- Military Spouse Initiative Mission: Serving those who served by serving military spouses; Our vision is that every military spouse in the State of Washington is empowered and supported on their journey to fulfilling their needs and/or finding meaningful employment.
- Initiated the Military Spouse Liaison role on June 1, 2021 with defined objectives to reduce/remove employment barriers for military spouses and connect military spouses to resources.
- Current concerns: high unemployment rate, lack of quality and affordable childcare, housing availability and affordability, connecting to appropriate resources so their families can survive – and thrive, mental health concerns and overall exhaustion
- Timeframes for state agencies issuing professional licenses to military spouses and improved expedited efforts and tracking systems. Between Jan 1 and Aug 12, 2021, DOL issued 204 licenses to military spouses (that disclosed their status) with an average of 12.2 days. During the 2021 fiscal year, 1,520 licenses were issued by the Department of Health to military spouses. The average time to issue the credential was 11.7 days (significantly less for nurses).
- Workgroups focused on credential/licensing and employment for military spouses with representatives from each installation; overlapping strategies defined by each Workgroup
- As far as we are aware, the Washington State Military Childcare Workgroup is the first taskforce collaboration like this in the United States, with members from DoD, each military installation in Washington, state agencies, military and civilian childcare providers, school districts, nonprofit partners, and the Washington State Department of Children Youth and Families. The Workgroup is working to complete a data collection phase and publish a report of findings and recommendations. The Military Childcare in Your Neighborhood DoD subsidy program expanded as a PLUS program pilot in WA on Feb 7 with significant support from DCYF and other partners. We are awaiting data from DoD to determine impact.
- Presented workshops and made in-person visits to each of the major military installations over the past 11 months and provide direct engagement one-on-one service to military spouses who are struggling to navigate processes or connect to resources. They are referred back to installation supports whenever appropriate.
- Currently developing a “Welcome to Washington” resource guide for actively serving military families with collated resources to make PCSing into this State easier – and help our military spouses quickly connect to the resources they need and focus on finding employment if that is their path while in our State
- Plans for a statewide survey to ask military spouses specific questions to understand their employment needs, professional license concerns, and issues connecting to resources
- Asks of the group include responding to data requests regarding childcare slots and staffing and advocating for DoD responsiveness on data requests for military childcare subsidy and professional license reimbursement participation rates; ensuring participation of installation staff on our various workgroups; promotion of the reimbursement program and expedited license application services for military spouses
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Military Spouse Liaison
Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs
"Serving Those Who Served"