Projects

Supporting the Healthy Development of Children from Military and Veteran Caregiving Homes

2019-2021

Project Overview

Objective

To examine the impact of caregiving on children growing up in military caregiving homes to help address the national challenge of providing effective support to caregivers of all ages and backgrounds.

Project Motivation

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation seeks to empower and support the caregivers who care for America’s wounded, injured, or ill service members and veterans. The Foundation partnered with Mathematica to examine the impact of caregiving on children growing up in military caregiving homes.

Partners in Progress

  • The Wounded Warrior Project
  • The Lilly Endowment, Inc.

Prepared For

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation

Children in military caregiving homes often support their families in providing care for their injured or ill service member or veteran. This mixed-methods study explore the impact of caregiving on children and provides recommendations on how to improve their healthy development.
America’s wounded, injured, or ill service members and veterans are usually cared for by the service members’ or veterans’ family members or friends. Research has identified that attending to the well-being of children, the “Hidden Helpers” living in these homes, was a critical next step to enhance support for military caregiving families. The return of service members who sustained or developed an illness or injury because of their military service can be disruptive for families as they learn to support them and establish new norms for operating as a family. Amid this disruption, families are often left wanting help. Caregiving consumes the time and energy of the adult caregiver, and children in many military caregiving homes consequently take on additional responsibilities—ranging from additional household chores to caregiving responsibilities for their injured or ill service member or veteran and responsibilities for siblings who would otherwise have been cared for by the adults in the home. Ultimately, children in military caregiving homes can get lost in their family’s response to the needs of the care recipient. The Elizabeth Dole Foundation partnered with Mathematica to examine the impact of caregiving on children growing up in military caregiving homes to help address the national challenge of providing effective support to caregivers of all ages and backgrounds.

Related Staff

Steven Malick

Steven Malick

Researcher

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Cleo Jacobs Johnson

Cleo Jacobs Johnson

Senior Manager, DEI Engagement & Outreach

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Mayra Sandoval

Mayra Sandoval

Research Analyst

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Amy Gehrke

Amy Gehrke

Statistician

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