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Transition Tag

 

Launching the second Edition of Families transition too! A Transition Guide – for the families of Royal Navy and Royal Marines Service Leavers.

 

The Naval Families Federation is delighted to introduce the second Edition of Families transition too! A Transition Guide – for the families of Royal Navy and Royal Marines Service Leavers.

 

When we first produced this guide, we wanted to ensure that families of Service Leavers were supported during their Service person’s transition out of the RN/RM.  The guide was received so well by our audience that we wanted to ensure that you had all of the latest information available.

 

The new edition highlights some key new additions that we wanted families to be aware of such as the new Defence Transition Service, the newly launched Veterans Railcard, new employment support for spouses and partners and changes to policies, that for the first time, recognise the important role that families have to play in their Service person’s transition.

 

We hope that this updated version helps you and your family to prepare and plan for your transition out of the Royal Navy or Royal Marines.

 

Please click here to read the eBook or click here to download as PDF.

 

Posted on: 8th January, 2021

On 25 October 2004, the Immigration Rules were amended to provide for all those with at least 4 years’ reckonable service within Her Majesty’s Armed Forces to apply for settlement in the UK after discharge.

Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

To assist HM Forces personnel in making the transition to civilian life, settlement applications may be lodged up to 18 weeks before the discharge date, although settlement cannot be granted until after exemption from immigration control has ceased upon their discharge.

 

The Immigration Rules make provision for applications for settlement to be made either from overseas or from within the UK.

 

When a serving member of HM Forces is discharged from the Armed Forces, the exemption from immigration control stamp is cancelled by the Unit Personnel Office (UPO) contacting the Home Office and they will then have 28 days to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in order to remain in the UK.

 

Requirements for a grant of Indefinite Leave to Remain

(Applications made from within the United Kingdom)

 

The requirements for indefinite leave to remain as a Foreign or Commonwealth citizen discharged from HM Forces are that the applicant:

  • has completed at least four years’ service with HM Forces; or
  • meets the medical discharge criteria (please refer to the section below) and
  • is not in the UK in breach of immigration laws except that any period of overstaying for a period of 28 days or less will be disregarded; and
  • does not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal

 

Requirements for a grant of Indefinite Leave to Enter

(For applications made from outside the United Kingdom)

 

The requirements for indefinite leave to enter the United Kingdom as a foreign or Commonwealth citizen discharged from HM Forces are that the applicant:

  • has completed at least four years’ service with HM Forces; and
  • was discharged from HM Forces on completion of engagement; and
  • was not discharged from HM Forces more than 2 years prior to the date on which the application is made; and
  • does not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal

 

Spouses and children

Please note that spouses are only eligible for Indefinite Leave to remain (ILR) on discharge if the serving Commonwealth person is also eligible. Spouse has limited leave visa issued under Appendix Armed Forces. You should have a visa issued for five years and will not be eligible to apply for ILR until 28 days prior to the visa expiring.

 

You will need to meet the Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK requirements and minimum income requirements.  Complete form SET(AF), you will need to tick the box marked ‘partner or child of a member of HM Forces who has been discharged’ on page 3.

 

If you were not issued a visa for 5 years please contact NFF for advice on any potential options that may be open to you.

 

Spouse does not have a 5 year visa or is an overstayer

If you are an overstayer or are not sure what type of visa you have, please contact the NFF for advice on any potential options that may be open to you.

Applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain for those who have served less than 4 years
Applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain for those who have served less than 4 years
  • Please refer to Medical Discharge.

 

Note: Reckonable Service

To qualify under the Immigration Rules relating to discharge, the applicant must have completed a minimum of four years reckonable service. Details of an applicant’s reckonable service are provided by the applicant’s Unit Personnel Office (UPO).

