Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

November 05, 2013 10:31 ET

The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces Welcome the Ombudsman's Report on Military Families

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 5, 2013) - The Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) today welcomed the recommendations of the Ombudsman, Mr. Pierre Daigle, in his report entitled On the Homefront: Assessing the Well-being of Canada's Military Families in the New Millennium, June 2013.

"I thank the Ombudsman and his staff for the considerable time and energy they invested in this report, and for the collaborative approach they took preparing it," said General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff. "This report provides a clear picture of military family life in Canada and validates what my personnel and our own quantitative research have identified as key challenges facing our military families. We are committed to addressing these challenges and to ensuring that the voice of our families continues to be heard as we move forward."

DND and the CAF are thoroughly examining the now 22-year-old Military Family Services Program and the broader framework of member and family support to optimize the use of resources and improve options for military families. The CAF is also committed to better communication with members and their families to ensure that they are fully informed when making family decisions.

"Families are an integral part of the Canadian Armed Forces, and their support, commitment and contributions are essential to the success of each of our military members and to our success in operations," said Major-General David Millar, Chief of Military Personnel. "Our family covenant defines the special bond between the military and its families. We remain committed to working with our Military Family Resource Centres, the National Military Family Council, the Vanier Institute, provincial partners and federal institutions, and our many private partners whose help and contributions are revolutionizing the services and programs we provide. Our Ombudsman has worked with us and our families to highlight areas of continuous improvement and we look forward to continuing to work together to fulfill our commitments to our families."

The Government of Canada contributes $27 million per year in direct, local support of military families. This contribution is the primary funder of Military Family Resource Centres which provide services to families in Canada, the United States and Europe. These centres connect families to important support mechanisms such as comprehensive services and programs including community orientation, second-language services, employment and education assistance, as well as information and support throughout deployment and reunion. These in turn, enhance the ability of CAF members to be operationally ready and effective.

Military families can access information, support, and services in the manner that best suits them - either in person at local Military Family Resource Centres, by calling the 24/7 Family Information Line (1-800-866-4546) or online at familyforce.ca.

Notes to editor / news director: For more information please visit Military Family Services.

The findings and recommendations of the Ombudsman's report can be found on the Office of the Ombudsman's website.

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