Joint Transition Project - Closing the Seam
Ottawa, ON - September 26, 2016
There is a well-documented need to ensure that the transition process for medically-releasing Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members is as seamless as possible. To that end, in June 2014, we, as National Defence and Canadian Forces Ombudsman and Veterans Ombudsman, partnered on a joint project, leveraging both of our mandates to review the entire transition process, from the time the member is injured to after being released from the CAF.
The goal of that project was to:
- Identify the challenges facing medically-releasing members at the various stages of the transition process;
- Identify areas where support to families could be improved; and
- Develop recommendations aimed at simplifying the process for members and their families, providing greater support when needed, and harmonizing the efforts of the CAF and VAC.
Over the last two years, we have accomplished a great deal. We:
- Produced the first complete end-to-end map of the transition process for both Regular Force and Reserve Force members which fuelled discussions within CAF and VAC and led to several improvements, including the earlier engagement by VAC when a member’s case is complex and greater harmonization between CAF and VAC case managers throughout the transition process;
- Completed a review and inventory of third-party service providers who provide transition-related support;
- Published two reports (Priority Hiring and Support to Families);
- Developed an educational video on the three phases of transition and a checklist for each phase;
- Held a Twitter chat with families and Veterans to learn about the challenges families face during transition; and
- Provided real-time recommendations to the joint CAF/VAC Team 2020 initiative.
The joint project has now concluded and as a summary, we have developed an infographic with our key findings and recommendations. It also identifies the “Top 3 Things To Do Now” and key actions needed to close the seam. We will both continue to monitor and push for change in areas that fall within our respective mandates. Together we can make a difference.
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