February Caregiving Webinar: Medicaid & Military Families (Part 3)

Adults with Special NeedsJoin the Military Caregiving Concentration team as they host their FREE monthly professional development webinar on the topic of ‘Medicaid and Military Families: Adults with Special Needs’ – part three of a three-part series.

Date: February 18, 2015
Time: 11:00 a.m. Eastern
Event Location: https://learn.extension.org/events/1700
*No registration is required 

Christopher Plein Ph. D., an Eberly Professor of Outstanding Public Service at West Virginia University, will examine Medicaid options for older families members, such as spouses and adult children. The overall purpose of these modules is to assist family support providers and others with a general knowledge of Medicaid and to provide some guidance on where to turn for resources and further information.

Webinar training objectives for Part 3 include:

  • Provide an overview of Medicaid and adults with special needs
  • Identify reasons for accessing Medicaid
  • Illustrate key concepts for adults receiving Medicaid services
  • Understand how Medicaid impacts older children, adults and the elderly
  • Identify new trends within Medicaid
  • Identify key takeaways for professionals serving military families with special needs.

If you have missed the beginning of the series and would like to receive continuing education credit, you can find both Part 1 and 2 at the following sites:

CEU Credit Available!

The Military Families Learning Network will be providing 1.0 National Association of Social Workers (NASW) continuing education credit to credentialed participants. Certificates of Completion will also be available for training hours as well. For more information on CEU credits go to: NASW Continuing Education Instructions. 

Interested in Joining the Webinar?

*No registration is required; simply go to Part 3 Medicaid and Military Families: Adults with Special Needs the day of the event to join. The webinar is hosted by the Department of Defense so you must install security certificates if you are not located on a military installation. Instructions for certificate installation can be found by clicking on DCO Adobe Certificate Installation. You can connect to the Adobe webinar using iPhone, iPad, and Droid apps. Search for DCO Connect in the respective stores.

For those who cannot connect to the Adobe site, an alternative viewing of this presentation will be running on Ustream.

The Impact of Psychological Maltreatment

By Jay Morse & Heidi Radunovich

What is psychological maltreatment?

Hard To Stop Crying…, Peter Käuflin, Flickr, 2011

 

The term psychological maltreatment (PM) includes both emotional abuse and emotional neglect, and can represent a diminished attachment between the caregiver and the child, resulting in a lack of development in essential capacities such as self-regulation or self-acceptance. PM is different from dysfunctional parenting, which may be characterized by inconsistent or chaotic parenting. PM represents a chronic, escalating pattern of emotional abuse and neglect [1]. Psychological maltreatment can be difficult to determine. As the authors point out, there is not a strong social taboo associated with emotional abuse or emotional neglect and therefore it may be underreported.

Using the National Child Traumatic Stress Network Core Data Set (CDS) a sample of 5,616 children with a lifetime exposure to physical abuse, sexual abuse, or psychological maltreatment were divided into distinct categories and assessed according to PTSD, externalizing and internalizing behaviors, trauma history, and severity.

Findings from the study supported earlier research which showed that PM produced adverse outcomes in children that were the same or even more severe than the outcomes of children who had been physically or sexually abused. The researchers noted that there was some evidence that PM was the most consistent predictor of internalizing problems and the strongest indicator of substance abuse when compared with physical or sexual abuse. Indicators of PM were associated with externalizing problems at a level similar to that of physical abuse, and was even a stronger predictor than sexual abuse.

In practice, determining that PM is occurring can be challenging, but it is important not to disregard PM in assessing children and adolescents because it plays such an important role in the child’s development. As this study highlights, symptoms of PTSD, depression, generalized anxiety disorder, substance abuse, or attachment problems can be the result of emotional abuse or emotional neglect (PM), and could potentially be even more damaging to child development than physical or sexual abuse.

