Veteran Family Pilot Project FAQ
What is the Veteran Family Program pilot project?
The Government of Canada in partnership with Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) will invest in a 4 year pilot project to provide medically releasing Veterans and their families with access to the Military Family Services Program (MFSP). The MFSP extension of services will also include support from Family Information Line (FIL) and Family Force website (www.familyforce.ca). A new position, “Veteran Family Coordinator”, will be established at the 7 MFRC pilot locations: Esquimalt, Edmonton, Shilo, Trenton, North Bay, Valcartier and Halifax.
What is the MFSP?
The Military Family Services Program (MFSP) is the Canadian Armed Forces – wide community based support program delivering coordinated, consistent national services for families, as well as a framework for families and community to influence and manage local priorities and services through Military Family Resource Centres (MFRC).
What is the extension of the MFSP to medically released CAF Veterans and their families?
On 1 October 2015, access to the MFSP will extended to medically released CAF veterans and their families for 2 years from the date of release. Services available will include access to the MFRC, Family Information Line and familyforce.ca.
Who is eligible to access the extension of the MFSP?
Eligibility is extended to all medically released CAF Veterans and their family, which includes parents, spouse, children and/or other dependent relatives. Although the pilot will begin on 1 October 2015, all CAF members who medically released as of 30 November 2014 will be eligible.
Why is it a pilot?
To test the requirement and impact of extending access to the MFSP for medically released CAF Veterans and their families, Treasury Board approved funding for the next 4 years. This funding will allow CAF members medically releasing between October 2015 and October 2017 to participate in the pilot for 2 full years for the date of their medical release.
Why is the MFRC portion only available in 7 sites?
As part of the pilot testing, Treasury Board has determined communities where medically-releasing members may likely be settling and that access to MFRC services would be in 7 locations: Valcartier, Esquimalt, North Bay, Trenton, Halifax, Edmonton and Shilo. These locations were chosen to encompass the diversity within the CAF, more specifically:
- To provide a balance between Army, Navy, Air Force, and Reserve Force;
- To provide a balance between geographical aspects; and
- Be representative of the population.
Will medically released CAF Veterans and their families have access to MFRCs in locations other than the 7 selected pilot locations?
As part of the Treasury Board approval, funding was earmarked for all MFRCs to be used for services, information and resources to be made available for all CAF members and their families as they prepare for a medical release. Each MFRC will have access to funds each Fiscal Year in FY 2015/2016 to enhance information and referral specifically for those CAF members and their families preparing to transition out of the CAF. Once medically released, however, access to MFRCs will be focused in the 7 pilot locations.
Why is this pilot only for medically released CAF Veterans and not all Veterans?
A 2010 Life after Service Study shows that personnel who medically release, in particular, often face the greatest challenges during transition. As part of the pilot, the impact will be assessed to determine if access to the MFSP should be extended to all CAF Veterans and their families or if it should remain specific for the medically released cohort.
What if the family is not living in the same location of the medically released CAF Veteran?
Prior to release the family can access services at the MFRC in the community where they reside. Post release, the MFRC where the medically released CAF Veteran is residing can provide virtual services and support, as appropriate.
What if the family moves to another community prior to the 2-year eligibility being over?
Prior to release, the family can access services at the MFRC in the community where they reside. Post release, if the medically released CAF Veteran and family move to another pilot location, services and support would be transferred to the MFRC where they then reside. If they move to a location not part of the pilot, the originating MFRC can provide virtual services and support, as appropriate.
Where can Veterans and their families share their concerns if they are not eligible to participate in the pilot project?
All concerns or complaints regarding ineligibility or limited access to the Veteran Family Program can be directed to the Family Information Line (FIL). FIL will manage the feedback provided and will then be redirected to Military Family Services to action.