Government of Canada announces increased support to military families
May 11, 2018 – Valcartier, Québec – National Defence/Canadian Armed Forces
Entering the military is not just a job, it is a way of life. When Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members medically-release from the military, they and their families both have to adjust to a new way of life. This transition can be overwhelming. That is why the Government of Canada has increased support to military families at all 32 Military Family Resource Centres (MFRCs) across Canada.
Jean Rioux, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, on behalf of the Government of Canada, today celebrated the implementation of two recent initiatives that benefit releasing CAF members, Veterans, and their families.
First, as of April 1, 2018, medically-releasing CAF members, Veterans and their families can now access the transition programs, referral services, and intervention supports at all MFRCs for as long as they need to. Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) is committing $147 million over six years for this expansion of the Veteran Family Program.
In addition, $6 million of new funding from the Department of National Defence (DND) has been provided to modernize the Military Family Services Program (MFSP) and provide additional support to military families.
The modernization and additional support is part of the broader Comprehensive Military Family Plan outlined in Canada’s Defence Policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, the goal being to augment support and services and enhance family life for CAF members and their families. These benefits include extended childcare hours, expanded youth programs, and the provision of additional mental health services (including couples counselling and women’s workshops), among other enhanced services.
"The Veteran Family Program is an excellent example of the growing collaboration between the Canadian Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Canada. This program will help ensure a seamless transition to post-service life for those who are medically releasing or released. Our two departments are committed to continuing to support the women and men who have selflessly served our country."
– Jean Rioux, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence
“Today we are reaffirming our commitment to care and support our people. The additional funding to MFRCs is a key Defence Policy investment that is helping ease the stresses, burdens, and challenges associated with military life by providing CAF members and their families the support they require when and where they need it. Canada’s defence depends on our people and their families; looking after their health and welfare is our priority.”
– Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan
“When a member serves, the whole family serves with them and their health and well-being is also a priority for the government of Canada. Having access to the Military Family Resource Centres (MFRCs) means medically-releasing CAF members, Veterans who are medically released and their families who are in need of assistance will have access to the services they need where and when they need them.”
– The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
At MFRC Valcartier, the additional funding through Canada’s new Defence Policy translates into more social workers, mental health professionals, and relocation and transition specialists, as well as improved online support, to assist CAF members, Veterans, and their families.
The expansion of the Veteran Family Program results in medically-releasing CAF members, Veterans and their families having continued and uninterrupted access to MFRCs, in addition to the other resources that were part of the initial pilot launched in 2015.
The modernization $6 million additional funding per year is part of the Government of Canada’s commitment, defined in Canada’s new Defence Policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, to providing the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces and their families the best care and support possible.
Military Family Services is the primary funder of the thirty-two (32) MFRCs, which are located on bases/wings and units located across Canada. They are responsible for connecting with families and delivering the programs and services of the Military Family Services Program in their local communities.
MFRCs are third party, not-for-profit organizations that provide family support and access to community programs and services to CAF military families. MFRCs are managed by a volunteer board of directors whose members are elected by the community.
Department of National Defence
Veterans Affairs Canada
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