Resource:

[1]Spinazzola, J., Hodgdon, H., Liang, L.J., Ford, J.D., Layne, C.M., Pynoos, R.S., Stolbach, B., & Kisiel, C. (2014). Unseen wounds: The contribution of psychological maltreatment to child and adolescent mental health and risk outcomes in a national sample. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 6(Suppl 1), S18-S28. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0037766

This post was written by Jay Morse & Heidi Radunovich, PhD, members of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, You Tube, and on LinkedIn.

Emotional Abuse in Military Families

Jay Morse & Heidi Radunovich, PhD

According to recent research by Foran, Heyman & Slep (2014) and the United States Air Force Family Advocacy Research Program [1], emotional abuse can be an early warning sign of future physical abuse. While most people can engage in some negative behavior towards their partners, this study focused on clinically significant emotional abuse (CS-EA), which the authors defined as “emotional abuse that results in significant and impairing fear, stress, or sadness/depression” [1]. The authors wanted to determine what environmental factors were associated with CS-EA.

First Army Division East soldiers help Habitat for Humanity with clean-up efforts, DVIDS, 2012

The study used a sample of 42,744 active duty military (34,713 men and 8,031 women) and 17,226 civilian spouses (879 men and 16,347 women) who completed web-based surveys measuring environmental factors across four levels:

  • Individual level: Self-efficacy (ability to cope with stress, manage work and family demands), perceived financial stress, physical well-being, alcohol problems, and years in the military
  • Family level: Support from spouse, relationship satisfaction, family income, marriage length, and number of children, spousal deployment support
  • Work level: Support from leadership, workgroup cohesion, work relationships, weeks deployed, hours worked, and satisfaction with the Air Force
  • Community level – Community cohesion, support from neighbors, formal agencies, social support, community safety, and community stressors.

As expected, individual and family factors were closely related to CS-EA. In addition, other important factors to consider in clinical practice and further research are a subset of work and community factors:

  • Greater community cohesion and support from neighbors was related to reduced risk of CS-EA for active duty military men
  • Fewer hours worked was related to a reduced risk of CS-EA for women
  • Across all levels, more support from leadership was related to lower levels of risk for CS-EA in civilian women.

When developing treatment plans for victims of emotional abuse, the environment of the victim and the perpetrator play an important role in the risk of continued emotional abuse and the risk of future physical abuse. Pay special attention to neighborhood relationships, perceived community cohesion, workload, and the perceived level of support from military leadership.

Resources

[1] Foran, H., Heyman, R., Slep, A., & US Air Force Family Advocacy Res. (2014). Emotional abuse and its unique ecological correlates among military personnel and spouses. Psychology of Violence, 4(2), 128-142. doi:10.1037/a0034536

 

This post was written by Jay Morse & Heidi Radunovich, PhD, members of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, You Tube, and on LinkedIn.

Resource Discovery: NPR Military Children in Public School

By Jay Morse & Heidi Radunovich, PhD

This month, PBS is highlighting the emotional challenges and resilience of children with a parent in the military in their PBS Weekly Edition. According to PBS, military children move nine times on average before they graduate. The majority of children are in public schools. This can create problems of feeling displaced, misunderstood, and excluded. The first podcast provides a look at the challenges that military children face in public schools.

Flickr, IITA International School children and their teacher, 2010

This post was written by Jay Morse & Heidi Radunovich, PhD, members of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, You Tube, and on LinkedIn.

Military Wives Matter – Barriers to Mental Health Treatment

Jay Morse & Heidi Radunovich, PhD

Lewy, Oliver, and McFarland (2014) [1] recently published research on barriers to mental health treatment, comparing military wives and a similar sample from the general population. Results from the survey indicated that the perceived barriers faced by military wives when seeking treatment for mental illnesses were significantly different than those perceived by the civilian population.

