National Defence
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Family Support A High Priority for the Canadian Forces

Family support has been made a very high priority for the Canadian Forces in recent years. To meet these needs, new initiatives have been developed. Several agencies have been created to provide support and resources to military families here in Canada, and for those who have members serving on operations outside of Canada.

Military Family Resource Centers
Among the first such support centers to be formulated were the Military Family Resource Centers (MFRCs). It is the mission of these charitable, non-profit centers to support individual, family and community well-being by providing services and support that address the uniqueness of our military families.

Some of the valuable programs they provide are:

  • deployment support,
  • emergency childcare,
  • prevention and intervention,
  • education
  • employment and
  • a whole variety of other beneficial services.

Deployment Support Groups
The Deployment Support Groups (or DSGs) were specifically designed to meet the needs of families with members deployed on missions, operations or training away from home for extended periods of time.

One of the main jobs of the DSG is to act as a referral service, helping families find the resources that they need. Those resources might include:

  • helping families reach the deployed member’s unit for administration or benefits, or
  • helping them find services for their home and household.

The DSG helps to lessen the burden on the units and to link families to the chain of command of their loved ones. Another very critical role of the DSG is providing support and briefings when their serving member comes home again, so that they know what to expect and to make that adjustment easier.

Joint Personnel Support Units
Another integral part of Canadian Forces military support structure is the Joint Personnel Support Unit (JPSU), where members are posted if they are wounded, injured or ill. Within this special unit is the Integrated Personnel Support Center (IPSC), whose job it is to provide such worthwhile services as:

  • Return to Work Program coordination,
  • Casualty Support Outreach,
  • assistance with Veteran’s Affairs needs and
  • an array of other significant types of support.

The main goal of the JPSU and IPSCs is to retain as many of our wounded or injured soldiers as we can, and help others make the transition to civilian life.

CF Family Covenant
To reaffirm this commitment, the Chief of the Defence Staff signed the CF Family Covenant in September 2008, announcing his mission to provide serving members and their families a “quality of life that is equal to their service and daily sacrifices.”

Further Information:

TF 3-09 Family Support

Military Family Resource Centres

LFWA Deployment Support Group

Joint Personnel Support Unit a "One-Stop Service" for Injured Soldiers Opens Its Doors

Joint Personnel Support Unit Core Functions - A Smorgasbord of Services

Joint Personnel Support Unit Backgrounder - DND