Military Families in San Diego County Needs Assessment November 2010 Conceived and commissioned by

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2 Military Families in San Diego County Needs Assessment November 2010 Conceived and commissioned by

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4 "It is a pleasure to greet you and express my support for the Military Families Initiative started by Promises2Kids. As the Chairwoman for the Military Personnel Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, it is my honor to serve the interests of military personnel and their families. The Military Families Initiative will provide vital, independent analysis of the needs and priorities of our Armed Forces, laying the foundation for meaningful, joint planning to foster a healthier environment for military families." -Hon. Susan A. Davis, Member of Congress, Chair, Military Personnel Subcommittee, House Armed Services Committee. Excerpt from Letter to Promises2Kids, 22 June 2009 "...We know that the needs of our military families are only going to grow. Our forces and their families face more deployments... And we see an America where more Americans not only understand the service and sacrifices of our troops and their families, but where more Americans take action to help lighten that load...i'm issuing a national challenge - a challenge to every sector of American society to mobilize and take action to support and engage our military families. One percent of Americans may be fighting our wars, but we need 100 percent of Americans to support them and their families. This is a challenge to communitybased organizations." - First Lady Michelle Obama, transcript of comments made on 12 May 2010

5 Table of Contents Page Executive Summary 1 Chart of Military Factors, Findings & Recommendations a-k Project Genesis & Methodology 7 Military Personnel and Families in San Diego County 8 The Human Presence - Active Duty Personnel and Families 8 Demographic Characteristics of Active Duty Personnel 10 Demographic Characteristics of Active Duty Families 12 The Deployment Cycle 16 Differences Between Navy and Marines 17 What s Out There: Existing Services 20 Focus Groups 23 Military Family Factors 30 Factor 1: Duration and Frequency of Deployment: Spouse 31 Factor 2: Duration and Frequency of Deployment: Child 35 Factor 3: Mental Health 42 Factor 4: Housing Location 46 Factor 5: Communication 48 Factor 6: Family Violence & Abuse 50 Factor 7: Families with Special Needs Members 55 Factor 8: San Diego Specific Concerns 57 General Considerations 63 Significant Disabling Injury 65 Strategies/Recommendations Detail 69 Bibliography 80 Appendix 1: The Physical Presence - Navy and Marine Corps Installations and Assignments in San Diego County 84 Appendix 2: What's Out There - A Partial Inventory of Services for Military Families in 92 San Diego County Tables, Charts & Maps 113

6 Executive Summary "Multiple and extended deployments and the high operational pace of the current conflicts are unparalleled for the US military's all-volunteer force." 1 The United States now approaches a decade-long period of historically unprecedented stress on military families attributable primarily to sustained and significant national commitments to Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) in Iraq. This protracted stressful tempo is taking a toll on our military families. A report ordered by Congress last year and sent to Defense Secretary Robert Gates in August said the service branches' prevention programs are inefficient. The 14-member panel of military and civilian doctors recommended dozens of changes, including the creation of a high-level office to set strategy and coordinate prevention programs across branches. 2 San Diego County's military community is an immense physical and human presence. Military installations cover nearly 6 percent of the County's vast 4,261 square miles. San Diego's military installations exist as a dominant feature on land and water and in the air in many of the County's most heavily populated areas. Navy and Marine Corps installations border or bisect many major freeways, define the County's northern border, and dominate San Diego's large bay. Although less than 1 percent of the entire U.S. population 3 lives in San Diego County, the region is home to more than 8% of the Active Duty U.S. military population. Notably, 110,728 4 Active Duty personnel are stationed in San Diego County. This military-related population of 229,024 represents 7.6 percent of the estimated total 3,001,072 population. 5 Nearly 17 percent of all Active Duty Navy personnel and nearly 30 percent of all Active Duty Marine Corps personnel are stationed in San Diego County. An estimated 56,096 of San Diego s Active Duty personnel have families 118,296 family members. 6 San Diego County's military families are the focus of this Report an estimated total population of 174,392. About This Assessment This assessment examines current San Diego military community needs - specifically the particular considerations, challenges, and concerns of military families with children. The assessment is informed not only by extensive data and literature, but also by input from 1 "Children on the Homefront: The Experience of Children From Military Families" published online in Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, 7 December 2009, authored by Rand Corporation, commissioned by the National Military Families Association: 2 MSNBC (2010) Ford Hood Reports Record Suicides, at Associated Press. 3 U.S. Census Bureau, 308,591,926 as of 31 January 2010, at 4 Includes only U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps Active Duty Service members, who comprise the significant and primary, but not exclusive, Active Duty presence in San Diego County 5 U.S. Census Bureau, 2008 estimate, at 6 See Table 1 footnotes for an explanation of Active Duty and family member sources and estimates Promises2Kids Military Families Support Initiative: Needs Assessment 1

