Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Barragan, Armando


This study was initiated to discover if Social Work services are as prevalent as they should be for deployed service families and troops abroad. Previous studies seem to suggest that social workers are minimally portioned without a true dedicated purpose. This study determined through input from enlisted personnel and their families what social work services are available to deployed military personnel and their families.

Deployed enlisted personnel and their families have a unique experience that from time to time cause trauma, both physical and mental. Whereas in the past, trauma was experienced only by fighting men, today’s military is multi-gendered and often bring their families with them into non-combat zones. That social workers can be of vital help in instances of need is a determined fact. Whether or not today’s soldiers and their families are receiving adequate services was the focus of this investigation.

This qualitative study was facilitated by a completely confidential questionnaire and involved 11 respondents from throughout the United States. All were deployed or formerly deployed U.S. enlisted military. The study found that the number of social workers available to deployed military are profoundly inadequate. Almost all of the respondents reported never receiving any social work services during their deployment(s). Additionally, the study found that the respondents were extremely reluctant to confide their concerns to the volunteer counselors the military does make available.

It is recommended that an evaluation be made by the U.S. Armed Forces that would result in acquiring adequate Social Work staff to fully meet the needs of the men and women who serve our country on land and sea abroad. It is also recommended that the military discontinue the practice of rudimentarily training volunteers for a task meant for a professional Social Worker.

Included in

Social Work Commons