The Changes Needed to Support Armed Forces Families

A report has been published today, commissioned by the Ministry of Defence, and written by South West Bedfordshire MP, Andrew Selous, on what changes are needed to support Armed Forces families.

Andrew Selous MP, who started this work last year, said, “I have a long-standing interest in strengthening family life and served as a Territorial Army soldier before I entered Parliament. Armed Forces families face greater levels of mobility, separation and danger than almost anyone else in the country and they have faced considerable difficulties with their accommodation, health care and education as they move around the country, as well as huge problems with spousal and partner employment.”

”The country has rightly made improvements in the way that veterans are treated and it is now time for a similar priority to be given to Armed Forces families. These are the people who support those who serve to keep us free and out of danger.”

Andrew Selous has been the MP for South West Bedfordshire since 2001. He served as a Territorial Army officer in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and formerly in the Honourable Artillery Company.

Andrew Selous and Professor Janet Walker OBE, FAcSS, FRSA, worked together on all aspects of the review, including:

  • the Call for Evidence; meetings with key military and civilian personnel; visits to schools,
  • naval bases, army garrisons/bases and air stations throughout the UK; liaison with the
  • Chief of Defence People, MOD Ministers and officials; consideration of the data and the
  • key findings and the formulation of recommendations.
The review team invited as many members of the Serving community and their families as possible to contribute to the review and to tell them about their lived experiences of military life. They talked to the Chain of Command, welfare officers, and padres/chaplains in the Royal Navy, the Army, and the Royal Air Force. In addition, meetings were held in 2019 with a wide range of stakeholders.

The review has led to 110 recommendations for change that could address some of the issues and challenges faced by military families. The recommendations focus primarily on changes that the MOD and the Armed Forces need to consider. Some recommendations have implications for other government departments and local authorities in England, the Devolved Governments of the UK, and a range of organisations in the statutory, private and charitable sectors. 

Andrew Selous said, “I look forward to the Government’s response to the recommendations in my report in the autumn.”

You can read a 35 page summary of the report here  or download the full 137 page report here.


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