Defense has improved care for special needs children, report finds

Thinkstock

The Defense Department is improving and streamlining its efforts to care for military families with special needs children, according to a new report.

Defense policy states its child care centers must accommodate special needs children unless doing so fundamentally changes the nature of the program, the Government Accountability Office found. All four military services have inspection criteria in place to determine whether children with special needs are being accommodated, such as ensuring equipment and furnishings provide access to children with disabilities.

Only the Army and Air Force, however, are developing a central database to track new accommodations for children with special needs. In the Navy and Marine Corps, the accommodations are only watched on an installation-by-installation basis.

Military families have many options for child care services, but most choose from the 800 Child Development Centers. GAO said all CDCs have been or are in the process of being accredited by national organizations.

To improve the care for special needs children, all four services have partnered with Kids Included Together, a nonprofit that “provides training and technical assistance to child care staff working with children with special needs and their families.” The Defense secretary’s office also is working with the Office of Special Needs -- a Defense organization created in 2010 -- to improve care.

The four military branches do not currently have a uniform definition of special needs, but Defense officials told GAO they are working on establishing one.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.