Veteran Family Program: Easing your transition
Releasing from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) can be challenging, but it becomes even more so when it is as a result of a medical condition and a medical release is concerned. When a serving member leaves the CAF, their family does as well. The entire family begins to step away from their extended family and support structure – the CAF – one service at a time.
The serving member and their family may have to transition to civilian services in the areas of health care, employment and education and navigate in areas unfamiliar to them. That is why the Veteran Family Program (VFP), funded by Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC), is now available at 32 Military Family Resource Centres (MFRCs) across the country, to support medically releasing (as of 1 April, 2018) CAF members, medically released (as of 1 April, 2018) Veterans and their families.
Through local MFRCs, Veteran Family Program Coordinators provide a suite of VFP Transition Programs to meet the unique needs of families. Programs address caregiving, communication and skill building, in areas like finance, mental health and coping.
The VFP is available through three access points: Military Family Resource Centres (MFRCs), Family Information Line (FIL) and www.CAFconnection.ca, with no specific end date to eligibility period, to support the transition to post-service life and civilian services and programs.
- Military Family Resource Centres
- VFP is accessible in person at 32 MFRCs across Canada. Veteran Family Program Coordinators are located at each MFRC to provide services, resources and assistance with referrals to local and national programs and services as required.
- Family Information Line: 1-800-866-4546 – fil@CAFConnection.ca
- The program can be accessed by phone, email or video session by contacting the FIL. The FIL offers 24/7 bilingual, confidential services that provide supportive counselling, information and referral to services, and immediate crisis management and support.
- CAFconnection.ca is another way to access the VFP, discover available online resources and connect with services that support medically released CAF members, medically released Veterans and their families as they transition to post-service life.
The VFP began as a pilot program in November 2015 at seven MFRC sites. Since then VAC, Military Family Services (MFS) and MFRC teams have been working closely together to put the VFP in place to ensure a seamless transition for all. Since the VAC budget announcement in March 2017, each MFRC has hired a Veteran Family Program Coordinator and has participated in joint training sessions, including new Coordinators and VAC Service Centre Managers, to ensure an alignment of information and service offerings for families across Canada.
For more information please email info@CAFconnection.ca.
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