Military adopters: Myth busters

Military adopters: Myth busters

The following information has been prepared to support Local Authority social workers and professionals who are approached by military personnel as potential adopters.

There are several myths that current military adoptive families have encountered when speaking to these Local Authority social workers, which have resulted in barriers to accessing the adoption assessment process. The following should help the adoption Social Work community better understand the military environment and support the serving community as they seek to adopt.

Military families move around frequently and have reduced stability in their home life

  • The frequency of moves in the military depends largely on the service (Army/RAF/Navy) and the specific role held. Naval personnel tend to move less frequently as there are fewer bases within the UK.
  • A move toward more family focussed employment for all military personnel means that frequent moves are less common and dependent upon the individual serving person’s chosen career path.
  • Should a family have to move they will have significant levels of support during the transition and the whole move is clearly mapped out several months in advance.
  • Additional support includes access to Service Families Accommodation, welfare support and access to local educational provision.

Forces families have no support network

  • Life on a military base is characterised by a robust and wide spread support network. There is a strong community identity and families support each other well.
  • As an employer, the services accommodate the needs of family life in a flexible way. There are dedicated welfare support officers on each military base, which can also be accessed by spouses and their families. Doctor surgeries, schools and nurseries are all available on base and are experienced in supporting children affected by separation, loss or relocation.
  •  There is a network of other additional support from organisations such as SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity. This includes personal, emotional, practical and financial support; as well as supporting special needs requirements across both serving personnel, reserves, veterans and their families

Families often experience prolonged separation

  • Serving personnel can request a period of non-deployment in order to support family life, as well as up to 12 month adoption leave.
  • Personnel returning from maternity, parental or adoption leave will be offered "more options to support an easier transition back into duty".
  •  Frequency and duration of deployment is dependent upon service and role. Any separations due to deployment are managed through robust support networks within the local community and access to additional communication tools. Some additional financial support through unit welfare can also be accessed.
  • Proposals included in the Armed Forces (Flexible Working) will include part-time service and special arrangements to ensure serving personnel individuals are not deployed too far away from home.


Download: Military adopters - Myth busters