Deep Roots, New Leaves
Reintegration Programming for Military Children
In military families, “welcome home” can sometimes be more complicated than it sounds. When working with military families post-mobilization, the goal is to facilitate a smooth transition between deployment and homecoming for military families. The Creative Arts Therapies serve as the delivery system for communication tools provided during workshop events and in a take-home activity book. Programming is designed to promote expressive, enjoyable interaction among all family members. This program aims to create a scaffold upon which a family can build a new normal.
ITA staff served over 175 children at 39 Yellow Ribbon Reintegration events between September 2009 and November 2011. During this time the program grew and changed with the assessed needs of the population. Our program takes an integrated approach to creative arts interventions. The art activity invites children to encounter their relationship to and their feelings around their newly reunited family. The drama activity leverages the art experience as a way to generate the embodiment and enactment of those relationships and feelings. Music activities provide a container in which to secure both verbal and non-verbal expression of thoughts and affect aroused during the art and drama activities. Tier 1 families attend a Reintegration event within 30 days of the service member’s return. Tier 2 families attend a Reintegration event within 90 days of the service member’s return.