Author: NFF

British Airways has become the first airline to pledge support for the military community and their families by signing up to the UK Armed Forces Covenant.


British Airways recognises it has an important role to play in supporting the Armed Forces and their families.  It has also committed to giving Reservists and military spouses in its employment the flexibility they need to allow for deployment or training schedules, and also to support Service Leavers moving into civilian roles.


To demonstrate its commitment to the Armed Forces past and present, the airline is offering a 10 per cent discount on all fares across its global network of near 200 destinations. See more here.


The discount is available to all Serving Armed Forces, Reservists, Spouses of Serving Personnel, Forces Veterans, MoD Civil Servants, War widowers and Cadet Forces (over 16).


British Airways Chairman and CEO Alex Cruz, said:

“This discount recognises the great service given by the men and women of the Armed Forces; we hope that it will make their well-earned holiday time with their families easier and cheaper.  “We have strong links with the Armed Forces and our work-force includes many veterans and serving Reservists. By signing the Armed Forces Covenant we are demonstrating our respect for the hard work and dedication of our Servicemen and women, veterans and their families.

“We’re proud to show our support.”


Posted on: 20th June, 2016


** 14/8/20 update: Please note that this article is currently under review to ensure all information are still correct**


The Naval Service Recovery Pathway (NSRP) delivers a conducive military environment for the management and support of Naval Service wounded, injured and sick (WIS) personnel in need of long term (greater than 3 months) support. The NSRP is designed to assist a WIS individual in their return to effective service employment, or to provide support through the transition process to civilian life, if it is deemed that they are unable to continue to serve within the Naval Service.


Key Points:

  • No matter where you are in the Naval Service, there is a specialised recovery facility to support your needs. Whether serving on operations, injured on or off duty, suffering a physical or mental health injury or diagnosed with a serious illness, the Naval Service Recovery Pathway will support you in your recovery. You can find your nearest recovery centre here.
  • You are automatically eligible for support from the Naval Service Recovery Pathway if you have been wounded, injured or sick (WIS) for more than 90 days. 
  • Crucial to the concept of recovery is the creation and implementation of an Individual Recovery Plan, which you can download here.


This leaflet provides a guide to recovery for all wounded, injured and sick Naval Service personnel and their families. It details each stage of the recovery progress, looks at temporary employability during the Recovery Pathway, and lists the contact details for numerous support organisations.

If you have any questions or enquires please email NAVYPERS-PFCSCRMMAILBOX@MOD.UK.


Adaptive Sport & Adventurous Training- Battle Back

  • Battle Back is an adaptive sport and adventurous training programme for wounded, injured and sick service personnel designed to accelerate recovery whilst building confidence and independence. It is a MOD led programme supported by Help for Heroes and The Royal British Legion.
  • It is available to all Naval Service personnel in the Naval Service Recovery Pathway (NSRP) as part of their Individual Recovery Plan (IRP).
  • The Centre conducts AS&AT Multi-Activity Courses (MAC) at the National Sports’ Centre, Lilleshall. In addition to sports and AT, coaching experts from Carnegie Great Outdoors, are available to work with individuals to increase self confidence, motivation, awareness, problem solving, communication and decision making skills; all aiding the development of strategies to cope with future situations.
  • Adapted residential accommodation is provided for personnel whilst they are taking part in activities which include indoor climbing and caving, watersports, wheelchair basketball, archery, mountain biking, sitting volleyball and clay pigeon shooting.
  • If you wish to attend the Battle Back Multi-Activity Course (MAC) at Lilleshall you need to apply through your Chain of Command; request to attend should not be made directly to the Battle Back as you will need to undergo a Medical Risk Assessment and have approval to travel.


Useful Links:

The Armed Forces Charities website offers a fully searchable database with details of over 2200 Armed Forces charities in the UK and may be a useful place to start if you’re looking for further information or assistance, however we have listed some key organisations below:


Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity

The Ripple Pond

Naval Children’s Charity

NHS England – Healthcare for the Armed Forces

Help for Heroes

The Royal British Legion


Combat Stress

Togetherall (formerly know as Big White Wall)

Career Transition Partnership

Regular Forces Employment Association

Greenwich Hospital

Veterans UK

Future for Forces


Posted on: 9th June, 2016
Last updated on: 14th August, 2020

On Friday 20 May 2016, we formally launched our new strategy and website at Navy Command Headquarters in Portsmouth.


