Ministers of National Defence and Veterans Affairs mark progress on transition initiative
Posted on Thursday February 25, 2021
OTTAWA - On Feb. 17, Transition Centre Petawawa began the trial of an initiative to assist members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and their families with transition to civilian life following service to Canada. The initiative was developed at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Borden, and is now being expanded to other locations.
This new approach to transition is focused on the individual member and their family.
Transition advisors work with members to assess their needs and help them build personalized plans along multiple domains of well-being: sense of purpose, health, finances, social integration, housing arrangements, and life skills/preparedness.
It is a deliberate process that guides members and their families through the often challenging transition to a fundamentally different way of life.
“Serving in the military is more than a job, it is a way of life. It involves sacrifice by our amazing Canadian Armed Forces members and their families who, together, dedicate themselves to service to our nation,” said Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan. “They have served their country with pride and they deserve to be supported during their journey to a post service life.”
This marks progress of initiative 27 of Canada’s Defence Policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged regarding the establishment of a transition capability. The Department of National Defence (DND) and Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) are making other significant strides toward a seamless transition experience, thanks to new and improved tools such as the Military to Civilian Transition portal on Canada.ca, the transition assessment tool in My VAC account, the Alignment of Treatment Benefits program, and the improvement of medical record information sharing between Departments during transition. In effect, closing the seam on their mandates to the betterment of transitioning members.
There is still work to be done in order to have the new approach accessible in all Transition Centres across Canada, but great progress is being made. While the initial focus has been on the Regular Force transition needs, efforts related to Reserve Force transition are under development and will be included in the expansion to the other 30 Transition Centres across the country.
“We know just how vitally important it is that the Canadian Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Canada work together to support those making the transition to civilian life,” noted Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence. “Making sure that we’re doing everything we can to make that process as seamless and stress-free as possible is something we owe our Veterans and their families, and the Transition Trial is a big part of that effort.”
Development of the transition capability started in February 2018 and a trial was launched at CFB Borden in February 2019.
The new Transition Centre model includes all the key service providers in one location in order to provide a personalized, professional, and standardized transition for CAF members and their families.
These service providers include:
• CAF Transition Advisors;
• CAF Transition Administration Specialists;
• Veteran Service Team Managers;
• Veteran Service Agents;
• Family Transition Advisors;
• Family Liaison Officers; and
• Service Coordinators for ill and injured members, working closely with Canadian Forces Health Services Nurse Case Managers, CAF Vocational Rehabilitation Program Counsellors, VAC Case Managers, and other partner agencies.