New Report Reveals Hidden Casualties of War: Children of the Wounded
A first-of-its-kind nationwide assessment, “Study on Children of Seriously Wounded Service Members,” reveals challenging trends that can have a significant impact on the social and psychological development of children of wounded service members. The study, commissioned by the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, was conducted by the Caster Family Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Research, part of the School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) at the University of San Diego.
Five trends prevailed from the study that can impact the 52,000 children in the United States that are living with a parent who has been wounded in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom. When not addressed, these challenges can have a lasting impact on children’s social, emotional, and academic development.
“These children are struggling with the particular challenges of not only of being part of a military family, but readjusting to a ‘new normal’ when a parent comes home with a life-altering injury,” said Dr. Mary Jo Schumann, associate director at the Caster Center and co-principal investigator of this study. “These challenges are compounded by the isolation many of the children face, and it's disconcerting that there are not many programs that provide direct short- and long-term support to these children.”
While over 400 organizations exist to-date to assist seriously wounded service members and their families, the majority of the programs focus on the wounded service member, and often do not address the long-term issues of children and families.
“This study proves what the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation has believed for a long time, that military children and spouses are often the hidden faces of huge sacrifice,” remarked Margaret B. Davis, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. “These families have already sacrificed so much for this country. It’s our job, along with our partners, to work together to address the unmet needs of these families and provide them with the support they require to be well.”
The study’s researchers concluded that there is an immediate need for a variety of focused programs to meet the needs of family members, especially children. The following resources, programs and services are researcher recommend to more effectively address the unique challenges and needs of children and spouses.
The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation and the Caster Center thanks our partner organizations for their support of the study: Fisher House Foundation, Gary Sinise Foundation, The National Intrepid Center of Excellence, National Military Family Association, Operation Homefront, Semper Fi Fund, SemperMax Support Fund, USO, and Wounded Warrior Project. We are also grateful to all of the nonprofit organizations, military personnel and families who graciously participated in interviews and focus groups for this research study.
To download the full report, comprehensive analysis trends and recommendations, go to www.dropbox.com/s/pvdifcml3bjp1hm/USD_MCSF_Sept2013Report_031814.pdf.
About the Scholarship Foundation: The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation is the Nation's oldest and largest provider of need-based scholarships to military children. Since 1962, the Scholarship Foundation has provided more than 30,000 scholarships valued at over $80,000,000 to Marine Corps children whose parents have been killed or wounded in combat or have demonstrated financial need. For more information on the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, go to www.mcsf.org.
About the Caster Center: The Caster Family Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Research is part of the Institute for Nonprofit Education and Research at the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at the University of San Diego. The mission of the Caster Center is to provide research, evaluation and consulting services that benchmark the nonprofit sector and build the capacity of nonprofits and philanthropies.
About the Research Study: Over the course of one year, researchers from the Caster Center interviewed a total of 125 participants, including seriously wounded service members, their spouses and children, as well as military, civilian and nonprofit professionals who work with this population. The study included two phases to ensure a comprehensive understanding around the population and its unfulfilled needs: The first phase focused on understanding the specific needs of children of seriously wounded service members through interviews and reviews of existing research; the second phase focused on an assessment of government and nonprofit programs available to identify gaps that exist.
|Contact||Dr. Mary Jo Schumann | firstname.lastname@example.org | 619-260-7649|