More than 500 Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel came to show their support for Royal Navy and Royal Marines’ families. The Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Penny Mordaunt MP, came along to add her good wishes.


The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence Personnel and Veterans, Mark Lancaster, sent his own message of support:

“Operating successfully both at home and at sea requires incredible teamwork – a key characteristic of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines; and whilst everybody must play their part, we are particularly conscious of the support provided by families. The Naval Families Federation helps ensure that families are fully part of that team; offering support and trusted advice, not only to sailors, marines and their families, but also to the chain of command and policy makers. They give a voice to the wider ‘Naval Service family’ and I am delighted that we have such an organisation, led by Anna Wright, that provides clear benefit to both the Naval community and Defence.”


The First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones KCB ADC spoke on the day:

“My door is always open to the Naval Families Federation. They have a huge amount to contribute, and I want everyone here in NCHQ to make use of their insight too. Families must continue to have a voice as we move forward. We want them to believe in the Royal Navy’s future and to believe that their place in this future is equally bright. And with the help of the Naval Families Federation, we can ensure life in the Navy is as a good as it can be for everyone.”


NFF LAUNCH NEW BRANDING AND STRATEGY The Naval Families Federation (NFF) launched their new branding and strategy today, 20th May 2016, in the lower atrium of NCHQ. The First Sea Lord gave an opening address along with the Director of NFF, Anna Wright. The Armed Forces Minister, Penny Mordaunt MP, was also in attendance. Image: L(Phot) Paul Hall

NFF LAUNCH NEW BRANDING AND STRATEGY The Naval Families Federation (NFF) launched their new branding and strategy today, 20th May 2016, in the lower atrium of NCHQ. The First Sea Lord gave an opening address along with the Director of NFF, Anna Wright. The Armed Forces Minister, Penny Mordaunt MP, was also in attendance. Image: L(Phot) Paul Hall

NFF LAUNCH NEW BRANDING AND STRATEGY The Naval Families Federation (NFF) launched their new branding and strategy today, 20th May 2016, in the lower atrium of NCHQ. The First Sea Lord gave an opening address along with the Director of NFF, Anna Wright. The Armed Forces Minister, Penny Mordaunt MP, was also in attendance. Image: L(Phot) Paul Hall


NFF LAUNCH NEW BRANDING AND STRATEGY The Naval Families Federation (NFF) launched their new branding and strategy today, 20th May 2016, in the lower atrium of NCHQ. The First Sea Lord gave an opening address along with the Director of NFF, Anna Wright. The Armed Forces Minister, Penny Mordaunt MP, was also in attendance. Image: L(Phot) Paul Hall

NFF LAUNCH NEW BRANDING AND STRATEGY The Naval Families Federation (NFF) launched their new branding and strategy today, 20th May 2016, in the lower atrium of NCHQ. The First Sea Lord gave an opening address along with the Director of NFF, Anna Wright. The Armed Forces Minister, Penny Mordaunt MP, was also in attendance. Image: L(Phot) Paul Hall

NFF LAUNCH NEW BRANDING AND STRATEGY Pictured: Armed Forces Minister, Penny Mordaunt MP, visitng NCHQ The Naval Families Federation (NFF) launched their new branding and strategy today, 20th May 2016, in the lower atrium of NCHQ. The First Sea Lord gave an opening address along with the Director of NFF, Anna Wright. The Armed Forces Minister, Penny Mordaunt MP, was also in attendance. Image: L(Phot) Paul Hall






Posted on: 24th May, 2016

It’s important to register an additional need and/ or disability with the Chain of Command, so that they are aware that your family may require extra support sometimes. There are a number of organisations that can assist you or offer you support such as the MOD, Government, your Local Authority (LA), NHS and specific charities.

