The duties of a person in the military sometimes make it necessary for them to go out on deployments or handle military duties that take them away from home. Many of these activities occur only after the military member is given notice; however, no-notice deployments are possible in some cases. For parents who are going out on a deployment, a family care plan is vital.

Who needs a family care plan?

Any parent who is serving in the military can benefit from a family care plan. Some parents, such as single parents, dual-military parents and parents who have sole custody their children are required to have a family care plan on file.

What are some of the components of a family care plan?

A family care plan should include the care plan that is signed by the parent and the caregiver who will care for the child. If both parents are in the military, both parents will need to sign the same care plan. Other components that might be required include a power of attorney, a certificate of acceptance as a guardian, allotment authorizations, letters of instructions and parental consents.

What can happen if I don’t have a family care plan?

There are some instances in which you might be relieved of your military duty, which means you can be “chaptered out” or discharged if you don’t have a family care plan on file. Generally, you will be given an opportunity to correct the issue before these adverse actions are taken.

Living a military life when you have children is difficult. If you and your child’s other parent aren’t involved in a relationship, child custody issues might creep up because of your military service. Understanding how to handle any issues that do come up can help you to feel less stressed if you are being deployed.

Source: Fort Hood Sentinel, “When do I need a Family Care Plan? Requirements, consequences explained,” Sgt. 1st Class Arethra Glenn, Asst. IG, III Corps, accessed Sep. 10, 2015