Providing an Independent Voice for RAF Families
The RAF Families Federation is here to represent the concerns of RAF personnel and their families (spouses, partners, parents, grandparents, children, siblings). Through in-depth investigation and gathering of facts, we put your views and concerns in front of the people who matter, such as senior RAF, MOD staff and ministers.
The Federation operates entirely outside the RAF chain of command. so we can always promise an independent and confidential service. It is not a charity but is parented by the Royal Air Force Association (RAFA). The RAF FF has its own funding and does not use any resources from RAFA that it does not pay for.
Using the HIVE Information Centres and working closely with SSAFA-FH staff and established Community Development Workers, the Federation contributes to community support by providing 2-way communication between the RAF and its families.
The FF conducts regular visits and workshops on RAF units. Families are kept informed of FF activities via a dedicated website, the Federation magazine, Envoy, through its e-Bulletin and social media channels.
Anyone serving in the RAF together with their respective partner, spouse and/or dependent children is part of a RAF family, whether serving accompanied or not. Parents and close relatives by blood or marriage/civil registration, whose lives are directly affected by the fact that a family member is serving in the RAF, are part of the extended RAF family and therefore entitled to be represented by the RAF FF.
The RAF FF also has 4 Regional Covenant Co-ordinators who advise and share best practice across their respective regions on the Armed Forces Covenant, Community Covenants and Corporate Covenant. RAF FF thereby ensure full engagement between RAF stations, local authorities, community groups and governmental departments.
What Sort? How Many? and What Have You Done About Them?
The common theme across all issues we become involved with is a need to to facilitate communication – be that between the Serving person or his/her partner and the chain of command; between a SFA occupant and the staffs at DE or MHS; or between an individual and a welfare support agency.
No problem has yet left us completely flummoxed but we have dealt with some fairly complicated policy issues.
Between us the team of eight at the Federation we have over 110 years of RAF experience from Craft Apprentice to Group Captain, from wife of to ex-wife of!
Our service is confidential so we cannot talk specifics but we can give a picture of the issues impacting on RAF families’ morale. They are:
SFA – Entitlement; Maintenance; Retention; Special Needs adaptations; Treatment of irregular occupants
Support to family during Deployed Ops
JPA - Postings to/from Area of Choice
Welfare support in isolated detachments
Special Needs allowance(s) entitlements
Boarding School entitlements
Family access to UK benefits and allowances during, and upon return from, an overseas posting
Allowances for travel when returning from overseas postings
Access to Dental facilities
Child Support Agency policy
Shared Equity Mortgages
In terms of what we do with this evidence, the Federation’s Director, meets monthly with the RAF Community Support staffs to provide feedback. We also send reports to senior RAF staffs.
The Federation’s Director also meets regularly with the Minister for Armed Forces and, where appropriate, highlights examples of issues impacting on RAF families.
So, if you have an issue and you think it merits inclusion in our database, you know what to do! Write to us, e-mail us, call us on 01780 781650 or come and see us during a visit to your unit. We would love to hear from you – without you, it’s a pretty meaningless existence!
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