Armed Forces Support

It is mandatory to register your family member’s additional need and/or disability with the chain of command to ensure that extra support required by your family is formally recognised.

SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years
SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years

Guidance on the special educational needs and disability (SEND) system for children and young people aged 0 to 25, from 1 September 2014.

Additional needs Adaptions (ANA) to Service Family Accommodation (SFA)
Additional needs Adaptions (ANA) to Service Family Accommodation (SFA)

If you or your family member has a disability which means that your SFA needs additional needs adaptions:

  • Contact Amey Occupancy Service Team at the Helpdesk on 0800 707 6000 or email
  • You will need to submit medical evidence and/or an Occupational Therapy report depending on the adaptations required. Therefore you are advised to ask the Occupancy Services Team for a specific point of contact and email address to send your confidential medical information to.
  • If you require a larger SFA to allow for the required adaptations to be done you will need to complete an e1132 form, which you can find here.
  • Joint Service Publication (JSP) Vol 1, Part 1, Section 3 also contains information about the process for applying for SFA if you have additional needs. You can find the information here.
Government Support
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) helps with some of the extra costs caused by long-term ill-health or a disability if you’re aged 16 to 64. Find our more here.


Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children may help with the extra costs of looking after a child who:

  • is under 16;
  • has difficulties walking or needs more looking after than a child of the same age who doesn’t have a disability.

Please find out more here.


Child Disability Payment – Scotland

If you live in Scotland, you may be eligible to claim the Child Disability Payment, which provides support for the extra costs that a disabled child might have. You can apply for Child Disability Payment for a disabled child under 16 and their disability can be mental or physical. Social Security Scotland will pay Child Disability Payment until the child is 18.


More information can be found here.


Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance helps with extra costs if you have a disability severe enough that you need someone to help look after you. More information can be found here.


Claiming Benefits Overseas

If you are living overseas as part of a Service family, The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) have stated:

“When Personal Independence Payment (PIP) was introduced in April 2013 DWP also took the opportunity to amend residence and presence tests in Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Attendance Allowance (AA) and Carer’s Allowance (CA). For DLA and CA, like PIP, they made an exception for Serving members of Her Majesty’s Forces and members of their families, so that they should be classed as satisfying the habitual residence when stationed abroad.”

This means that you are able to continue claiming your benefit as if you were still living within the UK or apply for a new benefit as if you were living in the UK.


Carer’s Allowance

If you are 16 and over and care for someone for at least 35 hours a week you may be eligible to claim carer’s allowance. Please find out more here.

Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)

The Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP) is an alternative to Personal Independence Payment (PIP). It is designed to provide financial support to Service personnel and Veterans who are seriously injured as a result of service to cover the extra costs they may have as a result of their injury. If you are eligible you will not be required to have an additional medical assessment and you will not be required to undergo regular re-assessments to maintain eligibility. AFIP applies to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and is not taxable or means tested. Visit their website here.


The challenges of military life are greater when you or a member of your family has a disability or an additional need. There are many questions to consider: When will we move? Will the housing be suitable? Will the local school be able to offer adequate support? How far are the local hospitals? What is transport like? Will the same treatment, medication or services be available?

This guide intends to offer families with challenging issues a step towards finding some answers to these questions. It is by no means comprehensive, but aims to signpost some of the services and resources available, to help find the appropriate support and make life easier. Please click here.

Support groups

Forces Additional Needs and Disability Forum (FANDF)

The Forces Additional Needs & Disability Forum (FANDF) support group was set up over 20 years ago for Service families who have a child or dependant who has additional needs or a disability, or if they are disabled themselves. It is a forum for families to raise issues of importance with the MOD and welfare providers about the factors unique to Service life and a way of ensuring that both children and adults with additional needs and/or disability have access to the best support available. FANDF is facilitated by SSAFA. To find out more, please click here. Click here to view their list of resources and/or subscribe to their newsletter.

Short breaks
SSAFA Short Breaks

These adventures give children a break away from home, where they can gain independence, make friends and have fun. The breaks also give family left at home a rest, to spend time together and recharge their batteries. For full details click here.

