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Deployment support for families

While soldiers are away there is a range of family welfare support available. This support is provided to both Regular Army families and to those of mobilised members of the Army Reserve.

Army life means that soldiers may have to deploy away from their home and family on unaccompanied tours from time to time.

This may be for an operational deployment, training or an assignment to a location that does not offer family support facilities such as health care or housing.

The first point of contact for Army personnel regarding any deployment issues is their Unit Welfare Officer. Their local Army Welfare Service team can also help.

Family support

Service Families Accommodation (SFA)

Families of Regular Army soldiers living in Service Families Accommodation (SFA) will normally keep their house for the whole period of an unaccompanied tour.

In certain circumstances, for instance during longer unaccompanied tours, families may request surplus SFA in an alternative area, for instance back in the UK. However, these may not always be available.

Family at home

HIVE support for families

HIVE provides support to deployed personnel and their families through the provision of information about available support, services and communication. Ask your nearest HIVE for the operational deployment leaflets on the support available and how to keep in touch during deployments. Follow the link in the right-hand panel.

Family guides to deployment

The Army has produced two guides to help families prepare for periods of deployment. These are available as PDF documents on the right. 

Travel for families of service personnel on operational tours

The dependants of a married service person stationed in or mobilised from the UK but who is serving on an emergency tour of 4 months or more are entitled to 2 return journeys (by rail warrant or Motor Mileage Allowance) during each emergency tour.

This is to enable them to visit their parents or parents-in-law living in the UK, or a nominated NOK (including a child at boarding school) or another close relative. This concession does not permit family members to visit other relatives or friends.

Bursaries or benevolence to children of Service parents bereaved or injured on operational duty

Entitlement to continuity of education allowance (CEA) ceases once a Service person leaves the Armed Forces. The majority of Service personnel are able to plan the provision for their children's education, but families who find themselves dealing with bereavement or injury to their Service Person in the line of duty, have to make difficult decisions at a time when the family is at its most vulnerable.

Some schools in contact with the Children's Education Advisory Service (CEAS) make generous offers of support to children of bereaved or injured Service personnel due to operational commitments. CEAS are compiling a directory of all schools on the Accredited Schools Database (ASD) who offer bursaries and other types of benevolence to children of bereaved or injured in the line of duty Service parents.

These offers are open to existing CEA claimants and, in some circumstances, to those families who have not claimed previously. They range from a discount, equivalent to the Service families discount, to 100% of fees for the child’s duration at the school. Many offers are means tested and require individual application to the bursar or head teacher.

Families who need further information can seek assistance from their Unit Welfare Officer (UWO) as CEAS would be more than happy to provide information about this, or any other issue relating to the education of a Service child in these circumstances. In the first instance the UWO should contact our helpline of 09180 618244 where one of the helpdesk team will be able to assist them.

The Army Welfare Information Service has been temporarily suspended

In a Compassionate Emergency, please contact:

The Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) on: 01452 519 951
For all Veteran matters including medals, pensions and Welfare Support please contact Service Personnel Veterans Agency (SPVA) on: 0800 169 2277

Contact numbers for your local AWS, AFF & HIVE offices are available through the military directory of enquiries on: 02072 189000

For other enquiries please contact the SSAFA helpline on: 0845 241 7141

SSAFA lines are open, Monday-Friday 10.30am-7.30pm.