A NEW STUDY is to seek out the views of families from serving military men and women on the provision of welfare support available to them.
The study, which has received the approval of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) research ethics committee, is to be conducted by Oxford Brookes University, Kings College London and the University of Aberdeen.
It results from a public obligation declared by the MoD and UK Government to support all members of the Armed Forces and their families through the Armed Forces Covenant.
A spokesman said: “Defence recognises the importance of understanding and supporting the needs of families. However, there has been relatively little research on the families of Armed Forces Reservists to date.
“Around nine in every ten volunteer Reservists agreed that their family supports their Reserve service and a higher proportion of Reservists than Regulars were satisfied with the support their family received when they were last deployed on operations.
“This is a positive view from the Reservist but it would be useful to know how much Reservist families are aware of all the support and welfare provision that is potentially available to them. This would help to best target support and welfare for the future and to identify if there are any current gaps in provision.
“Most Reservists are not employed full time and their families may have little to do with military life until their family member takes part in operations or extended training. Therefore, it can be difficult to reach the families of Reservists through traditional study recruitment methods.
“Reservist family members may not tend to think of themselves as part of the service community. This can prevent their views being heard.
“Family members can share their views by taking part in an online survey, or phone interview – we will be holding some regional focus groups. The team will also interview welfare and support personnel at the MOD, allied charities and some Reservist Units.
“If you are a Reservist yourself you can still help us by passing on details of our study to your friends and family members, as well as other Reservists who may do the same. This also includes the family members of Full Time Reserve Service (FTRS) personnel.”
To get involved in the study or to find out more visit http://www.frame-sw.org.uk/. You can also contact the study on 01865 482988, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow them on Facebook @framesw and Twitter @frame_study.