MILITARY FAMILY SPECIALIST

boots (1) (1)CWLA, in partnership with Boots on Ground Consulting, Inc., is pleased to offer a Military Family Specialist Certificate in working with military members, veterans, and their families.

Background

Men and women who serve in the military volunteer to provide an essential service to society at enormous personal risk. Military members and their families are resilient and demonstrate many strengths. They also confront unique challenges. Some of the features of military life, such as deployment and combat injury or death of a service member, can have far reaching effects on the service member and the immediate and extended family as well. As military members are expected to be at the highest state of readiness to protect and defend the nation, likewise, social workers and other professionals should be prepared to provide the highest quality support and services to address challenges they and their families face as a result of their service. This distinctive certificate program will prepare professionals to understand the unique features of military life and to respond to the needs of this population with culturally competent and effective services.

How to Obtain the Military Family Specialist Certificate

Candidates for the Military Family Specialist Certificate must complete six required and two elective courses. The program is designed to be flexible in meeting the needs of practicing professionals by offering on-line courses and in-person seminars. Each course provides the opportunity to earn CEU credits. A total of 97 CEU credits are needed to obtain the certificate. Holders of the Military Family Specialist Certificate are expected to complete a refresher course every three years to maintain the Certificate. The required and elective course offerings are listed below.

Required Courses

Candidates for the Military Family Specialist Certificate are required to complete the following courses:

  • Boot Camp: An Introduction to Military History, Culture, and Customs (15 CEU credits) 

In this module students will learn about the five branches of the military, their rank structures, and the unique issues facing current and former service members and their families. This course introduces candidates to military culture through a 2.5 day “Boot Camp” located on a military installation. This “total immersion” approach provides the foundation for future coursework.

  • Deployment I – Leaving and During Deployment (10 CEU credits) 

This online course addresses military member and family issues prior to and during the deployment of a service member.

  • Deployment II – Reintegration (10 CEU credits) 

This online course addresses reintegration of military members and family issues post-deployment.

  • Overview of Mental Health Issues I (10 CEU credits) 

This online course introduces students to issues service members, their children, and caregivers may face in their daily lives. Mental health concerns for military members including depression, PTSD, and anxiety related issues are addressed.

  • Military Family Systems (10 CEU credits) 

This online course requires students to demonstrate their knowledge of: 1) the distinct characteristics of the military family system (MFS); 2) how lifespan development of the MFS is impacted by military life; 3) unique aspects and needs of the military spouse/child and caregiver experience, including kinship care; and 4) several key issues that surround the safety of the MFS such as domestic violence and child abuse/neglect.

  • Employment, Homelessness, & Community Resources (10 CEU credits) 

This online course introduces students to issues service members, families, and caregivers experience upon a service member’s return to civilian life.

  • Application and Demonstration of Skills to Work with Military Families (12 CEU credits) 

Candidates complete the program by returning to a military installation for a 2-day course designed to transfer learning to a practice setting. In this course candidates will demonstrate skills through role play with a service member and development of assessment and treatment planning related to their specific professional roles.

Elective Credits

Candidates for the Military Family Specialist Certificate are required to earn 20 CEU credits through completing two elective courses. Currently offered elective courses are listed below.

  • Mental Health Issues II (10 CEU credits) 

This online course builds upon knowledge developed in Mental Health Issues I by addressing additional mental health issues for military family members, including children.

  • Military Sexual Trauma (10 CEU credits) 

This online course addresses sexual trauma within the military and includes a review of current military policies at both the unit and national levels.

  • Diversity in the Military (10 CEU credits)

This online course addresses issues of diversity that are distinctive to the military setting.

  • Women in the Military (10 CEU credits)

This online course addresses the role of women in the military, including gender inequality and gender discrimination.

Post-Certificate Credits

Holders of the Military Family Specialist Certificate are expected to complete an online course within 3 years of receiving the Certificate to remain current in military protocol, policies, and emerging issues for military members and their families.

  • Post-Certificate Refresher (10 CEU credits)

This online course provides knowledge and skills regarding changes in military policy, protocol, and emerging issues for military members and their families. Military Family Specialist Certificate holders are expected to complete this course every three years in order to remain current on military issues and to maintain their Military Family Specialist Certificate.