Originally developed in recognition of the outpouring of support for CF personnel by Canadians, the Military Families Fund (MFF) is a “rapid response” means of meeting immediate needs that CF families may have due to conditions of service.
Within hours of being advised of the need, base and wing commanders and Military Family Resource Centres throughout Canada will partner to help military families in their areas.
Established in April 2007, the MFF has already assisted in numerous situations. When the spouse of a deployed member of the Forces broke her ankle and needed temporary help caring for their two preschool- age children, she got it through the MFF. And when a CF family with a severely disabled child was posted on short notice, the fund stepped up with alternative temporary care measures.
As well, the fund can augment existing resources when needed. It has provided travel assistance for family members attending the funerals of military personnel killed in Afghanistan, and modest assistance with funeral expenses and headstones when the actual costs have exceeded the Treasury Board’s established maximum. The MFF has provided assistance for grief counseling for parents of CF personnel who have been killed in action, and helped with living expenses for the fiancée of a soldier severely wounded in Afghanistan so she could support him during his hospital stay.
The Canadian Forces Personnel and Family Support Services (CFPFSS), the morale and welfare arm of the CF that provides programs and services for the wellbeing of the CF community, administers the Military Families Fund, the Soldier On Fund, and the Hospital Comforts Fund..
While the MFF allows CF leadership to meet the special-case needs of CF members and their families with the speed and flexibility not built into all traditional assistance programs, it does not replace existing public and non-public programs. The fund simply fills the gaps by providing for the unforeseen needs that families may have.
The fund will grow through contributions from private citizens and corporations, and through fundraising events.
Currently, the MFF allows for several areas of support, including rehabilitation, education, financial assistance in the case of injury or death of a CF member due to service, and urgent and extraordinary financial demands where the ability to provide family necessities is at risk.
A special segregated fund has been created for donations through the Canadian Forces & Families Campaign in support of mental wellness issues and special projects.