Skip to main content

Military Health System

Tips for Military Parents Planning PCS Moves with Children

Image of Moving can be hard on military families, especially on children. Moving to a new home, going to a new school, finding new friends – it can be unsettling for kids of any age. Yet there are things that service members can do to prepare for a permanent change of station move that can make for a smoother transition for the children. A child at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni blows bubbles during a recent Month of the Military Child celebration. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Gabriela Garcia-Herrera)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Total Force Fitness

Moving can be hard on military families, especially on children. Moving to a new home, going to a new school, finding new friends – it can be unsettling for kids of any age.

Yet there are things that service members can do to prepare for a permanent change of station move that can make for a smoother transition for the children.

Army Maj. (Dr.) Dominique Holley, a child psychiatrist and deputy chief at Fort Campbell's Department of Behavioral Health, shared some important tips for military families to help in the PCS process for kids.

How far in advance should parents start connecting with the community they will be moving to?

"Short answer is as soon as possible," Holley said. Sharing information with children about the new location where they will live can be very helpful in helping kids adjust to the idea of living in a new place.

"It will be important to start looking into the known interests of the kids or family such as local parks, scout troops or local churches for activities," she said.

"Moving can be stressful and there typically are mixed emotions surrounding moving from the whole family."

Nevertheless, she said: "Kids generally adapt well overall, forming connections early on to a new place."

What are some suggestions for finding a new doctor?

"Enrollment in the Exceptional Family Member Program (EMFP) ensures that any military family member with chronic medical concerns, physical disabilities, mental health disorders or required intensive follow-up support are stationed where services are available for that family member," she said.

Beneficiaries can search for doctors in a new location on the TRICARE website. Providers in most circumstances reach out to receiving installations to provide warm hand-offs to receiving clinics.

Additional PCS recommendations regarding medical records:

When transferring from installation to installation there is typically no need to transfer medical records as long as there is consistency from one electronic health record (EMR) to the next, Holley explained.

While the MHS GENESIS electronic health record is being implemented at military hospitals and clinics across the Military Health System, that transition is not yet complete. Beneficiaries may have to request their medical records from your hospital or clinic medical record department or patient administration division, if the installation you are transferring from or to is not yet using MHS GENESIS.

"Once MTFs migrate to MHS GENESIS from the Armed Forces Longitudinal Technology Application (AHLTA) EHR, then they will no longer need to transport paper medical records from one MTF to another," Holley stated.

The process of requesting medical records takes about one or two weeks and requires the approval of behavioral health care providers. "This request should be made about a month prior to PCS to ensure time to obtain records when needed," Holley said.

When traveling to the new location, Holley suggested these activities to keep children engaged while en route:

"Ensure easy access to the most commonly used games and activities and toys while traveling," Holley said.

Also, audio books or tablet computers, depending on the age of the child, can be engaging as well.

Should parents try to keep kids involved in the same type of activities at the new location?

"There are no correct activities necessarily to involve kids in. It largely depends on interests or passions of the kids," Holley said. "If they love certain sports or hobbies, then it makes sense to ensure to make efforts to continue those."

She also suggested that the move might also be an opportunity to try new things and introduce kids to new interest that may be unique to the new school or area.

Are there ways to make goodbyes less difficult for the kids?

"Focus on all the positives of a new place," Holley suggested. "Parents should highlight unique features of the new environment with activities that kids would enjoy."

Planning enjoyable activities in the new city or state ahead of the move can help make the move something to look forward to. Another thing to consider is to plan a return visit to see close friends or family. "Leaving certain people is particularly difficult for kids as well as adults," Holley said.

Any tips for helping kids get organized and prepare for the move?

Make sure to keep commonly used games and toys away from movers so that they are easily accessible for kids during the move. The same applies for their favorite items of clothing, shoes, etc.

Help kids pack a personal bag of their most beloved items to give them a sense of responsibility or control over those things.

"Often times, kids don't have a lot of control over what's happening," Holley said. "Giving them options and helping them to feel empowered with small decisions can be helpful."

Additionally, consider assigning specific tasks during the move for children to focus on. For example, they may oversee ensuring the family pet is fed or has supplies stored away for easy access.

For more information about support programs for military children, visit Military Kids Connect.

You also may be interested in...

WICC Podcast

Photo
10/18/2021
WICC Podcast

Today’s female service member population is now at 17%.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Warrior Care | Total Force Fitness

Tips for How to ‘Train Right’ and Avoid Injuries During Sports and PT

Article
10/13/2021
Military personnel in physical threapy

Physical training, recreational activities, and sports are key to service members’ health but musculoskeletal injuries due to sudden incidents and repeated stress or overuse are the biggest health problem in the U.S. military.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness

Fort Knox dietician reveals personal staples for healthy family meals, picky eaters

Article Around MHS
10/8/2021
Vegetables displayed at a grocery store.