 

However, in general, Reckonable Service is all service when an HM Forces member is not:

  • absent without leave (AWOL)
  • detained in military detention
  • detained serving a sentence in one of Her Majesty’s Prisons (HMP), Young Offenders Institutions (YOI) or Youth Justice Board (YJB) establishments
  • on a career break
Summary - Requirements for ILR and Application Process
  • Application for ILR cannot be made during service, unless discharge date is set.
  • Application for ILR can be made after a minimum of 4 years’ reckonable service.
  • Application for ILR costs £2389 for main applicant and £2389 for each additional dependant.
  • Applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain are made on Form Set (AF)
  • To access form SET (AF) click here
  • If the F&C service person has been discharged and decides to return to country of origin before applying for settlement, an application for Indefinite Leave to Enter from country of origin, can be made up to 2 years’ post discharge.
  • Applications made outside United Kingdom should be made online using the online service.
  • Please click on the section:
    • ­Relevant civilian employee, former member of UK armed forces (HM forces) or a bereaved family member’ (near the bottom of the drop down list)
    • For ‘Visa type’ – select: ‘Former UK Armed Forces (HM Forces)
    • The Current Visa Fee: £1523.00
Medical Discharge (MD) – Basic Requirements

To assist the HM Forces member who is being medically discharged in making the transition from Service to civilian life, applications for settlement from medical discharges may be lodged up to 18 weeks before the discharge date. Although settlement cannot be granted until after discharge has taken place.

 

Where a Foreign or Commonwealth member of HM Forces is medically discharged as a direct result of injury sustained during operations, the requirement for them to have completed four years‟ service to qualify for settlement should normally be waived by the Home Office and they should in theory be granted settlement.

 

Basic Requirements

To apply under the rules relating to medical discharge, the applicant must:

  • have completed at least four years reckonable service with HM Forces (this excludes periods where the applicant was absent without leave, in military detention or on unpaid leave)
  • meet the medical discharge criteria, and on the date of the application:
    • have been discharged from HM Forces less than two years before the date of application
    • if medically discharged more than two years before, new information regarding their prognosis is being considered
    • have been granted their most recent period of limited leave under either paragraph 15 or 19 of Appendix Armed Forces or under paragraphs 276KA or 276QA of the Immigration Rules as a foreign or Commonwealth citizen who has been discharged from HM Forces or under the concession which existed in respect of those medically discharged from HM Forces.
MD for those who have served less than 4 years

The Immigration Rules enable a person who has served for less than 4 years and is being medically discharged to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the following circumstances:

  • Where the cause was attributable to deployment in an operational theatre
  • Where the cause was not attributable to deployment in an operational theatre but it is appropriate to grant leave to enter or remain in the UK following an assessment of the following factors:
    • The seriousness of the injury
    • The need for further medical treatment in relation to the illness or injury and the availability of such medical treatment in the applicant’s country of origin.
    • The prognosis for recovery, including whether the injury or illness will affect the applicants ability to support themselves in their country of origin and
    • The length of reckonable service in HM Forces at the time of the applicants discharge.

 

Applications for Limited Leave

If a person cannot meet the requirements for a grant of Indefinite Leave to Remain, then Limited Leave may be granted in the following circumstances:

  • The cause of the medical discharge was attributable to service in HM Forces and
  • It would be considered appropriate to grant limited leave to facilitate further medical treatment or a period of recovery.
Impacts of Injuries – Settlement Applications for ILR

The Immigration Rules permits a person who is being medically discharged, but has served for less than 4 years, to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the following circumstances:

  • Where the cause of the injury was the result of deployment in an operational theatre.
  • Where the cause was not the result of deployment in an operational theatre, but it is appropriate to grant leave to enter or remain in the UK following an assessment of the following factors:
    • The seriousness of the injury.
    • The need for further medical treatment in relation to the illness or injury and the availability of such medical treatment in the applicant’s country of origin.
    • The prognosis for recovery, including whether the injury or illness will affect the applicant’s ability to support themselves in their country of origin; and
    • The length of reckonable service in HM Forces at the time of the applicant’s discharge.

 

The Immigration Rules enable a F & C service person who has served less than 4 years and is being medically discharged to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the following circumstances:

  • Causes resulting from a deployment.
  • Causes that have not been a result of a deployment in an operational theatre, where it is appropriate to grant leave to enter or remain in UK after assessment.

 

Application Process – Application for ILR on Medical Discharge
  • Applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain are made on Form Set (AF)
  • Form Set (AF) cost is £2389 per applicant.
  • Access form SET (AF)
Impacts of Injuries – Applications for Limited Leave to Remain

If a person cannot meet the requirements for a grant of Indefinite Leave to Remain, then Limited Leave may be granted in the following circumstances:

  • The cause of the medical discharge was due to service in HM Forces, and
  • It would be considered appropriate to grant limited leave to facilitate further medical treatment or a period of recovery.

