By Tamas Mondovics
Every member of a military family knows all too well the wide variety of issues imposed on them by military life. But coping with these demands may be most difficult for the family’s children and to help, the Department of Defense (DoD) funds the Child and Youth Behavioral Military and Family Life Counselor (CYB-MFLC) program, which plays a key role in giving military children the support they may need during some of the more challenging periods.
Contracted by the Hillsborough County Public Schools, children of military families who attend Barrington and Randall Middle Schools have been enjoying the federally funded services of one such counselor, Tammy Alsing.
Specializing in child and behavioral issues, Alsing brings years of experience at no cost to the more than 100 military children at Barrington. Randall currently boasts of 150 military children.
“We cover a wide variety of issues the students are dealing with at school or at home, both on and off campus,” Alsing said. “My hope is that parents and the students are aware of the support that are provided for them exclusively.”
According to Alsing, MFLCs can address issues related to self-esteem, communication and relationships at home and at school, life skills such as problem solving, conflict resolution, adjusting to change, issues including bullying and anger management as well as changes on the home front such as deployment and reunion, divorce, grief and loss.
Alsing added that counseling makes a difference through the use of programs such as behavioral intervention in classrooms and feedback to parents and staff through discussions and interactions with children.
“Counseling is always confirmed by the parents ahead of time and is at times available in group sessions, which can include civilian students as well,” Alsing said, but added that services are private and confidential with the exception of child abuse or neglect, domestic abuse and other duty-to-warn situations.
Each week, Barrington Middle School military children and families may take advantage of Alsing’s expertise on Mondays and Tuesdays, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
On Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, Alsing’s services are utilized at Randall. For more information, about Hillsborough County Public Schools, please visit www. sdhc.k12.fl.us.