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Meeting the Needs of Commonwealth Personnel and Families: A Map of Service Provision

March, 2018
Article:

This report considers the extent to which current service provision is meeting the needs of Commonwealth Personnel, veterans and their families. The report focuses on data collected by survey from the military charity sector and information collected by telephone interview from experts in the field of service provision.

 

Improvements in service provision have been identified, to co-ordinate provision from the Armed Service through transition and into civilian life, to achieve a more joined-up approach, which recognises and respects cultural differences, supporting those who are assisting Commonwealth Personnel, as well as providing more tailored assistance to the Commonwealth cohort itself.

 

Abstract

This report considers the extent to which current service provision is meeting the needs of Commonwealth Personnel, veterans and their families. The report focuses on data collected by survey from the military charity sector and information collected by telephone interview from experts in the field of service provision. This analysis identified a number of key issues. Firstly, information gathering and recording (particularly with regard to the number and nature of incoming inquiries and who is making them), in relation to Commonwealth Personnel, veterans and families, is limited across the charitable sector. There is restricted understanding, therefore, regarding the number of Commonwealth beneficiaries and this prevents forward planning for service provision. Secondly, issues of immigration, settlement and visas have a considerable impact on Commonwealth Personnel and families especially due to recent increases in the costs of the application process. The financial pressures this process creates can in turn lead to additional burdens in terms of debt, employment, housing and marital issues, which make transition to civilian life for Commonwealth Service Personnel and their families exceptionally and unnecessarily difficult. Thirdly, the services provided by the military charity sector are wide-ranging and open to Commonwealth recipients but take up of these services amongst the Commonwealth cohort is indicated to be relatively low. This may be due to the tendency for the Commonwealth community to seek assistance with immigration enquiries whilst many charities offer welfare based services which are not immediately relevant to the needs of the Commonwealth community. Finally, improvements in service provision have been identified, to co-ordinate provision from the Armed Service through transition and into civilian life, to achieve a more joined-up approach, which recognises and respects cultural differences, supporting those who are assisting Commonwealth Personnel, as well as providing more tailored assistance to the Commonwealth cohort itself.

Full Reference

Pearson, C., Caddick, N., 2018. Meeting the Needs of Commonwealth Personnel and their Families: A Map of Service Provision. Forces in Mind Trust.

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