 

Application Process – Application for Limited Leave to Remain on Medical Discharge
  • Applications for Limited Leave to remain are made on Form FLR (AF).
  • Application FLR (AF) cost is £1033.00 per applicant.
Applications for Leave to Remain if injury or medical condition was not a result of HM Forces service and the applicant has not completed at least 4 Years Reckonable Service
Applications for Leave to Remain if injury or medical condition was not a result of HM Forces service and the applicant has not completed at least 4 Years Reckonable Service

If an injury or a medical condition is not attributable to the person’s HM Forces service and they have not served at least 4 years reckonable service, it is unlikely that the Home Office UKVI will grant permission to continue residing in the UK after discharge. Nevertheless, the Home Office are obliged to consider any application on a case by case basis and these will be considered ‘outside the immigration rules’. Please contact Pete Hawley of Naval Families Federation before attempting an application of this type.

 

For those previously discharged and refused settlement – there is important information that former HM Forces members may not be aware of:
  • Any cases of medically discharged servicemen or women who sustained an injury during operations and had previously been refused settlement will now be reviewed in line with the recent Home Office guidance, where such cases are brought to the Home Office’s attention. The requirement to have been discharged no more than 2 years prior to the date of application would also be waived in re-consideration cases.
  • Cases where the Home Office may exercise discretion would include where discharge of a HM Armed Forces member who has completed initial training results directly from an injury sustained on duty but outside an operational theatre (e.g. during pre-deployment training) or from a medical condition attributable to their training or service.
  • In such cases, the Home Office may exercise discretion to waive the 4 years minimum service requirement under the settlement rules, especially where the injury is of a serious nature and the long-term prognosis is poor or where there will be an ongoing need for medical treatment which is not available in the individual’s home country.
British Citizenship Applications prior to discharge

All information about applying for British citizenship can be found in the British Citizenship section click here.

 

IMPORTANT: You should only apply for citizenship if you have at least four to six months before your date of discharge. The reason for this is because applications can take up to six months to process and you won’t be able to continue with a successful transition if you don’t have evidence of your right to remain in the UK.

 

Commonwealth service personnel are in a unique situation in that they can apply for citizenship without first requiring ILR. This is because their exempt stamp is considered to be ILR and are therefore ‘free from Immigration time restrictions’ for the purposes of naturalising.

 

If you are considering British Citizenship it makes sense to apply during Service as it means that you won’t have to then apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) on discharge, thus saving a lot of time and money.  Please be aware that there is no requirement to apply for citizenship to be able to remain permanently in the UK, you are only required to get ILR so this is a personal choice.

 

Becoming a British citizen does not affect your spouse’s visa.

 

What happens if my application for citizenship is not processed prior to the end of the 28 days?
  • Unlike applications for visas, your immigration status at the time of application for naturalisation will not continue whilst the application is being processed. So once the 28 days is over, you will be considered to be an overstayer. However, your application for citizenship will not be refused if you become an overstayer.
  • The main problem with becoming an overstayer is in cases where the citizenship application is refused. As an overstayer, you will theoretically not be eligible for ILR and may have to apply for limited leave to be able to remain in the UK. You should therefore be very careful to read the citizenship guidance (particularly the good character guidance) to ensure you meet all the requirements.

 

Applying for Citizenship after discharge

As highlighted in the paragraphs above, this can be a costly route to citizenship but may be a necessity down to personal circumstances. Please be aware that:

  • You can only apply for citizenship after discharge if you have already been granted ILR. If you haven’t applied for citizenship prior to discharge, you will need to apply for ILR instead within 28 days of the date of your discharge.
  • Discharged Commonwealth personnel can apply for citizenship immediately after they have been granted ILR if they meet all of the the other requirements. There is no requirement to wait for 12 months ‘free from Immigration time restrictions’.
  • This information is clearly written in the UKBA guidance, see below. This applies to all Commonwealth personnel
    • “While in the Armed Services, applicants are exempt from immigration control and therefore free of immigration time restrictions. Applicants will have been free of immigration time restrictions throughout their period of Service. In many cases, former Armed Services personnel will have been granted ILR on discharge and will meet the requirement to have been free of immigration time restrictions in the 12 months prior to the date of application.”