Posted on: 18th May, 2016
Updated on: 12th January, 2022

Any sudden death is a devastating event for children. When the death is that of a member of the Armed Forces there are additional difficulties to come to terms with and it is essential to understand the context of military life to make sense of these.




Government guidance

This page provides guidance for those who have lost their serving person. Please visit this page for information on bereavement compensation.



If you lose someone who has previously served in our Armed Forces, or you are ex-Forces and you lose someone, then SSAFA is committed to giving support during your bereavement. Find out how here.


Families’ Activity Breaks (FAB)

FAB is a non-public funded, tri-Service charitable initiative in partnership with YHA (England & Wales) Ltd., providing fun and challenging activity camps around the UK for bereaved Military families. Please find out more here.


Cruse Bereavement Care

Death is always hard to cope with but different groups of people will have different needs. Military life is different from life in ‘civvy street’ and Cruse understands that that those who have lost a loved one whilst they were serving in the Armed Forces may have particular issues and experiences that can complicate the grieving process.

Cruse Bereavement Care can offer face-to-face and group support delivered by trained bereavement support volunteers across the UK. They also offer information, publication, and support for children. Find out more here.


Scotty’s Little Soldiers

Scotty’s Little Soldiers is a charity dedicated to supporting children and young people who have lost a parent whilst serving in the British Armed Forces. Find out what support is available here.


Penhaligon’s Friends

Penhaligon’s Friends is a Cornish charity supporting bereaved children, young people, parents and carers throughout the country. Handbooks for bereaved families, healthcare professionals and schools are available from their website.


Jeremiah’s Journey Childhood

Jeremiah’s Journey Childhood is a bereavement support service in Plymouth. Find out they could help your family here.


Winston’s Wish

A death in the Armed Forces can be difficult to understand and make sense of for children, it is also very much in the public eye, making it difficult to find ways to say goodbye, there is however support available to families, click here to find out more.


Armed Forces Bereavement Scholarship Scheme

The Ministry of Defence has a Bereavement Scholarship Scheme which is available to provide University and Further Education Scholarships for the children of Service Personnel whose death has been attributed to Service since 1990. For further information please click here.


Posted on: 18th May, 2016
Updated on: 20th February, 2020

Please find a list of other charities below that may be useful to you:

Aggie Weston’s

Key role: Supporting families

Aggie Weston’s is here to help serving members of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and their families. They provide pastoral support around the country and enable families to stay connected through projects such as Storybook Waves. More information can be found here.


Help for Heroes

Key Role: Fundraising and grant making, advice and guidance, support to families

Help for Heroes are a vast network of professionals and partners. They help serving members of the Armed Forces and Veterans and support families through physical and emotional rehabilitation and recovery, identifying new career opportunities as well as offering financial and welfare support. They also run beneficiary support networks, to offer support, camaraderie and a listening ear.

During their first 10 years, they have directly helped more than 17,000 individuals and their families in this way. Offering this to thousands more who need it remains possible thanks to their supporters, and specialist charity partners. More information can be found here.


The Royal British Legion (RBL)

Key Role: Fundraising and grant-making, advice and guidance, support to families

The Royal British Legion provides lifelong support for the Armed Forces Community – Serving men and women (Regulars and Reservists), veterans, and their families. They provide information, advice and guidance to help the Armed Forces Community find and access the support they need.

The Legion provides families of serving and ex-Service personnel the chance to take a break and get away from the stresses and strains of everyday life through their Family Holiday Breaks scheme. They also run Adventure Breaks for young people, so that they can enjoy themselves, meet new people, have new experiences, improve their self-esteem and most of all have fun, while giving parents a well-earned break. More information can be found here.


The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Children’s Fund

Key Role: Providing financial support for children

The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Children’s Fund (RNRMCF) provides a range of support to children whose parents work, or have worked, for the Naval Service. This support includes childcare, special needs education, days out and in-home support in times of crisis. An area of particular growth has been the Charity’s focus on assisting children within its remit who have special needs. This work now accounts for nearly half of its awards to beneficiaries. In the last year alone, RNRMCF has supported over 1,500 children, but with over 40,000 servicemen currently in the Naval Service, it is keen to ensure that Naval families know where to find them. More information can be found here.