7 military and civilian agencies and individuals working to support military families, as well as the voices of military families. The approach was collaborative and sought to balance quantitative data and research-based literature with qualitative input and personal perspective. San Diego County's military population is diverse, featuring not just Navy and Marine Corps personnel, but also Reserves, veterans, and comparatively small numbers of personnel from other service branches, most notably the Coast Guard. The focus of this Assessment was limited to Active Duty Navy and Marine Corps families, which are the vast majority of San Diego County's military population and by far the largest population most likely to be most affected by OIF/OEF deployment cycle challenges. The Purpose The purpose of the Military Families Support Initiative Assessment Report is to better prepare San Diego County to help support the well being and stability needs of military families. The Military Families Support Initiative includes three phases. Phase I consisted of this Assessment Report, intended to comprehensively inform regarding needs and characteristics of military families in San Diego County. Phases II and III call for refinement of plans, implementation of funding, and dissemination of resources to support plan implementation. San Diego County's military family population is distinctly different in characteristics, experience, circumstance, perspective, and need from the general civilian population. Normative military family stress factors have been compounded by a distinctly atypical deployment cycle which appears correlated to negative, significant, and cumulative impacts. San Diego County's military family population has unmet support needs. A combination of improved data gathering and information sharing, resource development, coordinated support enhancement, and informed advocacy would benefit San Diego's military families. A sustained coordinated structure is requisite to achieving these positive outcomes. Limitations Significant efforts were made to secure the accuracy and integrity of data and information presented in this assessment. Data regarding San Diego County's military family population is a best estimate of a constantly changing picture. That said, military family population and demographic data presented are the most informed estimates possible given best available data sources vetted by official sources. Research findings were carefully presented and copiously sourced. Qualitative personal input from focus groups and key informant interviews is likewise sourced to the maximum extent possible without compromising confidentiality assurances made to focus group participants Promises2Kids Military Families Support Initiative: Needs Assessment 2

8 Summary of Recommendations The final task of this assessment report was to develop recommendations on how best to assist military families and their children. These recommendations are presented as specifically detailed opportunities categorized under six strategies: 1. Strengthen community and civilian agency capacity to help meet the needs of military families. Convene a Military Families Support Forum and provide information to the public. Create a multi-agency military and civilian structure to update the assessment report and ensure data is kept up to date. Establish training programs for civilian organizations serving military families. 2. Develop information resources (directory) and methods to track critical data and share information among the military and civilian population. Support existing efforts to track military family data among community-based organizations and schools. Develop and maintain Military Families Support Services Directory. Develop a "Families Also Serve" public awareness campaign. 3. Work with school districts and School Liaison Officers to strengthen the role of schools as an engagement and access point for military families. Additional site-based counselor (School Liaison Officers) at schools with high enrollment of students from military families. Provide support for military parent activities at elementary schools with high military student enrollment. Support school site-based academic tutors who have an understanding of military culture for schools with high enrollment of students from military families. 4. Promote communications and self-advocacy for military families. Select and implement programs and models to promote ongoing communication to and from military families in San Diego County. Use targeted "word of mouth" campaigns to connect military families with available support programs and services. 5. Provide specific, targeted assistance tailored to military families with children age zero to five. Identify ways to provide "Respite" child care for all San Diego County military families with children age 0-5 during deployments. Support evidence-based parent support programs for military families. 6. Strengthen access to community-based counseling and mental health services for military families Promises2Kids Military Families Support Initiative: Needs Assessment 3