Welcome home Waesche crew
Welcome home Waesche crew, DVIDS U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Pamela J. Boehland

To compare military wives with spouses in the general population, Internet-based surveys were used to gather a national sample of women married to military service members. The researchers screened potential participants for depression, non-specific psychological distress, and health status using established measures. Data from the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH ) provided a comparison group of similar women in the civilian population. The comparison samples totaled 569 military wives and 567 married women from the NSDUH survey.

Results of the surveys indicated that military wives believed that they faced a number of barriers to receiving mental health treatment that differed from the civilian population. The table below summarizes the comparative results:

(Adapted from Lewy, C., Oliver, C. & McFarland, B., (2014) Barriers to Mental Health Treatment for Military Wives)

 

When working with military wives, whether on-base or in the community, it is important to consider the concerns of clients. As the above table indicates, military wives’ concerns about not getting treatment, lack of time for consultation, locating an appropriate clinician, trust, and feeling understood could be impediments to developing the necessary relationship for quality mental health care.

Resources

[1] Lewy, C. S., Oliver, C. M., & McFarland, B. H. (2014). Barriers to mental health treatment for military wives. Psychiatric Services, 65(9), 1170-1173. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201300325

This post was written by Jay Morse & Heidi Radunovich, PhD, members of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, You Tube, and on LinkedIn.

Paying Off Holiday Credit Card Bills

By Sharon Hahn Darlin
By Sharon Hahn Darlin

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension

It’s three weeks since Christmas and credit card bills with holiday expenses (gifts, travel, etc.) are starting to arrive.  When there isn’t enough cash available to pay them in full but more than the required minimum payments, questions like this arise:  Should service members pay more than the minimum on credit cards with the smallest balance or on those carrying the highest interest rates?  The answer is “it depends.”

Some experts believe it is cost-efficient to pay off debts with the highest interest rates, while others believe it is emotionally satisfying and motivating to pay off those with the smallest balance. Regardless of which decision is made, start clients off by making a list of all of their creditors and debts (e.g., Sears credit card). Next write down the corresponding balance, APR (interest rate), and minimum monthly payment for each debt.

Next, it’s time for Power Pay. Developed by Utah State University Cooperative Extension, PowerPay assumes that users are paying at least the required minimum payment to each of their creditors and can continue to pay the same total monthly amount until all of existing debt balances are down to zero. The program also assumes that no new debts will be added during the duration of the debt repayment plan. If they are, they will not be included in the debt repayment calculation.

To use PowerPay, log in with a user name and password and enter the following information:

  •  Names of creditors
  • Outstanding balance for each debt
  • Annual percentage rate (APR) on each debt
  • Monthly payment for each debt

Once this information is entered, PowerPay users can print out a calendar that shows how much to pay each creditor monthly. When a debt gets paid off, its previous monthly payment is added to the payment sent to a remaining creditor. The analysis shows when each debt will end and the time and interest saved by following the PowerPay program.

Generally, users save the most debt repayment time and interest with PowerPay by adding extra payment amounts to debts with the highest APRs. This might include credit cards with high penalty interest rates and high-interest rate department store credit cards which often have interest rates in the 21% to 28% range.

For further assistance with debt repayment, military families can contact a non-profit credit counseling agency. Most credit counseling is done by telephone and secure Web sites so driving distance to an agency need not be a problem. Counseling agencies can assist clients with budgeting and enroll them in a debt management plan (DMP) where one monthly payment is made to the agency and proportionately distributed among a client’s creditors. With some DMPs, creditors may be willing to accept lower payments and/or reduce interest rates and fees charged. To find a local credit counseling agency, visit http://www.nfcc.org/FirstStep/firststep_01.cfm.

This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network blog on January 12, 2015.

Resource Discovery: NCADV Hope and Power for Your Personal Finances

Jay Morse & Heidi Radunovich, PdD

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), in collaboration with the National Endowment for Financial Education, has developed financial education materials designed specifically for domestic abuse survivors.

