Recently I received this query:
Dear Counselor, Aside from programs in the holodeck, what provisions exist for children aboard Prometheus class starships? In terms of counseling services, are there parenting workshops available for parents? What about for children- can children see a counselor? Additionally, how well do you think children cope with life onboard a Starship and is there anything that you would recommend change? Do you support children onboard starships at all? – T’tala
Thank you for your question, T’tala. While generally seen and used as primarily a warship, the Prometheus class starship has a a few facilities appropriate for children located primarily in her main module.
These include a school room and childcare facility, located on Deck 5. Additionally, the library on deck 3 is accessible to children, with appropriate adult supervision, as are many of the science facilities such as stellar cartography and hydroponics. Similarly, with appropriate supervision, they are permitted to use the gymnasium. And, as you pointed out, the holodecks can be used to supplement their educational and entertainment experiences.
As far as counseling services go, these are often more dependent on the individual counselor on board. On the Independence, one of the Prometheus-class starships in the fleet, there aren’t regularly scheduled parenting workshops, however parents wishing to gain advice and help and education in parenting would be welcome to approach the counselor. As the number of families and children on this particular starship increases, the resources regularly available to parents increases as well.
As members of our crew, spouses and children have access to counseling just as they have access to medical facilities. Each counselor in the fleet may have a different comfort level regarding child psychology, however most receive at least basic training during their courses at the Academy.
Finally, to your questions on my opinions on children on Starships, I strongly support maintaining family units, which often results in families on board starships. The risk to children, and other civillian family members, must be weighed, however, by the parents involved, and the presence of civillians, including children on board may be more or less appropriate, based on the overall mission of the ship. Ultimately their presence is at the discretion of the Captain of each ship. In general, I would say that while there are great risks posed to anyone on a starship, particularly in areas with frequent conflict, a starship provides a unique opportunity for parents to advance their children’s education in both academics and interpersonal areas. Regarding what I might change… I would like to see more ships with increased child-oriented resources and facilities. As a paramilitary organization, however, I do recognize that this may be merely a dream on my part.
I hope you find my answer helpful.
Lt. Cmdr. Karynn Ehlanii
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