 

Please be aware that spouses will need to apply for ILR and then wait for 12 months prior to applying for citizenship as they were not exempt from immigration control at the time of the application.

Summary – Discharge
  • Application for ILR Set (AF) can be made 18 weeks prior to medical discharge. Settlement cannot be granted until after discharge.
  • Application for ILR Set (AF) can be made before a minimum of 4 years’ reckonable service in exceptional circumstances.
  • Application for ILR using form Set (AF) costs £2389 for main applicant and £2389 for each additional dependant.
  • Form FLR (AF) is used for F&C personnel requiring treatment before returning to country of origin, but not seeking settlement.
  • If the F&C service person has been Medically Discharged because of injuries sustained during Operational deployment or training and sent back to country of origin, they now have the right to apply.
  • If the F&C service person has been Medically Discharged as a result of injuries sustained during Operational deployment or training and sent back to country of origin, they have the right to apply for Leave to Enter.
  • If you are considering an application for British Citizenship and you are eligible, start the process early
  • Applications made outside United Kingdom should be made online using the online service:
    • Please click on the section:
      • ‘Relevant civilian employee, former member of UK armed forces (HM forces) or a bereaved family member’ (near bottom of drop down list)
      • For ‘Visa type’ – select:  ‘Former UK Armed Forces (HM Forces)
      • The Current Visa Fee:  £1523.00
Useful Links and Information
  • For Home Office guidance on settlement applications from members of HM Forces who have been discharged, click here.

 

Application Forms
Posted on: 8th September, 2020
Updated on: 29th March 2021

 

Armed Forces personnel and their families are to receive enhanced support from the MOD as they re-join civilian life, the Defence Secretary has announced today.

 

The expanded support includes the launch a new organisation, the Defence Transition Services (DTS), which will provide comprehensive support to service leavers.

 

Dedicated MOD staff across the country will help those few service leavers who may struggle as they transition into civilian life. More responsibility will also be placed on commanders to identify those who are likely to face the greatest challenges in making a successful transition.

 

Previously, transition support was mainly focussed on ensuring that personnel find jobs when leaving service, through the MOD’s longstanding and successful Career Transition Partnership (CTP). Now, personnel and their families will also receive expanded support and guidance, including in areas such as personal finance, accessing healthcare, housing costs and paying council tax.

 

The new measures announced today also include:

 

  • Regionally based teams with dedicated staff will provide support to individuals and their families assessed as facing the greatest challenges during the transition stage
  • Placing responsibility on a service person’s unit to assess each service leaver’s preparedness for transitioning into civilian life. Those assessed as someone who may struggle in civilian life will then be referred to Defence Transition Services
  • New guidance for all service leavers on issues to consider when leaving the armed forces, including housing, finances and access to healthcare, as well as the crucial issue of their family’s transition away from being an integral part of Service life
  • A new Defence Holistic Transition Policy

 

Bespoke support from the DTS is provided for a member of the armed forces while they approach their date of discharge and will not stop start when they leave the military. The support can continue for as long as it is needed.

 

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:

“We have a duty of care to our service personnel and veterans and today’s stepped up support will help ensure that no veteran is left behind.

“While the vast majority of those who leave the armed forces go on the lead happy, healthy and successful lives, we need to do everything we can for those who do struggle.

“Providing more comprehensive support at the crucial transition stage will help in giving service leavers an extra boost when they re-join civilian life.”

 

A successful transition is key for the majority of service leavers to ensure they build successful lives as civilians. The MOD recognises its crucial role in ensuring its service leavers are as well prepared and supported as possible to re-enter civilian society.

 

Today’s announcement also delivers against the government-wide Strategy for Our Veterans, ensuring the approximate 15,000 service leavers each year contribute fully to society and setting the standard for future recruitment to the armed forces.

 

The new initiatives, which will be run by the MOD, will ensure that service leavers are fully considering all relevant aspects of their departure from the Armed Forces, the effect of that departure on their families, and the appropriate steps to be taken to ensure that the transition, both in the short and long term, is as successful as possible.

