The results of the Blue Star Families’ 2021 Military Family Lifestyle Survey are out, shedding light on the experiences and top concerns for active-duty and veteran family members. A researcher shares specific findings on the health and wellbeing of military spouses and children at a time when many are still reeling from the ripple effects of the pandemic. Plus, what these findings mean for the special education community in particular.
Host: Jennifer Barnhill, Partners in PROMISE
Guest: Jessica Strong, Blue Star Families
“Deployments didn’t stop. Trainings didn’t stop. They just shifted a little bit. So many spouses were encountering those changes in surge capacity during a time when they were separated from their service member.”
– Jessica Strong on how military spouses supported their families during COVID, as reported in the 2021 survey.
Our Resource Partners,Blue Star Families touches more than 1.5 million military family members every year. Through their research and program partnerships, Blue Star Families ensures that wherever American military families go, they can always feel connected, supported and empowered to thrive – in every community, across the nation, and around the globe.
About our Guest
Jessica Strong is the senior director of applied research at Blue Star Families and an Army spouse. She first joined Blue Star Families as a volunteer chapter director in 2017, then as a consultant shortly thereafter, and joined the staff as an applied research analyst in 2019. Her work focuses on the annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey, as well as developing, executing, and analyzing other research projects that support Blue Star Families’ mission and enhance the national conversation about military families. She holds a master’s degree in social work from Fayetteville State University and a Ph.D. in social work from Rutgers University, which she uses to advance the research available on understanding military family issues and how helping professionals can support military families. She has previously researched military families as an assistant professor of social work at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, publishing her research in professional literature and focusing on teaching military-affiliated students at the extension site aboard Camp LeJeune. Jessica is an active-duty Army spouse with three children.
Disruptive Storytelling with Military Changemakers is a bi-weekly podcast presented by Partners in PROMISE, a nonprofit dedicated to Protecting the Rights Of Military children In Special Education (P.R.O.M.I.S.E.). The podcast is hosted by Jennifer Barnhill with music by Stephen McDonough.