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Armed Forces: Families

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 184491, tabled on 20 April 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what additional support has been offered to the families of members of the armed forces during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered on

26 April 2021

Service families are an integral part of the Armed Forces community, and Ministers and senior officials have communicated directly with them to provide updates on the support available, and to offer personal thanks for their continued commitment to the Armed Forces.

Financial support has been provided through additional flexibility on allowances and entitlements, for example, for Service Family Accommodation. Costs incurred for COVID-19 testing can also be reclaimed. Safeguarding guidance and safety planning for those facing domestic abuse has been issued, and mental wellbeing support provided through the launch of the online tool HeadFIT. In addition, the Partner Career Support Programme has been launched and the application period extended until March 2021, in recognition of the impact of the pandemic.

Specific guidance has been issued by the Department internally and externally, working alongside the Armed Forces Families Federations, information hubs such as HIVES, and the British Forces Broadcasting Service. Organisations such as X-Forces Enterprise, Milspo Business Network, RBLI Lifeworks and Military Coworking Network have also provided support and signposting.