 

Providing an extra layer of care for those preparing to leave the military, DTS will deliver specialist support for personnel who are most likely to face challenges as they adjust to civilian life. Service leavers will be offered unique solutions to the challenges they face, including help with employment.

 

The DTS will also be responsible for providing signposting and connecting with external support from other government departments and public bodies, as well as trusted charities.

 

The increased support comes after the Government established the Office for Veterans Affairs, bringing together all relevant Government departments to ensure that veterans are receiving the support they need and deserve.

 

We are pleased that the tri-Families Federation research Lifting the Lid on Transition has helped to inform this new policy.

 

The Naval Families Federation welcomes your feedback. Please do contact us via our website with any comments you make have. Click here to access the NFF’s Transition Guide for Royal Navy and Royal Marines families.

 

Posted on: 1st November, 2019

Veterans’ Gateway, alongside the NFF and our colleagues at the Army and RAF Families Federations, have launched a ‘Plan Early’ campaign to encourage Service leavers and their family members to look ahead when transitioning into civvy street.

 

As highlighted in a recent reports by the three Families Federations, Lifting the Lid of Transition, findings revealed that 51% of the survey respondents did not know where to go for welfare services, and 33% of respondents believed they would be worse off financially. With that in mind, Veterans’ Gateway have come up with this campaign to ensure that Service leavers and their families are prepared for some of the challenges they could possibly be facing.

 

The campaign’s website covers important aspects and challenges Service leavers and their families may face when transitioning out of their Service, such as housing, employment, finance, mental and physical wellbeing, and family life. There are also lists of other organisations that could be useful.

 

You can watch a short video on this campaign here:

 

Visit this page for a list of FAQs on leaving the Services, written by the Families Federations. Visit this page to access the ‘Plan Early’ campaign, which holds a wealth of information.

 

Posted on: 3rd April, 2019

*Update*: We are pleased that a tri-Families Federation research has helped to inform a new Holistic Transition Policy, announced by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace on 1st November, 2019. Read more about this here.

 

The government have today released The Strategy for our Veterans, which sets out how they will seek to fulfill their vision “to see those who have served in the UK Armed Forces, and their families, transition smoothly back into civilian life and contribute fully to a society that understands and values what they have done and what they have to offer.”

 

The strategy calls for greater collaboration and coordination between organisations and charities that support veterans and their families. It identifies six key themes: community and relationships; employment skills and education, finance and debt, health and wellbeing; making a home in civilian society; veterans and the law.

 

Importantly for our families, it also stated that the MOD is introducing a new Defence Holistic transition policy, which will contain life skills material which will be made available to Service Personnel and their families throughout their time in the Armed Forces to help better prepare them for civilian life. It has also been announced that there will be a new Defence Transition Service to support those families with more complex transition needs.

 

This is the first time that families are being recognised as integral to the transition process when their Service person leaves the Armed Forces. It will provide more support and information in areas such as housing, finance, health and wellbeing. It also recognises the complex and nuanced needs of Foreign and Commonwealth families who chose to stay in the UK after they leave the Armed Forces and will provide tailored information to support them in the process of applying for and financing the cost of visas and other housing needs.

 

We look forward to working closely with the Royal Navy to see how this new Veterans Strategy and Defence Holistic Transition Policy will be implemented and how this will benefit our families.

 

Posted on: 14th November, 2018
Updated on: 20th January, 2020

A two-year tri-Federation project comes to fruition today (Thursday 1st November) with the publication of a report into transition. This report, funded by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), has revealed that more awareness about the demands of transition is needed for families of Service leavers.

 

The report contains a list of recommendations including the need for:

  • A shift in culture (for policy makers, service providers, Service leavers and families themselves), which better appreciates the breadth of transition and the need to engage with it from an earlier point in a Service leaver’s career.
  • Raising awareness of the importance of advance planning.
  • An education piece to cover transition entitlement and processes.
  • Tailoring support to families’ specific needs.

 

The report, the first to specifically look at the lived experience of Service families, reveals the complex nature of transition and affirms the six ‘elements’ of transition: housing, health, education and children, employment, finances and wellbeing.

 

It also highlights the need for further research to better understand specific cohorts of families such as Foreign & Commonwealth, those whose Service leaver is being medically discharged and the challenges faced by Service children.

