3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland 3 SCOTS Homecoming Family

Research Says Forces Families Need More Help Adjusting to Civilian Life

A new study shows the complex nature of transition from the Armed Forces

3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland 3 SCOTS Homecoming Family

A new study suggests more needs to be done to support families transitioning from the military to a civilian career.

The research by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) found there needs to be more awareness about the challenges families face.

The report is said to be the first to specifically look at the experiences of service families.

It reveals what it calls the 'complex' nature of transition which falls into six key areas: housing, health, education and children, employment, finances and well-being.

The study says there needs to be a shift in culture for policy makers and service providers, as well as leavers and families. 

This includes raising awareness of the importance of advance planning for a successful transition and tailoring support to each family's specific needs.

Anonymous troops with Union Jack CREDIT MoD
A "holistic" approach to transitioning into civilian life is recommended by the study (Picture: MOD).

There is also a recommendation to provide better details to those leaving about what they are entitled to and the process they need to go through.

The authors of the report, the Naval, Army and RAF Families Federations, highlight the need for further research and improved resources.

They also want to see better understanding of those being medically discharged, and the challenges faced by Service children. Ray Lock, Chief Executive FiMT said: "The process of transition is not solely about the service personnel, it affects the entire family unit.

"The earlier planning for leaving the Armed Forces starts, the more successful and sustainable is the transition."

Sara Baade, Chief Executive of the Army Families Federation said:  " 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."

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."