*SURVEY CLOSED – we will keep you updated via our website and social media channels once the report has been published.*
*SURVEY CLOSED – we will keep you updated via our website and social media channels once the report has been published.*
The NHS has launched a questionnaire and series of virtual events to explore how it can improve health and wellbeing support for the Armed Forces community in England.
Whilst most Armed Forces families enjoy healthy lives, the unique circumstances of military life can cause pressures for some and affect an individual’s health and wellbeing. This is in addition to moving home every few years, which can make accessing the NHS difficult. The NHS want to help change this, so Armed Forces families are able to access NHS services easily in all parts of England. The NHS also want to ensure that they can get care and support from clinicians and people who understand their health and wellbeing needs.
Anyone can share their views, however, the NHS is particularly keen to hear from serving, reserve and veteran families, people who are serving in or who have served in the British Armed Forces (Regular and Reserves) and organisations working with or supporting the community. (Please see note at the bottom of this article)
In addition to the online questionnaire, the NHS are also keen to engage directly with Service families. Unfortunately, they are not able to go out and meet with people face to face at the moment, so we have arranged a series on online events for serving RN/RM families instead, which we will be jointly hosting with the NHS team. These will be small discussion groups* as we want everyone to have an opportunity to have their say and we have arranged events at different times to suit your needs.
If you can help us with this important piece of work, which will have an impact on the provision of Service families’ health and wellbeing in the future, please click on one of the links below to register.
*Please note that you can also remain anonymous during these online events, if you would prefer to.
The Armed Forces Families Engagement Programme is a new NHS England initiative. However, the team are keen to hear from any Armed Forces family member who may want to contribute, wherever they live at the moment, as we are sure that many will still have had experiences of using NHS England services at some stage. We understand that NHS England intend to share the final report and outcomes of this programme with the NHS in the devolved administration areas too, so that they are aware of any local issues or feedback that our Service families may raise over the coming weeks.
Researchers at Bath Spa University are conducting a new study to understand what helps or hinders teaching careers for spouses and partners of British Armed Forces personnel. Findings from the study will inform teacher training providers, like Bath Spa University, that want to recruit and support trainee teachers with a military-affiliated background.
Research at Bath Spa University has identified specific challenges faced by mature students with a military-affiliated background, including military wives (Macer & Chadderton, 2020). Recent news reports suggest an increasing number of people are now considering joining the teaching profession since the Covid-19 lockdown. However, little is known about the experiences of spouses and partners of British Armed Forces personnel who want to pursue or return to a career in teaching.
This study is supported by the three Families Federations and is being conducted via an online survey. To take part in the study, participants should be:
Please click here to participate in the research survey. The survey will close on Friday 2nd October 2020.
If you would like to know more, please get in touch with Dr Mel Macer, School of Education, Bath Spa University at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sincere thanks to everyone who generously gave their time to respond to our childcare survey. The survey is now closed. We will keep you updated via our website and social media channels once the final report becomes available. We will take your thoughts and concerns to the government and the Chain of Command to inform change.
If you missed the survey deadline, please email us at email@example.com as we would still like to document your ‘lived experience’ about this and any other issues that concern you.
You may recall that the NFF conducted a Childcare survey back in 2016. Thank you for your excellent responses which we collated and used to advocate strongly for change to remove disadvantage in this area. The whole report can be downloaded here.
As a result of our advocacy, the MOD has now agreed to consider how Service families can be better supported with childcare. We now have an opportunity to directly inform any potential changes and decisions and wish the specific needs of Royal Navy and Royal Marines families to be represented.
By completing this survey, you will be informing us and helping us to build a clearer picture of the childcare issues that affect you.
This survey should take about 10 minutes to complete: surveymonkey.co.uk/r/nff-childcare
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:
Click here to read the report in full.
Researchers at King’s College London are carrying out a new study into maternal mental health in the Armed Forces community. Findings from the study will be used to help those providing care to spouses and partners of UK Armed Forces personnel, including NHS and Defence healthcare professionals, Armed Forces charities, community and welfare teams, and perinatal health organisations. It is hoped that this will lead to improvements in services for spouses and partners of Service personnel during and after pregnancy.
Pregnancy and the arrival of a new baby signifies a period of unprecedented change, excitement and hope for the future for most women. However, for some, it can be a particularly difficult time due to mental health issues, which may arise during or after pregnancy. The spouses and partners of Armed Forces personnel may be at increased risk of developing a mental health problem in the perinatal period (pregnancy and up to 12 months following birth) as they are exposed to unique factors associated with this unique lifestyle.
However, we know very little about what pregnancy and early motherhood is like for UK Armed Forces spouses and partners, with the majority of available evidence coming from the US.
