A version of this article appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of Erikson on Children under the headline “Serving on the home front.”
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The turmoil of a parent’s deployment or homecoming can stress and upset young children in military families. They may struggle with sleep­ing, aggression, or separating from a caregiver as they try to process the changes in their family.

With the support of a Prince Charitable Trust grant, the Center for Children and Families is offering free parent-child therapy services to Chicago-area families with children through the age of five affected by their parent’s deployment.

The trauma-informed therapy will help these children deal with the absence, the remain­ing caregiver’s increased stress, and their parent’s pos­sible combat-related trauma, such as physical injury or post-traumatic stress disorder.

In addition to directly serv­ing families, the Center has forged close relationships with Chicago-area military, National Guard, and veterans organiza­tions, as well as child care providers and pediatricians, to share information on the unique needs of young children in mili­tary families.

Military families can contact Cassandra Ward, military fam­ilies intake specialist, at (312) 893-7203, for more information.