The Royal Naval Benevolent Trust (RNBT)

Key Role: Providing financial support

RNBT gives help, in cases of need, to serving and former Royal Naval ratings and Royal Marines other ranks, which includes Reservists. They also help their partners, children and some others connected with them. They make grants to assist in a very wide variety of circumstances, such as help towards living expenses, house repairs, disability aids, job training, all sorts of financial difficulties, care home top-up fees, domiciliary care and much more. Every year RNBT respond to just under three thousand applications with grants totaling about £1.3 million. More information can be found here.



Key Role: Advice and guidance

Seafarers’ Advice and Information Line – this organisation gives free advice to seafarers and their families on issues such as benefits, debt, housing and is part of the UK’s Citizen’s Advice Network. More information can be found here.


SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association)

Key Role: Fundraising and grant-making, advice and guidance, support to families

SSAFA provides lifelong support to anyone who is currently serving or has ever served in the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the British Army or the Royal Air Force (Regulars and Reserves) and their families. They have a network of trained volunteers on Army, RAF and Naval bases in the UK and around the world who can give you local support. They provide a range of personalised services, including welfare advice, housing and healthcare, and signposting to organisations that offer more specialised support. More information can be found here.

SSAFA Forcesline is a free and confidential telephone helpline and email service that provides support for Serving (regulars and reserves) and ex-Service men and women from the Armed Forces and for their families. As an independent charity, SSAFA is not part of the military Chain of Command. The team are there to listen and not to judge. They can give you factual information and ‘signpost’ ways forward to assist you. They can also speak with you in confidence if you, or someone you know, are absent without leave (AWOL).

To contact Forcesline from the UK, please call the freephone number: 0800 731 4880.  The line is open from 0900 – 1700 (UK local time) Monday – Friday. To contact Forcesline from overseas please call –

Germany: 0800 731 4880

Cyprus: 800 91065
Falkland Islands: # 6111
Anywhere in the world (Call-back): + 44 (0)207 463 9292

To email Forcesline, click here.


Key Role: Information about Service charities

COBSEO, as the Confederation of Service Charities, provides a single point of contact for interaction with Government, including local government and the Devolved Administrations; with the Royal Household; with the Private Sector; and, of course, with other members of the Armed Forces Community. This allows COBSEO members to interact with all interested parties and especially to cooperate and collaborate with others in order to provide the best possible level of support to our beneficiaries.

The COBSEO website holds a Member Directory which details the type of support that the member charities can provide. This database can be searched using various criteria, such as ‘education’ or ‘disability support’. More information can be found here.


Military Wives Choir Foundation

With an aim to bring women in the military community closer together through singing, there are now over 70 Military Wives Choirs in British Military bases across the UK, and overseas, helping to combat this isolation. For more information and to find a Military Wives Choir near you, click here, or call 020 7463 9407.



The Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC)

Key Role: Fundraising and grant-making

The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity is the principal charity of the Royal Navy. The charity exists to support sailors, marines and their families, for life. Since 2007, they have funded projects and facilities that boost morale for those who serve today. They also distribute millions of pounds annually to military charities which care for the children, families and veterans of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

In practical terms, the RNRMC is a fundraising and grant-making charity. This means it delivers its charitable outputs through dispensing grants to:

  • Other Naval charities;
  • Military charities;
  • Other charities with Naval beneficiaries;
  • Ships, units and personnel of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines and Auxiliaries;
  • Individual serving personnel and veterans through the RNOC and RMCTF.

More information can be found here.


The Royal Navy & Royal Marines Widows’ Association

Key Role: Providing advice and support

The Royal Navy & Royal Marines Widows’ Association was formed in 2008 when a small group of widows decided to set up an association to support other widows with the aim of bringing friendship, support, guidance and comfort to those who have experienced the trauma of bereavement.