 

Anna Wright, CEO Naval Families Federation, said:

“The unique nature of Naval Service life is reflected by the ‘can do’ attitude of our families. However, it doesn’t automatically follow that all Naval Service families find the transition process to be without challenge. This report provides those in decision making roles with an insightful and honest bank of information to help support their thinking and consider the needs of Naval Service families when reviewing or updating appropriate policies.

“We are hugely grateful to all the families who took part in the research, offering their time and

sharing their ‘lived experience’ to inform this report.”

 

Sara Baade, Chief Executive, Army Families Federation said:

“The Army Families Federation is very grateful to FiMT for the opportunity to conduct much-needed research showing more needs to be done to support those going through transition out of the military. This work strengthens existing evidence in this area and the report’s recommendations are invaluable in supporting the case for improved resources and services that families can use to ensure their transition is successful, whatever their make-up. This key evidence also supports the Veterans’ Strategy announced by the Defence Secretary earlier this year; those transitioning out of the Forces are the veterans of tomorrow, and ensuring families overcome the many challenges transition can pose goes some way to ensuring a successful civilian life.”

 

Graeme Spark, Acting Director, RAF FF said:

“We have been delighted to have been part of this project – understanding completely the need for a holistic approach to transition to best support RAF families now and in the future. We now look forward to helping deliver where we can some of its recommendations.”

 

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said:

“The process of transition is not solely about the Service personnel, it affects the entire family unit. What has become clear, from the library of research funded by FiMT, is that the earlier planning for leaving the Armed Forces starts, the more successful and sustainable is the transition.

“The recommendations within this report highlight the need to do more to ensure that the families of Service personnel are given the support required to successfully navigate the transition pathway.”

 

You can read the full report here. Please contact us if you would like to obtain a hard copy.

 

If you have an experience of transition that you’d like to share or have any questions or concerns, contact: transition@nff.org.uk.

 

Posted on: 1st November, 2018
Updated on: 14th November, 2018

On 30th September 2018, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson announced a new package to help Armed Forces personnel and their family members throughout their careers and their transitions into civilian life.

 

He said:

‘’The bravery and dedication of our people is second to none. Whether they are in service, have served, or support the service of a loved one, we owe them a great debt of gratitude for their work in keeping this country safe. It is only right that we give our Armed Forces every opportunity to develop their skills to reach their potential, while ensuring that their spouses and civil partners are just as valued for the part they play.

The vast majority of those who have served in our Armed Forces go on to lead successful and rewarding lives, but it’s important we recognise that the transition is not always smooth. We are dedicated to upholding the support they receive while in uniform as they take this next step, and I’m delighted to be adding an extra helping hand to those most in need.‘’

 

The new package will include the following schemes:

  • Launching a new transition programme and ID cards for Service leavers. A new Defence Transition Service will deliver specialist support for Service personnel to adjust to civilian life, including help with housing and employment. New ID cards will be available to Service leavers shortly, and those who have already made the transition will be able to apply for an ID card in 2019. These cards will allow easy access to the range of support available from the public and charitable sectors, including registering with your local authority for priority healthcare and housing;

 

  • A new fund will be dedicated to support the careers of Service spouses and partners, following the success of the MOD’s Spouse Employment Support trial. This will facilitate access to vocational training and development opportunities to entering new sectors or self-employment;

 

  • By the end of 2020, all serving personnel will have access to their own Professional and Personal Development Plan, a scheme that will enable them to hone the skills they need to succeed throughout their service, and to equip them for the next stage of their careers. It can also help create a support network for those living with significant illness, caring for others.

 

We will share further details as they become available. The Naval Families Federation welcomes your feedback on these and other issues. Please do contact us via our website with any comments you make have.

 

Posted on: 1st October, 2018

The Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) have produced a practical guide to help families understand the psychological and emotional dimensions of moving. The information is designed to help parents minimise the impact for their children and make the move as positive an experience as possible.

 

1. Tell your children that you will be moving and give them an idea of the timescale. It is much better that they hear about a move from their parents rather than from someone else.

 

2. Your children may need something visual, like a calendar (showing how many sleeps till the move) to help them understand the timescale.

