Our ‘Your Army Life’ survey asked families to share their views about the support, services and allowances designed to reward the soldier for their service and compensate for the impact of Army life on their family.
We had 836 responses from Army personnel and their spouses/partners.
The survey found that:
- Families are unaware of some key elements of the policies, services and allowances that may support them
For example, 65% were unaware of the NHS England Armed Forces assisted conception policy, 45% were unaware of Armed Forces Flexible Working policies and 18% were unaware of the MOD Wrap Around Childcare scheme.
One family told us, “I was not aware of any of these policies at the time that I needed them. Better communication would definitely help. You can’t ask a question if you don’t even know it’s a question.”
- Housing remains a key component of the package
Families felt strongly that military housing should remain available at all assignment locations, with highly mobile families seeing it as critical to maintaining family life.
However, there was significant concern about the standards and maintenance of housing and the performance of the new accommodation maintenance contract.
One family commented:“Every move we’ve made whilst being an Army family has always been over 150 miles from the current address. This means the housing offer process has been invaluable.”
- Families are concerned that the support and allowances package is not keeping track with civilian life and the reality of modern costs
Almost half of respondents (48%) felt the support package had significantly or somewhat worsened, 29% thought it had remained the same and 23% thought it had significantly or somewhat improved.
One family said: “With a failing housing contract and general erosion of the offer, being in the military is not the same enjoyable and rewarding career it was.”
AFF is working with the chain of command and the MOD to ensure they understand the evidence and views from Army families.
POSTED ON 20 APRIL 2023