FLICKR Paying Bills
Paying Bills, Ziata Faerman, Flickr, 2009

NCADV offers information on their financial education project and other useful financial education materials, information on obtaining copies of Hope & Power for Your Personal Finances, and other useful financial education materials on their website.

 

This post was written by Jay Morse & Heidi Radunovich, PhD, members of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, You Tube, and on LinkedIn.

FD Webinar: Helping Domestic Violence Survivors Obtain Economic Freedom

Domestic Violence: Helping Survivors Obtain Economic Freedom

Date: February 12, 2015

Time: 11am-1pm Eastern

Location: https://learn.extension.org/events/1865#.VKwgBivF9Bm

Flickr, 401(K) 2012, January 20, 2012

Dr. Ludy Green, an expert on U.S. domestic violence  and an internationally acclaimed speaker, will provide an overview of economic abuse and its negative impacts on domestic violence victims. Dr. Green will highlight what advocates and mental health clinicians need to know about economic abuse and how economic security can serve as a defense against domestic violence. She will also cover strategies to empower victims on a larger level, such as implementing domestic violence policies in the workplace.

We offer 2.0 National Association of Social Worker CE credits for each of our webinars, click here to learn more. For more information on future presentations in the 2014 Family Development webinar series, please visit our professional development website or connect with us via social media for announcements: (Facebook & Twitter)

Developing a Personal Asset Allocation Strategy

By Molly C. Herndon, Socia Media Specialist 

On January 13, Dr. Michael Gutter will present a 90-minute webinar that will focus on the process of diversification and fund selection. Developing a Personal Asset Allocation Strategy will be held at 11 a.m. ET.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode
Wall Street by Emmanuel Huybrechts

This discussion will highlight the ways in which an investor can customize their investment strategy and maximize their returns while taking into consideration their risk tolerance and lifestyle.

1.5 Continuing Education Credits will be available for this webinar for AFC-credentialed participants. To join the webinar, and to access more resources such as presentation slides, handouts and details about the speaker, visit: https://learn.extension.org/events/1715

This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network blog on January 5, 2015.

Intimate Partner Violence and Economic Empowerment

By Jay Morse & Heidi Radunovich, PhD

Economic abuse, such as controlling the family checkbook and limiting access to joint accounts, can be a devastating form of domestic violence. The abused may not have the financial knowledge or independence to escape the abuser due to financial reasons. Hahn and Postmus [1] have reviewed best-practice literature on domestic violence, intimate partner violence and economic abuse.

money, money, money
Auntneecy, Flickr, 2014

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) can be defined in a number of ways. In past blogs we have highlighted definitions of domestic violence and intimate partner violence. In their review of literature related to IPV and economic abuse, the authors use a broad definition of IPV — a pattern of coercive threats or behaviors where one person attempts to control another. Economic abuse is defined by the authors as an “abuser’s distinct tactics to control women’s ability to acquire, access, and maintain economic resources [1].” According to research cited by the authors, economic abuse is as prevalent as other physical, psychological and sexual abuse.

The researchers searched the broader literature, and included both qualitative and quantitative studies for a total of 16 studies. They found that the research data available out in the field fell into two topical areas: 1) How to best handle IPV for women of lower incomes; and 2) interventions that address economic empowerment of IPV survivors. The authors summarized the following as most important to keep in mind when working with low-income IPV survivors:

  1. Make sure to screen for economic issues, and provide information and referrals for needed services.
  2. Programs targeting financial literacy can help develop economic self-reliance.
  3. Helping clients access higher education or to obtain needed training can improve career trajectory and help build independence.
  4. Victims of IPV could benefit from advocates to help them through the system.

 

Reference

Hahn, S. A. & Postmus, J. L. (2014). Economic empowerment of impoverished IPV survivors: A review of best practice literature and implications for policy, Trauma, Violence, & Abuse 15(20), 79-93. doi: 10.1177/1524838013511541

This post was written by Jay Morse & Heidi Radunovich, PhD, members of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, You Tube, and on LinkedIn.