9 Identify, improve, and augment existing community-based mental health services to more specifically address the needs of military families. Offer training in military cultural competence. Offer training in diagnosing and treating combat-related mental health illnesses and disorders for all community-based mental health service providers serving military families. The recommendations offered are not exhaustive. Nonetheless, they are an extensive menu of substantive, actionable directions consonant with the information and analysis in this assessment report. It is anticipated that effective, community-based partnerships will be able to do the majority of the work using this assessment as a basis for informed advocacy, resource development, and capacity building. Aside from some critical data-related needs, the recommendations focus on initiatives substantially implementable by civilian entities. This assessment report is intended to apprise the community about San Diego's military families and serve as a foundation for additional efforts, including strengthening informed community partnerships, securing private and public resources, and effectively directing resources in support of effective programs and services for military families. The report gives an initial overview of characteristics of military personnel and families in San Diego, a summary of existing services and the results of focus groups with military families in San Diego. It is followed by a break down of 8 Key Factors, which most affect military families. Within these factors are subcategories including: Areas of Concern; Findings; Key Resources; Existing Gaps; Strategy/Recommendations; Tasks; and Suggested Providers/Collaborators. The Chart of Military Factors, Findings and Recommendations is a snapshot of the report and a quick reference guide. The assessment report is designed to help providers make informed decisions in planning and implementing support programs and services for military families. Conclusion Strengthening our military family population means strengthening our community. The Department of Defense and the military provide services that address a broad range of issues; however, military families also need access to community-based resources and support, particularly for those military families who do not live within proximity of support services. Access to human service programs is essential to help military families deal with personal and family challenges and to help them to adapt to unique military challenges which include extended deployments, separation, reunification and frequent relocation. Effective collaborations among civic organizations, nonprofits, local government agencies, and businesses are critical to the creation of a strong network of support for military families within and across communities and certainly the key to realizing the full potential of the Promises2Kids Military Families Support Initiative. A strong network of formal and informal community connections is fundamental for promoting and sustaining military family resilience. Both the military services and society as a whole share responsibility for creating an environment that helps these families meet the demands and hardships of military life. -National Council on Family Relations 2010 Promises2Kids Military Families Support Initiative: Needs Assessment 4

10 \ Our Military Families at a Glance Active Duty personnel and families have distinctive characteristics that contrast to the San Diego County civilian population. ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY VS. CIVILIAN POPULATION AT A GLANCE 7 Navy Marine Corps San Diego County Officer Enlisted Officer Enlisted Civilian Population Totals 55,908 54,820 Male 7,393 40,331 5,453 45,924 Female 1,281 6, ,108 3,001,072 Average Age Percent of Active Duty with 70.4% 54.1% 69.0% 41.7% Family Responsibilities Percent Married 55.1% 45.1% 41.2% 8 Education High School Diploma or GED 99.9% 98.4% 99.9% 98.4% 85.1% Bachelors Degree 87.3% 3.9% 87.3% 3.9% 33.8% The estimated number of military family members in San Diego County exceeds the Active Duty population. ACTIVE DUTY FAMILY MEMBERS IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY AT A GLANCE 9 Navy Marine Corps Totals 10 Spouses 26,203 19,957 46,160 Children ,757 13,569 31, ,757 8,398 22, ,725 5,144 15, , ,409 Other Dependents ,296 7 Data drawn from tables and discussion embedded and sourced throughout this document. 8 For the U.S. Population as a whole, age Data drawn from tables and discussion embedded and sourced throughout this document. 10 Numbers may not total precisely due to rounding errors 2010 Promises2Kids Military Families Support Initiative: Needs Assessment 5

11 Mil Military Family Factor Areas of Concern Findings Key Resources Gap Recommended Strategy Tasks Recommended Provider/ Collaborating Organizations 1. Duration and Frequency of Deployment (Spouse) Stress management before, during and after deployments Reunification struggles Repetitive nature of deployment cycle exact a particular toll Spouses and children face emotional and logistical challenge of redefining family structure during all phases. roles and routines must be renegotiated conflicting expectations and perceptions may have to be reconciled as a family tries to return to normal challenge to families supporting, engaging, and re-integrating the service member before, during, and after deployment Fleet and Family Support Military One SAY San Diego Military Homefront F.O.C.U.S. Navy Child Youth Program Military Family Life Consultants Armed Services YMCA Awareness of information and existing resources and services. Strategy #5 Provide specific, targeted assistance tailored to military families with children age zero to five. Strategy #6 Strengthen access to communitybased counseling and mental health services for military families. Strategy #2 Develop information resources (directory) and methods to track critical data and share information among the military and civilians. 1. Identify ways to provide "Respite" child care for all San Diego County military families with children ages 0-5 during deployments. 2. Identify evidencebased parent support programs for military families soliciting help from The First 5 Commission. 3. Identify, improve and augment existing community-based mental health services to more specifically address the needs of military families. 4. Develop and provide Resource Directories. Promises2Kids First 5 Commission Military Armed Services YMCA SAY San Diego 211 United Way 2010 Promises2Kids Military Families Support Initiative: Needs Assessment a

