IN the first half of 2019, AFF dealt with 7,176 of your enquiries on everything from housing help to school support, allowances advice and everything in between.
Housing still tops agenda
Housing continues to be our most significant area of enquiries, making up 29 per cent of the total in the first six months of the year.
Education enquiries on rise
Increasing numbers of you are contacting us about issues on the use of Service Pupil Premium (up 86 per cent), and the UK education system, with rebasing families requesting information about school places. There has also been a rise in enquiries about boarding schools, up 69 per cent.
Impact on family life
Queries about the impact soldiers’ training and deployments commitments have on families has risen by 21 per cent, and AFF will remain alert to the impact of service life on army families.
Focus on most vulnerable
We’ve seen a significant rise in enquiries about domestic abuse linked to relationship breakdown, highlighting the need to look carefully at how our vulnerable families are supported.
A 91 per cent increase in queries on mental health is concerning, and AFF will continue to monitor why these enquiries are on the rise. In addition, AFF has introduced a wellbeing button on its enquiries database, which helps us to capture mental health enquiries and several of our staff have attended mental health awareness training. AFF is also working with NHS England National Mental Health Director and raising awareness of perinatal mental health in the forces community.
The number of enquiries about military medical provision has also risen. Included in this are enquiries from families rebasing to the UK, who are often used to medical support through the military system, and who are concerned about their new provision.
To find out more about AFF and to read the latest Families’ Concerns report, visit aff.org.uk