Soldier British Army Family Wife Child Homecoming Credit British Army

Half Of Forces Families Are ‘Unhappy With Some Aspects of Family Life’

This is according to a Tri-service study by the Ministry of Defence.

Soldier British Army Family Wife Child Homecoming Credit British Army

A survey of families of personnel from all three services has revealed that 50% of respondents feel ‘disadvantaged about family life’.

Questioning over 5,000 spouses or civil partners of Regular Trained Service Personnel, the Ministry of Defence (MoD)’s report looked at areas such as job security, housing and health.

There were largely positive views on job security, knowing other military families, and pride in the forces - with 83% saying they are proud their spouse is in the services.

Household income and opportunities for travel were also viewed positively, and there was praise for facilities provided by the forces.

By contrast, the majority of respondents felt negative about the effect of forces life on their career and children, and the amount of separation it causes.

On family life, half of those who replied said they felt they were in a worse position that the rest of the population.

Families of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines showed more dissatisfaction, at 58%, compared to the Army and the RAF, at 51% and 41% respectively.

The UK Tri-Service Families Continuous Attitude Survey questioned over 5,000 spouses or civil partners (Picture: MoD).

Overall levels of satisfaction with family life have not changed from last year, and show a slight improvement from a similar survey three years ago.

When it comes to housing, satisfaction levels are similar to last year, with 36% feeling advantaged compared to the general public, and 20% feeling disadvantaged.

However, in comparison to three years ago, there is a marked decline across all services, notably with regard to maintenance and repair work, and the quality of that work.

Those who answered the survey expressed a similar level of satisfaction about healthcare as in 2017.

But in several areas there has been a noticeable drop in satisfaction levels compared to three years ago, particularly when it comes to continuing GP or hospital treatment after moving to a new location.

Forces News reporter Victoria Smith has analysed the report:

Asked about The Armed Forces Covenant, only 33% had heard of it.

The Covenant sets out how the Armed Forces can expect to be treated in areas such as healthcare and housing.

Overall, the average well-being scores of service spouses are between 6 and 7 out of 10, compared to 7 and 8 out of 10 at a national level, as reported by ONS.