12 Mil Military Family Factor Areas of Concern Findings Key Resources Gap Recommended Strategy Tasks Recommended Provider/ Collaborating Organizations 2. Duration and Frequency of Deployment (Child) Psychological counseling support for children Affordable and accessible extracurricular programs Accessible child care. School engagement Academic, Child gender makes significant differences in shaping difficulties faced by children Age of children influences type of difficulties Challenges include learning to navigate new systems and services, meeting differing state and district standards, adapting to new social and learning environments. Academic transitions and Fleet and Family Support Military One SAY San Diego Military Homefront F.O.C.U.S. Navy Child Youth Program Awareness of information and existing resources and services. Strategy #3 Work with school districts and School Liaison Officers to strengthen the role of schools as an engagement and access point for military families. Strategy #3 Work with school districts and School Liaison Officers to strengthen the role of schools as an engagement and access point for military families. Strategy #5 Provide specific, targeted assistance tailored to military families with children age Identify providers willing to support Family Readiness Group meetings (meeting of spouses during deployment) with food or meeting space. Work with School Liaison Officers to identify needs and advocate for support based on those needs. Support and advocate for full time site based counselor(s) (School Liaison Officers) for military students at schools with high military student enrollment. Provide support for Promises2Kids School Districts Military Armed Services YMCA First 5 Commission SAY San Diego 211 United Way 2010 Promises2Kids Military Families Support Initiative: Needs Assessment b

13 Mil Military Family Factor Areas of Concern Findings Key Resources Gap Recommended Strategy Tasks Recommended Provider/ Collaborating Organizations 3. Mental Health extracurricular, and emotional support resources for children Accessibility to individual, family and school disruptions faced by military children have been correlated to achievement outcomes..attendance problems as a significant barrier to academic achievement Prevalence of ADHD diagnosis among children and perceived tendency to medicate rather than counsel. Discussions with school administrators with high student military enrollment indicate attendance problems associated with deployments. Stress is cumulative for children [and]will increase in complexity and severity Mental health considerations of military Military Family Life Consultants Armed Services YMCA School Liaison Officers Fleet and Family Support Awareness of current information Strategy #6 Strengthen access to community- military parent activities at elementary schools with high military student enrollment. Support school sitebased academic tutors who have an understanding of military culture for schools with high military student enrollment. Identify, improve, and augment existing community-based mental health Promises2Kids Military 2010 Promises2Kids Military Families Support Initiative: Needs Assessment c

14 Mil Military Family Factor Areas of Concern Findings Key Resources Gap Recommended Strategy Tasks Recommended Provider/ Collaborating Organizations counseling information and services Perceived military cultural issues associated with receiving counseling Counseling and respite for spouse. Reunification personnel returning from deployment. Service members can perceive accessing mental health services as both an unacceptable admission of personal weakness and a threat to their career. deteriorating caregiver mental health may exacerbate child difficulties during deployment and reintegration period Military One SAY San Diego Military Homefront F.O.C.U.S. Navy Child Youth Program Military Family Life Consultants Armed Services YMCA District Schools and resources and services. Stigma (cultural). Education and Outreach based counseling and mental health services for military families. Strategy #1 Strengthen community and civilian agency capacity to help meet the needs of military families. services to more specifically address the needs of military families. Offer training in military cultural competence Offer training in diagnosing and treating combatrelated mental health illnesses and disorders for all community-based mental health service providers serving military families. Convene a Military Families Support Forum and provide information to the public. School Liaisons School Districts SAY San Diego Armed Services YMCA Veterans Organizations 2010 Promises2Kids Military Families Support Initiative: Needs Assessment d

15 Mil Military Family Factor Areas of Concern Findings Key Resources Gap Recommended Strategy Tasks Recommended Provider/ Collaborating Organizations 4. Housing Location Access to communitybased housing resource Information Isolation from other military families/peers (for those living off base) 70%-80% of military families live off base.correlation of living off base with increased deployment challenges. Navy Housing Onestop Marine Corps Facilities Branch Housing Management School Liaisons Automated Housing Referral Network Fleet and Family Support Funding Awareness of information and existing services and programs. Strategy #2 Develop information resources (directory) and methods to track critical data and share information among the military and civilian population. Strategy #3 Work with school districts and School Liaison Officers to strengthen the role of schools as an engagement and access point for military families. Develop and maintain a San Diego County Military Family Support Services Directory. Provide support for military parent activities at elementary schools with high military student enrollment. Recruit and train volunteers to assist. Promises2Kids Military School Liaisons School Districts SAY San Diego Armed Services YMCA Strategy 6 Strengthen access to communitybased counseling and mental health services Promises2Kids Military Families Support Initiative: Needs Assessment e

