (POC) for IA Sailors and their families is the Command IA Coordinator (CIAC). The CIAC should be checking in with both the Sailor and the family each month and is tasked to be the primary clearing house for information and assistance that IA Sailors and their families might need during the mobilization. The other leading POC specifically for family is the command ombudsman. The command ombudsman is a spouse of a Sailor from your local command who has volunteered to help other spouses with any issues that might come up, especially when their IA Sailor is deployed. Finally, every IA Sailor will also have an Individual Deployment Support Specialist (IDSS) assigned, whose job it is to help the IA Sailor's family during the deployment.
The CIAC and the Ombudsman are your most local and direct sources of help, based out of your parent command. The IDSS operates at a regional level. All of these can make contact with your parent commands senior leadership if needed to resolve issues quickly before they become serious. Early resolution or mitigation of issues is everyone's goal, for both the good of the family and the good of the IA Sailor -- keeping the one cared for so that the other can stay focused on executing the mission and coming home safely when it's done.
2. Brick-and-Mortar Bases for Support
3. Online Communities
- Military OneSource - Education, relocation, parenting, stress - you name it - Military OneSource is here to help you with just about any need. Available by phone or online, this free service is provided by the Department of Defense for active-duty, Guard, Reserve service members, and their families. The service is completely private and confidential, with few exceptions.
- Spouse Buzz - The internet's largest community of military spouses. Provides information, resources and a community to help spouses survive the toughest times and enjoy the adventures of military life (formerly CinCHouse.com).
- The Silent Rank Sisterhood - An online community for spouses of service members that in addition to blog, discussion and resources also coordinates in-person events (often with childcare) in the Washington DC metropolitan area.
- National Military Family Association - NMFA, "The Voice for Military Families," is dedicated to providing information to and representing the interests of family members of the uniformed services on which our national security depends. Its website provides extensive information for military families and those who service them.
- Vets 4 Warriors - Since 2010, thousands of service members have found confidential assistance using our Peer Support Line. Who better to understand the challenges of military life than someone who has lived it? Veterans provide support to military members, engaging them in a personal, non-threatening way. Peer support service is confidential and caller information will not be shared with the military or the VA. Also hosts links to health and employment services.
- Naval Services FamilyLine - Naval Services FamilyLine is an organization of Navy Family volunteers who believe in sharing their experience, strength, and hope as military spouses. They are available to answer your questions, provide education, and offer free publications.
- Navy Knowledge Online Spouse Net - This is a password protected site which requires registration information. To register, follow the posted guidance.
- National Resource Directory - An online partnership for wounded, ill and injured service members, veterans, their families and those who support them. The NRD is a partnership among the Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs. It provides access to services and resources at the national, state and local levels that support recovery, rehabilitation and community reintegration.
- MilitaryKidsConnect (MKC) is an online community of military children (ages 6-17) providing access to age-appropriate resources to support children from pre-deployment, through a parent's or caregiver's return. MKC offers activities, games, videos and user surveys that can guide and reinforce understanding, resilience, and coping skills in military children and their peers.
- FOCUS World helps military families become stronger in the face of challenges by providing both parents and kids a fun place to learn and practice important skills, such as listening and responding to each other’s concerns, including those related to deployment and reintegration.
- The MISSION: Youth Outreach partnership supports military youth, ages 6–18, coping with a deployed parent or parents by creating a positive, supportive network. Visit the website or call 1-800-854-CLUB.
- Operation: Military Kids - Creating community connections and touching lives . . . before, during and after deployment.
- Military Child Education Coalition provides professional development opportunities on working with military populations for school personnel and community members making them aware of the stressors that can be associated with a military deployment.
- Sesame Workshop Talk, Listen, Connect addresses issues related to multiple deployments, family changes that occur when a parent is physically or psychologically injured, and the loss of a parent.
- Courage to Care Courage to Talk - The injuries of war — combat or non combat-related, visible or invisible — are life-changing events for the injured, their families and children. Family and friends play a vital role in the recovery process, especially that of talking and listening. Courage to Talk provides resources to assist in having these challenging conversations.
- A Backpack Journalist provides curriculum, workshops and events for Military Youth age groups 6-11 and 12-18 to assist them through the deployment cycle into reintegration.
- Let’s Move! works to combat the epidemic of childhood obesity through engaging every sector impacting a child’s health and providing simple tools to help kids be more active, eat better and get healthy.
- StopBullying.gov is devoted to bullying prevention and education and provides information on how kids, teens, young adults, parents, educators and others in the community can prevent or stop bullying.
- Navy Operational Stress Control: Recognizing how well you are navigating the stress in your life is an important indicator of your health and mission readiness.
- The Navy IA Facebook page.
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