Government To Launch New Service For Service Leavers

Posted on November 4, 2019

The Defence Transition Services (DTS) will provide “comprehensive support” to service leavers and their families, according to the Ministry of Defence (MOD). The MOD said personnel will be helped in areas including finance, healthcare, housing and paying council tax. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the new service will “help ensure that no veteran is left behind”.

Around 15,000 people leave the Armed Forces every year.

Mr Wallace said the “vast majority” of service leavers go on to lead “happy, healthy and successful lives”. However, he admitted: “We need to do everything we can for those who do struggle.”

The DTS will be made up of caseworkers based in regions across the country, the MOD announced. They will be tasked with providing support to those facing the “greatest challenges”. As part of the scheme, a person’s unit will now be responsible for assessments and deciding who needs to be referred to the DTS. It will also connect personnel with “external support” from other Government departments, public bodies and charities.

Alistair Halliday, Chief Executive at RFEA – The Forces Employment Charity, says the announcement is “most-welcomed”. He said service leavers have found it hard to find support after leaving the military.

“We know there are many thousands who make the transition very, very well,” he said. “But there might be somebody who has found the support they’ve found in the Armed Forces very, very good and actually when they get out, they realise they don’t have all those support mechanisms. Some of them [service leaders] do take longer to make that transition.”

The DTS is part of a wider programme to better prepare service leavers and their families for moving into civilian life.

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