16 Mil Military Family Factor Areas of Concern Findings Key Resources Gap Recommended Strategy Tasks Recommended Provider/ Collaborating Organizations 5. Communication Peer connections (particularly for those living off base) Communitybased support/resourc e information (particularly for those living off base). Dissemination of information to multicultural communities Word of mouth [from other military families] is preferred method of receiving information about programs and opportunities. Perception that civilian service providers cannot help because they lack relevant military experience. Structural and demographic differences between Navy and Marine carry significant implications for the nature, targeting, and provision of support services. Fleet and Family Support Military One SAY San Diego Military Homefront F.O.C.U.S. Navy Child Youth Program Military Family Life Consultants Armed Services YMCA Awareness of current information and resources and services, particularly for those families living in communities where access might be difficult. Availability of multilingual resource information Strategy #2 Develop information resources (directory) and methods to track critical data and share information among the military and civilian population. Strategy #4 Promote communications and self-advocacy for military families. Develop and maintain a San Diego County Military Family Support Services Directory (available in several languages). Select and implement programs and models to promote ongoing communication to and from military families in San Diego County. (PSA s, investigate program models to promote sustained communications to and from military families (Ex: Blue Star Families, The Promotora). Promises2Kids Military SAY San Diego Veterans Organizations Blue Star Families Identify means to 2010 Promises2Kids Military Families Support Initiative: Needs Assessment f

17 Mil Military Family Factor Areas of Concern Findings Key Resources Gap Recommended Strategy Tasks Recommended Provider/ Collaborating Organizations disseminate information and provide outreach to multicultural communities. 6. Family Violence and Abuse Prevention services Individual and family counseling Outreach/raise awareness regarding domestic violence and abuse Risk of child abuse elevated during deployment. The rate of substantiated reports of child maltreatment in families of enlisted soldiers was found to be 42 percent higher when military families were at war than when they were at home. It is critical (although difficult due to military culture) to identify and address family violence risk factors as part of efforts to support San Diego military families. Elevated risk of domestic violence is [singled out in research] a post-deployment concern. Fleet and Family Support Military One SAY San Diego Military Homefront F.O.C.U.S. Navy Child Youth Program Military Family Life Consultants Education about family violence/ abuse Information access on resources/ser vices available. Funding Strategy #6 Strengthen access to communitybased counseling and mental health services for military families. Strategy #5 Provide specific, targeted assistance tailored to military families with children age zero to five. Strategy #1 Strengthen community and civilian agency capacity to help meet the needs of Identify, improve, and augment existing community-based mental health services to more specifically address the needs of military families (such as individual counseling, family/couples counseling, support groups and ageappropriate counseling for teens and tweens). Identify ways to provide "Respite" child care for all San Diego County military families with children County Child Welfare Services Promises2Kids Military First 5 Commission Center for Community Solutions SAY San Diego Armed Services YMCA Veterans Organizations 2010 Promises2Kids Military Families Support Initiative: Needs Assessment g

18 Mil Military Family Factor Areas of Concern Findings Key Resources Gap Recommended Strategy Tasks Recommended Provider/ Collaborating Organizations Armed Services YMCA military families. Strategy #4 Promote communications and self-advocacy for military families. age 0-5 during deployments. Convene a Military Families Forum and provide information to the public with representation from senior Navy and Marine Corps command. 7. Military Families with Special Needs Members Specific services unique to military families with special needs members The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is for military families with physically, mentally, or emotionally disabled members who require special medical or educational services. EFMP Fleet and Family Support Schools Awareness of information and existing resources and services. Strategy #1 Strengthen community and civilian agency capacity to help meet the needs of military families. Select and implement programs and models to promote ongoing communication to and from military families in San Diego County. Convene a Military Families Forum and provide information to the public. Promises2Kids Military Armed Services YMCA 2010 Promises2Kids Military Families Support Initiative: Needs Assessment h

