We empower local leaders like yourself to use the data shared below to build and deliver programs that effectively meet the needs and, as a result, further empower military and Veteran families in your community.
2020 Military Family Lifestyle Survey Results - Illinois
2019 Military Family Lifestyle Survey Results - Chicago
Chicagoland Needs Assessment
The McCormick Foundation has sponsored a three-part needs assessment for active-duty, National Guard, and Reserve families in the Chicagoland area. Findings can be used to inform Blue Star Families’ and other local nonprofit program delivery and collective action.
Phase I: Exploratory Analysis
- Currently-serving families, women, and minorities are underrepresented in available research
- Available research on Chicagoland Veterans suggests that Veterans transitioning back to Chicago after leaving service struggle to find peer support networks, employment opportunities, and mental health care; their children encounter psychosocial difficulties transitioning into the school system
Phase II: Focus Groups
In line with findings from the initial exploratory analysis, focus group participants identified COVID-19’s disruptive impacts, mental health and health care access challenges, and complexities associated with employment as key issues, regardless of location.
Phase III: Regional Survey
This regional survey offers insight into specific wants and needs among Illinoisan military and Veteran families.
- Illinoisan military- and Veteran-connected respondents have many strengths, particularly when compared to their national counterparts. This suggests that local initiatives to support these families are beneficial and should be preserved.
- The COVID-19 pandemic offered new opportunities for military- and Veteran-connected families to connect virtually within their communities; these new capabilities were beneficial for respondents and should be preserved in the wake of the pandemic.
- Illinoisan military- and Veteran-connected families experience the same challenges as their counterparts nationwide, particularly with regard to finding adequate child care and spouse employment opportunities. Nationwide initiatives applied at the local level will help address these and other concerns.