Military Social Work
- Care for service members, veterans and their families who are dealing with a range of physical, mental and psychosocial issues.
- Better understand military culture.
- Learn about the systems of care in place for military personnel before and during deployments and the transition back home.
- Assist returning service members with finding health and employment services.
- Work with local agencies to identify and serve military populations in their communities.
- Mental health therapy, from physical illness and disease to family issues and traumatic experiences
- Military to civilian life reintegration support
- Crisis intervention
- Individual and family counseling
- Resource navigation, such as financial, housing and benefit assistance
- Aging veteran support and advocacy
The current social work labor force, including practice with veterans, cannot keep pace with demand.1 Our engagement in wars — past, present and future — will continue to create a need for a more robust workforce that is ready and able to tackle new challenges. Social workers offer a particular skill set and knowledge base that is beneficial, if not indispensable, to service members, veterans and their loved ones.
“As a military spouse and volunteer, I’ve seen how devastating the wounds of war and service in general can be to individuals and their families. I knew that the opportunity to receive education and training for the needs of this unique and underserved population would be very valuable to me as a clinician.”
Program Track Requirements
- Clinical Practice With the Military Family
The purpose of this course is to understand the military culture within which military families function, the stressors such as deployment that they navigate and the diversity of military family structures and how a range of diversity filters can impact the military family and military culture. The different military contexts (i.e., active duty, guard/reserve, veteran) are explored. Ethical issues for working in this environment are considered. Theory-based and research-informed strategies to intervene with military families are reviewed. Military family policies are examined and critiqued. Family life cycle interactions with the military demands are discussed. Students completing this course will have a more in-depth understanding of and ability to work with the military and the military families that are a vital part of society.
Clinical Professor Marleen Wong discusses the importance of helping military families cope with the stress they endure when a spouse or parent is deployed for service.