19 Mil Military Family Factor Areas of Concern Findings Key Resources Gap Recommended Strategy Tasks Recommended Provider/ Collaborating Organizations Enrollment ensures that members are assigned to areas where special requirements are met. The Navy estimates a total of nearly 3,000 dependents are enrolled in EFMP in San Diego County. The Marine Corps estimates roughly 2,500 enrolled dependents. The above numbers represent nearly 5 percent of the total estimated active duty family members in San Diego County. Different approaches and processes to EFMP exist between Navy and Marine Corps. Strategy #6 Strengthen access to communitybased counseling and mental health services for military families. Strategy #2. Develop information resources (directory) and methods to track critical data and share information among the military and civilian population. Identify, improve, and augment existing community-based mental health services to more specifically address the needs of military families (counseling for teens and tweens). Create directory of resources (families with special needs members). Veterans Organizations 2010 Promises2Kids Military Families Support Initiative: Needs Assessment i

20 Mil Military Family Factor Areas of Concern Findings Key Resources Gap Recommended Strategy Tasks Recommended Provider/ Collaborating Organizations 8. San Diego- Specific Local Considerations Affordable housing Counseling and financial-related stress management Resource information to access discount/low cost goods and services in San Diego San Diego County is an expensive place to live. Various estimates put San Diego s cost of living between 30 and 50 percent above national averages. Even in the wake of dramatic recessionary decline in real estate values, housing affordability is still a major regional issue. In August 2001 the Department of Defense entered into a groundbreaking public private partnership led by Lincoln Property Company. This was reportedly the first public/private venture for military housing in the United States. Basic Pay and Basic Allowance for Housing amount to between Fleet and Family Support Military One SAY San Diego Military Homefront & Military Installations F.O.C.U.S. Navy Child Youth Program Military Family Life Consultants Armed Services YMCA School School, ageappropriate counseling tailored to military children. Resource information on services/prog rams and discount/low cost goods in San Diego Transportation High Cost of Living Strategy #3 Work with school districts and School Liaison Officers to strengthen the role of schools as an engagement and access point for military families. Strategy #6 Strengthen access to communitybased counseling and mental health services for military families. Strategy #1 Strengthen community and civilian agency capacity to help meet the needs of military families. Support and advocate for additional full time site based counselor(s) (School Liaison Officers) for military students at schools with high military student enrollment. Provide support for military parent activities at elementary schools with high military student enrollment.. Support school sitebased academic tutors who have an understanding of military culture for schools with high military student enrollment. Promises2Kids Military Fleet and Family Support Armed Services YMCA Child Welfare Agency County SAY San Diego School Districts 2010 Promises2Kids Military Families Support Initiative: Needs Assessment j

21 Mil Military Family Factor Areas of Concern Findings Key Resources Gap Recommended Strategy Tasks Recommended Provider/ Collaborating Organizations $38,779 and $59,072 per year; however, according to the 2008 California Family Economic Self- Sufficiency Standard, the minimum needed by a family with two young children to meet basic needs in San Diego County is $59,450. Median household income for San Diego Families is $63,727. Or $5,310 per month. Districts Homeowners Assistance Program (HAP) Automated Housing Referral Network Transportatio n Incentive Program (TIP) Create opportunities for military resources to utilize local venues to deliver programs to large audience. Identify venues with childcare and sources for dinner/food for evening and weekend programs. Convene a Military Families Forum and provide information to the public Promises2Kids Military Families Support Initiative: Needs Assessment k

22 Project Genesis & Methodology "...there is widespread acknowledgment that, in their own way, families also serve." - American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Military Deployment Services for Youth, Families and Service Members The purpose of the Military Families Support Initiative is to supplement support that is already provided by the military to help support the well being and stability needs of military families. With two wars underway, necessitating significant and extended deployments, our military families face a protracted cycle of both painful separations and challenging reunifications. A comprehensive and coordinated effort to help San Diego County's military families is merited. To accomplish this purpose, a three-phase effort was conceived. Phase I consists of an assessment intended to comprehensively inform regarding needs and characteristics of military families in San Diego County. Phases II and III call for refinement of a plan, implementation of funding efforts, and dissemination of resources to support plan implementation. Phase I produced this assessment report, which includes the following: Development of a multi-disciplinary Task Force including military representatives who advised on information gathering efforts and methodology. Diligent efforts to establish productive data-sharing relationship with local military leadership. Extensive review of existing data sources and relevant research. Focus groups conducted with the target population. Key informant interviews conducted with individuals with knowledge or expertise relevant to the issues, including persons in positions of leadership. The Military Families Support Initiative was conceived by Promises2Kids and funded by the Leichtag Family Foundation. Established in 1981 as the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation, Promises2Kids has a long history of identifying and addressing needs related to the health and wellbeing of San Diego s children and their families. Operating in collaboration with the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego, The Leichtag Family Foundation makes grants to alleviate human hardship, advance selfsufficiency, and promote tolerance and understanding Promises2Kids Military Families Support Initiative: Needs Assessment 7

