The Center organizes and conducts roundtable discussions on issues facing at-risk military youth in Washington. Military youth relocate frequently to new towns and neighborhoods, change schools often, have absent parents, and experience the added stress today of having a parent at war. Research shows that military youth tend to have a higher rate of mental health issues than other youth. According to a 2009 study from the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, children ages 5-12 years who have a parent deployed in the military are over twice as likely as their peers to develop psychological problems.
The CCYJ project is modeled after similar efforts of the American Bar Association's Youth at Risk Commission, which brought attorneys together with policy makers, service providers, community groups and nonprofits in a series of discussion focusing on how to better collaborate, network and serve at-risk kids. The roundtables conducted by the Center involve lawyers, counselors, policymakers, military decision-makers and others in informal brainstorming sessions to examine what's being done now and how all participants can help improve support services to military youth.