 

3. Talk to your child(ren) about the new destination and help them to find out more about the new area. The internet will often be the easiest way to find things that will be of interest to them.

 

4. Find out about schools in the new area. If you have any difficulty doing this, contact CEAS, who will be able to give you advice and guidance. Email DCYP-CEAS-Enquiries@mod.uk or phone 01980 618244 or (mil) 94344 8244. Remember it is a parental responsibility to apply for a school place.

 

5. Once you know which school your children will be going to, make contact with the team there. Try to establish an e-mail pen friend for your child(ren) so that they can start to get to know someone in their class prior to the move. Ask if they perhaps have a member of staff who specifically looks after Service children – some schools now have dedicated support staff.

 

6. If you have any choice about the timing of the move, opt to move during the summer holidays so that children will join a new school at the start of the academic year. If this is not possible, explore the possibilities of moving during the Easter or Christmas holidays.

families on the move 2

 

 

7. Help your children to plan their goodbyes. This includes talking about the people they wish to visit before moving; leaving parties; final visits to favourite places and restaurants; time to say goodbye to friends and family.

 

8. Help children to ‘make up’ with friends they may have fallen out with, in anticipation of the move. This will enable them to say a proper goodbye to significant friends. It is important to remember that the more successfully you leave, the easier it is to join in your new place.

 

9. Think about how to keep in touch with family members and special friends (addresses, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers). Help children to be realistic about this so that they do not promise to keep in touch with too many people and then feel disappointed in themselves when they can’t achieve this.

 

10. Help children to gather photographs and souvenirs to remind them of special people and places.

 

11. Try to keep to your usual family routines as much as possible up to the time of the move as this will help children to feel secure.

 

12. Keeping a family scrapbook to record things you have done and seen in a particular location.

 

13. Teach children about any different customs that they need to know for their new location.

 

14. Plan visits home and visits from extended family to help maintain a sense of closeness and continuity with significant people.

families on the move 3

15. If your belongings are going into storage, keep some things with you which will help you feel at home in your new environment.

 

16. Talk about the move with your children and share your feelings about it.

 

17. When you arrive at your new destination, get your children into school as soon as possible.

 

18. Explore your new environment together.

 

19. Establish new family routines as quickly as possible.

 

20. Remember that it takes time to adjust to a new place. Don’t take on too much too quickly or you may end up feeling overwhelmed.

 

If you are concerned about how your children are responding to a move, talk to your school. If you are overseas, you can also contact the DCYP Targeted Services team responsible for the MOD School. You can contact CEAS at DCYP-CEAS-Enquiries@mod.uk

 

Further information

If your child is moving schools, this downloadable resource may be of interest to you.

 

Posted on: 21st June, 2017

 

If you and your family are considering leaving the Royal Navy or Royal Marines or are already on your way out, find out all of the information that you need to know about your transition in these guides:

 

  • Front cover of NFF Transition Guide - for RN/RM Service leavers and their families. Full guide can be found on our website.Most Service leavers and their families leave the Armed Forces with no problems at all. However, for some, transition can be an unsettling and anxious time. Do have a look at our Transition Guide for Royal Navy and Royal Marines Families here (v2 updated in January 2021), which includes all of the information that you need to know when you are thinking about or are leaving the Royal Navy or Royal Marines.

 

  • You can also find the latest edition of the Service Leavers Guide produced by MOD here for additional information.

 

Additional information
  • Lucy Heaver, our Employment Specialist, joined forces with colleagues in the Army and RAF Families Federations for a two-year project supported by the Forces in Mind Trust. The project, which came into fruition in November 2018, has given us an insight into the challenges faced by families during the transition period and highlighted the need for further research to better understand specific cohorts of families. Read more about this project and access the full report here.

 

  • We are pleased that the tri-Families Federation research has helped to inform a new Holistic Transition Policy, announced by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace on 1st November, 2019. Read more about this here.

 

  • Veterans’ Gateway has launched a ‘Plan Early’ campaign to encourage Service Leavers and their families to plan early for their transition into civvy street. Watch a short video about this campaign below, or visit their site for more information.

 

 

If you have an experience of transition that you’d like to share or have any questions or concerns, contact: contactus@nff.org.uk.

 

Posted on: 3rd May, 2017
Last updated on: 7th January, 2021