23 Military Personnel and Families in San Diego County THE HUMAN PRESENCE - ACTIVE DUTY PERSONNEL AND FAMILIES The total number of Active Duty personnel in all branches of U.S. military service is 1,365,571 and an additional 1,864,427 family members. 11 California has the single largest concentration of military personnel and dependents of any state, with at least 149, Active Duty personnel stationed at installations in California. San Diego County is by far the largest geographic concentration within California, with 110,728 Active Duty personnel and 118,296 family members. This population of 229,024 represents 7.6 percent of the estimated total 3,001,072 population of San Diego County. 13 San Diego County is home to nearly 17 percent of all Active Duty Navy personnel and nearly 30 percent of all Active Duty Marine Corps personnel. More than 8 percent of all active duty personnel in the U.S. military are stationed in San Diego County (See Table 1 under Tables, Charts and Maps Section). This report of military families does not include Coast Guard or the nearly 60,000 military veterans estimated to be living in San Diego County. 14 Report figures do not count Reserve personnel, as our focus in this Assessment is on deployment-related stressors and attendant needs and issues. Selected Reserve members train throughout the year and participate annually in Active Duty training exercises. Total Navy Selected Reserve is 69,933 and total Marine Corps Selected Reserve is 38, Total family members of Navy and Marine Corps Selected Reserve are, respectively, 113,992 and 26, Using numbers from the Defense Department's Demographics 2007 Report, an estimated 3,265 Navy Selected Reserve and 5,323 Navy Selected Reserve family members live in San Diego County and 1,801 Marine Corps Selected Reserve and 1,216 Marine Corps Selected Reserve family members live in San Diego County Demographics 2007, Profile of the Military Community, published by the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Military Community and Family Policy), data provided by Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC). Family members include: spouses, children, adult dependents, and other dependents under age 21 who are not spouses or children. 12 Demographics 2007, Profile of the Military Community, published by the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Military Community and Family Policy), data provided by DMDC. 13 Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, 2008 estimate, at 14 "The Military By the Numbers: Military Population in San Diego County", SignOnSanDiego.com: 15 Demographics 2007, Profile of the Military Community, published by the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Military Community and Family Policy), data provided by DMDC, p Demographics 2007, Profile of the Military Community, published by the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Military Community and Family Policy), data provided by DMDC, p Precise numbers for the number of Selected Reserve and family members residing in San Diego were not readily available from Defense Manpower Data Center. Estimates for Selected Reserve and family members residing in San Diego are calculated as follows: Page 77 of Demographics 2007, Profile of the Military Community states that 6.9% of total Selected Reserve live in California % or 101,224 of the identified 149,586 Active Duty personnel in California are stationed in San Diego Promises2Kids Military Families Support Initiative: Needs Assessment 8

24 The already significant military presence in San Diego County will likely increase as geopolitical and long-term strategic considerations shift military assets and attention to the West Coast and the Pacific Rim. This is true for both the Navy and Marine Corps. A massive construction campaign is now underway at Navy and Marine Corps installations in San Diego County. New barracks for troops, upgraded runways, and new piers for additional ships are being developed. Numbers are fluid, but some recent estimates are that this shift could result in an additional 20 U.S. Navy ships home ported in San Diego, added to the nearly 60 ships already in the bay - a 30 percent increase. This will of course mean thousands more sailors and their families stationed in San Diego. The same appears true of the Marine Corps. It is anticipated that more than 4,000 additional Marines will be stationed in San Diego County. As a result, San Diego's historic relationship with the military will grow larger. 18 Consequently, the number of Selected Reserve personnel and family members is multiplied by.069 and then by.6767 to derive estimates of those residing in San Diego County. 18 Jeanette Steele, "Military's bootprint in region a big one", The San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 April Doug Myrland and Natalie Walsh, "Military to Invest $5 Billion in Region", These Days, KPBS Radio 89.5 San Diego, 9 June 2009 interview with USN Captain Steve Wirsching, Commanding Officer of Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest: Promises2Kids Military Families Support Initiative: Needs Assessment 9