Their members range in age from their 20’s through to their 80’s, each with a different story to tell, but bound by a common bond of support and friendship.

Unfortunately there is no easy answer to the grief bereavement brings, there is no time scale, each of us will take a different path on the journey. However, they have all been helped along by friendships they have made in the association and they would like to offer their support to other too. More information can be found here.


Royal Navy Officers’ Charity (RNOC)

Key Role: Financial support

RNOC provides benevolence to both serving and retired officers of the Naval Service (RN, RM and QARNNS), their spouses, former spouses and dependants who are in need of financial support. The Charity continues to make a real difference to the quality of life for beneficiaries through the breadth of their grant making. Support includes assistance to those on low incomes, care home fees, scholarships and re-training to gain employment. More information can be found here.


Seafarers UK

Key Role: Fundraising and grant-making

Seafarers UK is a charity that has been helping people in the maritime community for 100 years, by providing vital support to seafarers in need and their families.

They do this this by giving grants to organisations and projects that make a real difference to people’s lives, across the Merchant Navy, Fishing Fleets, Royal Navy and Royal Marines. They gave grants totaling £3.2 million to over 60 maritime welfare charities in 2017. More information can be found here.


Women’s Royal Naval Service Benevolent Trust (WRNS BT)

Key role: Providing financial support and advice

The primary object of this Trust is to provide relief in cases of necessity or distress among its members and their dependants. The Trust is also empowered, to make grants for the education of dependants. The Trust aims to give help in the most constructive way possible, whilst dealing with all requests speedily and effectively. The Trust maintains a close working relationship with all the other Service Charities to ensure the best possible assistance for its members.

Assistance need not only be financial; many members have found the advice available even more valuable than material aid. More information can be found here.

Posted on: 16th July, 2015
Updated on: 3rd January, 2019

Details about the current Assisted Conception Services and Fertility Preservation procedures in place for serving personnel and their spouse/partners can be found in 2021DIN01-020, which was updated in February 2021. This DIN can be accessed via the MoD Intranet system and provides guidance for Armed Forces Personnel initiating, accessing and/or continuing Assisted Conception Services (ACS) or Fertility Preservation (FP). We would recommend that you read through this DIN before making any decisions or undertaking any medical treatment.


In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is one of several techniques available to help people with fertility problems have a baby.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published fertility guidelines that make recommendations about who should have access to IVF treatment on the NHS in England and Wales.

If you are considering IVF, you may want to have a look at the links as they provide a lot of useful information:

The policies regarding NHS funding for Assisted Conception procedures vary across the UK. More information on the policies in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland can be found below.



NHS trusts across England and Wales are working to provide the same levels of service. But the provision of IVF treatment varies across the country, and often depends on local CCG policies. In some cases, only 1 cycle of IVF may be routinely offered, instead of the 3 recommended by NICE. Find out more here.

Please note that there is a specific policy in place for members of the Armed Forces who wish to consider IVF treatment which only applies in England. More information can be found here.



Eligible patients who are new referrals from 1st April 2017 may be offered up to three cycles of IVF/ICSI. Find out more here.



In November 2009 the Minister for Health & Social Care announced that patients who meet the access criteria, where the woman is aged less than 40, will be entitled to two NHS cycles of treatment. In 2013, in view of the NICE Guidance update for fertility services, the all Wales expert advisory group made recommendations that fertility services should be available up to a woman’s 43rd Birthday. Find out more here.


Northern Ireland 

In Northern Ireland the Health and Social Care Board (HSC) are responsible for commissioning of fertility services. A motion calling for the HSC to provide three full cycles of treatment has been approved in principle, but in reality additional finance needs to be made available to make this happen, even in a phased approach. Find out more here.


Posted on: 17th May, 2016
Updated on: 31st August, 2021

SSAFA Adoption Service is an independent adoption agency. Registered with OFSTED, the Scottish Care Commission and the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (Northern Ireland), they are one of a network of professional not for profit specialists, who work independently across local authority boundaries to provide consistent high quality support for adopters in the military and their adopted children. They help to create families fulfilling lives together. They are there for anyone serving who wishes to create a family through adoption.

SSAFA understand the particular challenges that serving families face during the adoption process.

Regular postings and deployments can make it difficult for serving personnel to adopt through local authorities but by offering a nationwide service SSAFA is able to support families through the entire process no matter where they move and no matter how long it takes.

Their dedicated staff work tirelessly to help ensure that serving personnel have the same opportunity to be assessed as adoptive parents as anyone else. They are always looking for people who can offer children a loving and supportive family for life.

SSAFA staff work with Armed Forces employers to ensure housing and educational needs are met and they also offer a wide range of extra support to adoptive families including practical help and assistance from local volunteers on the ground, and a dedicated post-adoption Social Worker who adopters can speak to at any stage in their post-placement journey.

More information about the SSAFA Adoption Service can be found here.


Have you considered fostering but you’re not sure whether you are able to if you live in Service provided accommodation?

The Joint Service Publication which sets out the policy for Service accommodation states that: ‘All Service personnel (including personnel who are single) who are active foster carers are entitled to Service Family Accommodation (SFA) or SFA above entitlement, where required, akin to personnel with natural or adopted children. Within the UK, approval as a foster carer and active (or forthcoming) fostering should be confirmed by means of a letter from the relevant Local Authority stipulating the geographical area (as this impacts on whether foster carer status carries over after being posted to a new location) and duration of approved foster carer status’. For further information, please click here.


Further information about Fostering

Recently awarded ‘Outstanding’ in all areas by Ofsted. The National Fostering Agency has been finding loving foster parents to improve children’s lives for decades. Find out more here.


Posted on: 17th May, 2016

Subscribe to our email communications to receive latest news and useful information straight to your inbox. You can read our previous issues here.


Subscribe to our regular e-updates!

* indicates required

It was announced in 2016 that spouses and civil partners of Service personnel will be able to apply for a new type of National Insurance (NI) credit to protect their State Pension (if they have accompanied their partner overseas).


Former Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

“We are making sure that military spouses and partners who spend time based overseas get the State Pension they deserve.  This is the latest step under the Armed Forces Covenant to ensure that service personnel and their families are treated fairly.”


How do you know if you’re eligible to apply for the new credits?

Service spouses and civil partners will be eligible to apply for the new Class 3 NI credits if they:

• Reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016, that means they were born on or after 6 April 1953 (if a woman) or 6 April 1951 (if a man); and

• Are or have been married to /in a civil partnership with a member of the Armed Forces; and

• Have accompanied their spouse or civil partner on a deployment outside the UK at any time since 6 April 1975; and

• At the time of the posting their spouse or civil partner must have paid, been treated as having paid or been credited with UK National Insurance.

You can still apply if you are now widowed, divorced or have had your civil partnership dissolved, provided you were married or in a civil partnership at the time you accompanied your partner abroad. Some Service spouses or civil partners who meet the above criteria will not have a gap in their NI records and so will not need to apply for the new credits. For example, you may not have a gap if you:

• were working in a job during the accompanied assignment where you paid UK NI contributions;

• were self-employed and paying self-employed Class 2 NI contributions throughout the accompanied assignment;

• received certain benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance (previously called Incapacity Benefit or Invalidity Benefit) or Child Benefit for the whole of the accompanied assignment(s)outside the UK.


How do I apply? 

You can apply for the new Class 3 NI credits anytime from 6 April 2016. There is no time limit in applying for the credits, although if you apply after you reach State Pension age any increased State Pension might not be paid for periods before the date of your application. For information about applying for the new Class 3 credit visit here.


The Class 1 NI Credit: A wider range of benefits for deployments since April 2010 

The new Class 3 credits do not replace the existing Class 1 NI credit for those who have accompanied a partner on a posting since April 2010, and which contribute not only towards entitlement to new State Pension, but also towards Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Bereavement Benefits (to be replaced for new claimants by Bereavement Support Payments in April 2017).


More information 

Further information about NI credits for Service spouses and civil partners is available online here.


Posted on: 12th May, 2016
Updated on: 4th January, 2019