Making sure everyone in the family is eating healthy can sometimes be overwhelming and oftentimes, families aren’t sure where to start.

Recommended Content:

Nutritional Fitness | Total Force Fitness

MSMR Vol. 28 No. 10 - October 2021

Report
10/1/2021

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Update: Cold weather injuries, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, July 2016–June 2021; Brief report: The challenge of interpreting recurrent SARS-CoV-2 positive tests among military service members, Fort Jackson, SC, 2020–2021; Surveillance snapshot: History of COVID-19 vaccination among Air Force recruits arriving at basic training, 2 March–15 June 2021; Surveillance snapshot: Influenza immunization among U.S. Armed Forces health care workers, August 2016–April 2021

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

DHA’s Mobile Apps Can Help You with Overall Wellness

Article
9/30/2021
A smartphone user using the DHA's Air Force MissionFit app

Healthcare and wellness apps developed by the DHA are proliferating.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Total Force Fitness

Health Promotion duo optimizes health on Incirlik Air Base

Article Around MHS
9/30/2021
Air Force Capt. Sydney Sloan, 39th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron health promotion element chief (right), and Air Force Senior Airman Gloriann Manapsal, 39th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron health promotion technician (left), promote making healthy choices at the Sultan’s Inn Dining Facility on Incirlik Air Base, Turkey.

The 39th Operation Medical Readiness Squadron health promotion team provides and integrates evidence-based programs to optimize the health and readiness, even during these unprecedented times.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Total Force Fitness | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Regular physical activity is important for health and performance

Article Around MHS
9/29/2021
A Coast Guardsman works out at Coast Guard Air Station Savannah.

Those who get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every week have a much lower risk of obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease—the top killers of Americans every year.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness

Finding time for fitness during the work week just got easier

Article Around MHS
9/29/2021
A person works out the gym.

The new Army Civilian Fitness and Health Promotion Program now encourages employees to focus on fitness while at work.

Recommended Content:

Physical Fitness | Total Force Fitness

What is a "healthy" weight-loss eating plan, anyway?

Article Around MHS
9/28/2021
A female soldier poses with an apple in her hand.

Weight loss sounds simple: take less “energy in” (fuel from food and drinks, measured in calories) and use more “energy out” (calories burned through daily physical activity and exercise).

Recommended Content:

Nutritional Fitness | Total Force Fitness

Understanding Non-Suicidal Self-Injury, Support for Military Children

Article
9/21/2021
Non-suicidal self-injury by adolescents vary based on studies — from 1 in 6 to as high as 1 in 4 — rates have increased over the past 20 years. Given this prevalence and the associated health risks, it’s crucial for anyone treating adolescents to be aware of NSSI.

Non-suicidal self-injury by adolescents vary based on studies — from 1 in 6 to as high as 1 in 4 — rates have increased over the past 20 years.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Public Health

DOD launches "First Aid For Severe Trauma" for HS students

Article
9/2/2021
High school students at a conference in Orlando, Florida

DOD's National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health launches "First Aid For Severe Trauma" designed for Grades 9-12, with Red Cross, Homeland Security.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support

MSMR Vol. 28 No. 09 - September 2021

Report
9/1/2021

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Cross-sectional analysis of the association between perceived barriers to behavioral health care and intentions to leave the U.S. Army; Is suicide a social phenomenon during the COVID-19 pandemic? Differences by birth cohort on suicide among active component Army soldiers, 1 January 2000–4 June 2021; Brief report: Gender differences and diagnostic correlates of aggressive behaviors among active component sailors; Surveillance snapshot: A simple model estimating the impact of COVID-19 on lost duty days among U.S. service members; Update: Routine screening for antibodies to human immunodeficiency virus, civilian applicants for U.S. Military Service and U.S. Armed Forces, active and reserve components, January 2016–June 2021

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

As Fitness Tests Resume, Troops Seek Post-COVID Exercise Routines

Article
8/31/2021
Military personnel physically training

Keeping fit during pandemic proves hard for some.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

MHS and MOS Town Hall To Your Health: Dental Health

Article
8/24/2021
MHS and Military OneSource Townhall graphic

MHS and Military OneSource presents a discussion about Dental Health.

Recommended Content:

Total Body Preventive Health - Dental, Medical & Mental | Total Force Fitness | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | TRICARE Dental Care

New Flag and Patch Symbolize Growth at the Defense Health Agency

Article
8/19/2021
Service members from the Army, Air Force and Navy display the new Defense Health Agency patch following a reflagging and repatching ceremony at Defense Health Agency Headquarters in Falls Church.

The DHA will reveal a new flag and seal in a ceremony August 20 to signify the unity of all services under one joint combat support agency.

Recommended Content:

Defense Health Agency | Military Health System Transformation | Health Readiness & Combat Support
<< < ... 6 7 8 9 10  ... > >> 
Showing results 121 - 135 Page 9 of 42
Refine your search
Last Updated: June 03, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery