SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity announced the release of a new survey report written by the FANDF committee. This powerful report shares the voices of this sometimes-overlooked Additional Needs and Disability community within the Armed Forces. This is the first time that this demographic has shared these insights and their experiences in an official capacity with the Ministry of Defence.
Under the MOD’s Defence and Inclusion (D&I) strategy, efforts are being made to shine a light into every corner of the Forces community. In order to better support these families, their opinions and personal experiences have been collated and their own on-the-ground-recommendations are being shared.
Key report findings:
- Lack of a ‘normal’ family routine caused by military lifestyle leaves those families with additional needs and disabilities struggling to climb waiting lists and access specialist services required
- Children’s education can suffer as stretched local authorities subconsciously under-resource support for children who will ‘move on’ shortly. The report finds ongoing issues with obtaining an educational diagnosis and support for children, according to 29% of respondents surveyed
- Access to continuity of health care is a big concern, with health and educational records taking time to be transferred and those families claiming access to support having to start again from scratch every time they move
- Autistic Spectrum Disorder is the most common additional need identified by 48% of respondents, and specialist support for military families dealing with this is necessary
Click here to read the report in full.