25 CHARACTERISTICS OF ACTIVE DUTY PERSONNEL San Diego's Active Duty military population presents some interesting contrasts to the general civilian population, with significant differences between both officers and enlisted and between Navy and Marine Corps personnel. On average Active Duty personnel are younger than the civilian population, particularly so for Marine Corps personnel. Median resident age in San Diego County is 34.2 years 19. The average age of Active Duty Navy personnel is The average Marine is 25. Active Duty personnel are more likely to be married, with Navy personnel significantly more likely and Marines just slightly more likely. Active Duty personnel also appear to experience considerably higher divorce rates. Approximately 55.1% of active duty Navy personnel are married percent of active duty Marine Corps personnel are married. (p.29). This is markedly higher than the percentage for the U.S. as a whole, for which 41.2 percent of the population age is married. 20 Since 2000, the percent of married Navy and Marine Corps personnel has increased by 6.7 percent and 1.7 percent respectively. 21 (See Table 3 under Tables, Charts & Maps Section). The divorce rate for Active Duty Navy and Marine Corps personnel is considerably higher than the rate for the total U.S. population, which is.36 percent. It must be noted that the Active Duty age bracket is much smaller than the age bracket for the U.S. as a whole. Nonetheless, a divorce rate 5 to 12 times higher than that of the total U.S. population is worthy of note. The divorce rate for Navy and Marine Corps officers appears stable. However, the increase among enlisted Active Duty, particularly the steady increase among Navy Active Duty, may merit attention. Department of Defense numbers on marital status are estimated by comparing the number of people who indicated that they were married in the preceding year (in this case 2006) but no longer indicate married status in the following year (2007). 19 City-Data.com, San Diego County, CA: 20 U.S. Census: Table A1. Marital Status of People 15 Years and Over, by Age, Sex, Personal Earnings, Race, and Hispanic Origin/1, Demographics 2007, Profile of the Military Community, published by the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Military Community and Family Policy) data provided by DMDC, pp Promises2Kids Military Families Support Initiative: Needs Assessment 10

26 CHART 1 22 ESTIMATED PERCENT OF DIVORCES AMONG ACTIVE DUTY OFFICERS & ENLISTED Also worth noting are dual military marriages. Though small in number, families with two military parents can face unique stresses and demands. Dual military marriages are far more common for enlisted personnel than for officers by a factor of roughly 6:1. Of further note, dual military marriages are far more common for female Active Duty members. Over one quarter of all female Marine Corps members are married to another military service member. 22 Sources: (1) Demographics 2007, Profile of the Military Community, published by the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Military Community and Family Policy) data provided by DMDC, and; (2) National Center for Health Statistics, National Marriage and Divorce Rate Trends, 2007 data: Promises2Kids Military Families Support Initiative: Needs Assessment 11

27 CHARACTERISTICS OF ACTIVE DUTY FAMILIES When considering characteristics, impact, and needs of military families, it is important to remember that the number of military family dependents is greater than the number of Active Duty personnel. More than half of all San Diego County's Active Duty personnel have family responsibilities. Navy personnel - particularly enlisted personnel - are significantly more likely to have family responsibilities than their Marine Corps counterparts. An estimated 60.7 percent (71,759) of Active Duty military family members in San Diego County are children and approximately 39 percent (46,160) are spouses. Across all service branches of the U.S. Military, the average number of children for Active Duty members who have children is two. More than half of children of Active Duty members are age 7 or younger (See Table 7 under Tables, Charts & Maps Section). Most of the dependent children of Active Duty Navy and Marine Corps Personnel are between the ages of 0 to 5. Nearly three-quarters are age 11 or below. Children of Active Duty Marine Corps personnel are younger than the children of Active Duty Navy personnel. Respective populations in the 0-5 age category differ by nearly a 20 percent margin. Chart 2 Children of Active Duty Navy and Marine Corps Personnel in San Diego County 2,409 15,869 22,155 31,326 Age 0-5 Age 6-11 Age Age 19 to 23 Military service members have their first children younger than the U.S. population as a whole. The statistical difference is negligible for Active Duty Navy personnel, but significant for Active Duty Marines. The average age of Active Duty members at the time of their first child's birth is 25.2 years old for the Navy and 23.2 for the Marine Corps. A 2007 study found that married U.S. men were on average 25.6 years of age when their first child was born. For the 16.1 percent of unmarried men who had children, the average age at fatherhood was Promises2Kids Military Families Support Initiative: Needs Assessment 12

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