The study is being supported by the three Families Federations and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The project is being conducted via an online survey.
To take part in the study, participants should be:
Please click this link to participate in the research.
FAMCAS 2019 is now closed – view the results here.
You may have been asked by your serving partner to complete the Families Continuous Attitude Survey (FAMCAS). The survey asks questions about key welfare areas including family life, childcare, deployment, education, employment, healthcare, and housing. It provides spouses/civil partners with an opportunity to share their views on what life is like being with a member of the Armed Forces. In the previous years, the survey was sent to a random selection of Service families located both within the UK and overseas. However, FAMCAS is now open to all Service spouses/partners.
We would really encourage you to take part in the survey as the results from the survey are used to aid the development and monitoring of military personnel policies and welfare initiatives. They are also used to inform and monitor Defence personnel programmes (such as the Armed Forces People Programme) and aim to address all types of challenges faced by the families of service personnel. All replies will be treated in the strictest confidence and are completely anonymous. Your individual responses will only be seen by the civilian researchers conducting this survey and external data input contractors.
You may be thinking, “What about me? I am not the legal spouse of the serving person, but their service has a big impact on me/my children, and I should be invited to comment.” We agree. We are meeting with the researchers working for FAMCAS to encourage the development of a more inclusive and useful survey that more accurately reflects modern family life. We also know that dual serving couples find it difficult to complete the FAMCAS. We will update you with any progress made in this area. In the meantime, please do have a go at completing the survey. Feel free to get in touch with us with any additional feedback you may wish us to pass on.
Calling young people aged 11-18 with a parent in the Armed Forces
A study is being carried out at the University of Southampton to investigate how adolescents from Armed Forces families cope with stressful life events (both normal adolescent stressful events and events specific to Forces life). The results of this study could be used to provide recommendations for how best to support young people from Forces families during difficult times. We are particularly interested in encouraging effective practice in the use of Service Pupil Premium in schools, and there is currently a lack of evidence about what interventions are effective for young people and teenagers.
This online study is open to participants aged 11-18 who have a parent in the UK Armed Forces. Consent is needed from both the participants and their parent/guardian, which is given online. Participants are asked to complete some demographic questions and 3 questionnaires: one on stressful life experiences; one on resilience; and one on coping styles. The whole thing will take around 1 hour to complete. Participants will receive a £5 Amazon voucher to thank them for taking part in the study.
We would very much appreciate your support with this work, as without evidence it is very hard to encourage change. Thank you so much for sharing and participating!
The Secretary of State for Defence has asked Andrew Selous MP to produce an independent report to Government to see what more support can be offered to Service families.
The report will analyse the different experiences of Service family members, focussing on:
The report team would like to hear from serving personnel and their families and from those who have recently left the armed services, as well as from providers of services to Armed Forces families in the statutory, voluntary and charity sectors.
The report team would like to receive evidence in respect of the following areas, but would also welcome evidence in any other areas of concern:
The report team is keen to hear what is working well in addition to what needs to be improved.
Submissions/comments should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by the 15th of March. ‘Independent Report on Service Families’ should be included in the Subject line of the email.
The review will seek the first-hand experiences of military families. All families and their data will remain anonymous and no-one will be personally identified in any report. The review team will not retain any data after the report has been published. All discussions will be completely confidential and the information received will never be shared with anyone else.
** Edit: The consultation period has ended on 15th March. **
We were delighted to host Andrew Selous MP and Prof Jan Walker, lead of his research team, at our offices in HMS Excellent on 4th April 2019. We were joined by over a dozen of serving personnel and Service spouses/partners. Read the news story here.
If you have missed the opportunity to submit evidence, please do contact us, as we would like to hear from you. The NFF exists to give all serving Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel and their families the opportunity to have their views heard by those in positions of power, and we can challenge policy on your behalf.
** Update: This survey is now closed. Please see the results here. We would like to express our gratitude to everyone who has contributed to the survey.**
The Ministry of Defence is in the process of reviewing the provision of military housing from initial application through to the complaints process, including the future repair and maintenance contract, currently held by Amey. Please complete (and share) this Housing Survey to allow the NFF to use your views and feedback to influence the outcome of decisions made.
Naval Families Federation CEO Anna Wright said:
“Royal Navy and Royal Marines families provided evidence in relation to the Carillion Amey Service Family Accommodation (SFA) maintenance contract, which the Naval Families Federation presented to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee in 2016. Members of the Committee recognised the importance of feedback from Armed Forces families. Please take up this invitation to have your voice heard on this important subject.”
This survey will run until midnight 30th November 2018 and takes 10-15 minutes to complete.
Please note this survey is for the new SFA maintenance contract and is not part of the Future Accommodation Model (FAM) project. Information on FAM can be found here.