Drs. Hollihan and Martin from CCPA Win Vanier Institute Mirabelli-Glossop Award for Work in Support of Military and Veteran Families in Canada

The Vanier Institute of the Family and the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) are proud to announce that Dr. Kim Hollihan, Deputy CEO of CCPA, and Dr. Lorna Martin, President Emerita of CCPA, have received the Vanier Institute’s 2017 Mirabelli-Glossop Award for outstanding leadership in the development of School Counsellors Working with Military and Veteran Families, a resource that provides information on the important roles and unique lifestyles of military and Veteran families that enrich schools, communities and workplaces.

The Vanier Institute focuses its work on understanding how families interact, and how they are affected by social, economic, environmental and cultural forces. The Mirabelli-Glossop Award recognizes excellence in advancing the national understanding of families in Canada.

“Dr. Hollihan and Dr. Martin were integral to the development and promotion of this important resource,” says the Vanier Institute’s CEO, Nora Spinks. “In addition to building military literacy, this resource offers clear recommendations counsellors can take to ensure all students benefit from the rich experiences of children in military and Veteran families. The resource also ensures that counsellors can draw on these recommendations to address some of the challenges that confront students from military and Veteran families as they move across educational jurisdictions and experience diverse social environments.”

School Counsellors Working with Military and Veteran Families was written and produced in partnership with the Canadian Military and Veteran Families Leadership Circle. The resource aims to assist school personnel in increasing their military literacy, and enabling increased support and inclusion of children and youth of military and Veteran families in the social, academic and athletic lives of schools across Canada. The resource, available in English and French, has been shared with provincial and territorial Ministries/Departments of Education for dissemination to schools in communities from coast to coast to coast.

“We are extremely proud that our organization has been recognized for its work in putting together what we hope is one of the most comprehensive resources on how school counsellors can assist children and families who have a parent who is a Veteran or who actively serves in the military,” says Barbara MacCallum, CEO of CCPA. “It is essential that the mental wellness of military families be prioritized, and this resource and its use in schools across Canada is a very positive step forward.”

 

For further information, please contact:

Nora Spinks, CEO, The Vanier Institute of the Family
Telephone: 613-724-8500 or 613-228-8500, ext. 214
Email: ceo@vanierinstitute.ca

 


Published on October 16, 2017




New Resource for School Counsellors Working with Military and Veteran Families

The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA), in partnership with the Canadian Military and Veteran Families Leadership Circle, have released the second in the series of awareness publications, School Counsellors Working with Military and Veteran Families.

Canada’s military and Veteran families are highly diverse, and their unique perspectives enrich schools, communities and workplaces across the country. Within this diversity, however, there are a number of experiences shared by these families related to military life, such as high family mobility, recurring periods of separation and higher levels of risk for serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). These realities have an impact on the 462,000 children and youth growing up in military and Veteran families, most of whom attend civilian schools with peers, teachers and educational professionals, such as school counsellors, who may have little or no experience with, understanding of or training on military and Veteran life.

The Vanier Institute of the Family, CCPA, Veterans Affairs Canada, Military Family Services and other key members of the Canadian Military and Veteran Families Leadership Circle collaborated to publish School Counsellors Working with Military and Veteran Families. This bilingual resource has been designed to increase military literacy((“Military literacy” refers to one’s awareness of the experiences of military and Veteran families, including (but not limited to) frequent periods of separation from family, higher family mobility and the possibility of higher risk for serving CAF members.)) in schools to foster inclusion, provide support and optimize services for children and youth growing up in military and Veteran families.

School Counsellors Working with Military and Veteran Families answers four key questions:

  1. What is the military and Veteran lifestyle? 
     
  2. What resources are available to school counsellors to assist them in their work with children and youth of military and Veteran families?
     
  3. How can school counsellors promote mental health and advocate for students of military and Veteran families in schools?
     
  4. How can school counsellors support classroom teachers in their work with students of military and Veteran families?

“Children in military and Veteran families are diverse, resilient and strong, and they – like their families – demonstrate a high degree of adaptability,” says Vanier Institute CEO Nora Spinks. “Resources such as this can help ensure family health and well-being so that children and youth reach their full potential.”

Download School Counsellors Working with Military and Veteran Families. Print copies are available from the CCPA, MFS or local MFRCs.

About the Working with… series

School Counsellors Working with Military and Veteran Families is the second in the Working with… series, following the publication of Family Physicians Working with Military Families in November 2016.

About the Canadian Military and Veteran Families Leadership Circle

The Canadian Military and Veteran Families Leadership Circle is a component of the Military and Veteran Families in Canada Initiative, a partnership between the Vanier Institute of the Family and the Canadian Armed Forces to build awareness, capacity, competency and community regarding military and Veteran families in Canada.

About the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association

The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) is a national bilingual association of professionally trained counsellors engaged in the helping professions. CCPA’s members work in many diverse fields of education, employment and career development, social work, business, industry, mental health, public service agencies, government and private practice. CCPA develops and cultivates formal and informal relationships with similar health and mental health organizations in Canada and internationally.

For more information:

 

Published May 18, 2017




Vanier Institute and CHRC Host Roundtable on Workplace Diversity and Human Rights

On February 28, 2017, the Vanier Institute of the Family and the Canadian Human Rights Commission partnered to host the Canadian Work–Life Leadership Circle Roundtable on Workplace Diversity and Human Rights. This collaboration brought together Canadian leaders with an interest or involvement in work–life issues to enhance the ongoing conversation on work, life and family in Canada.

The roundtable included the following catalytic presentations and discussions:

  • Human Rights Perspectives and Workplace Impacts: The intersection of workplace policy and human rights moving forward (Marie-Claude Landry, Ad.E., Chief Commissioner, Canadian Human Rights Commission)
  • Diversity, Inclusion and Human Rights in the Workplace: The diversity of families and employees and their impact on workplace policy (Nicole Nussbaum, Staff Lawyer, Legal Aid Ontario)
  • Leading and Promising Practices: Workplace policy and practice, such as the duty to accommodate on the basis of family status, right to request flex and extending family-related leaves

“The concept of family is evolving every day, our workplaces should too,” said Marie-Claude Landry, Lawyer Emeritus (Ad.E.), member of the Bar and Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. “Workplace accommodation is about working differently, not less. Supporting employees to meet their family obligations means that everyone wins.”

“Human rights legislation, family law, labour law, employment law and immigration law all impact families and aren’t always in alignment,” said Vanier Institute of the Family CEO Nora Spinks. “The complexity and diversity of families is being taken into consideration with informal and formal workplace accommodations in order for employees to fulfill their multiple responsibilities at work and at home.”

 

Learn about work–life and work–family issues, and diversity in Canada with the following Vanier Institute resources:

 


Published on March 2, 2017




Leaders meet to share progress on developing military literacy in Canada

(Ottawa, ON, January 24, 2017) Her Excellency Sharon Johnston, C.C., joined representatives of the Canadian Military and Veteran Families Leadership Circle yesterday, engaging with members to create resources to develop military literacy among professional associations and community organizations that will have a positive impact on the military and Veteran family experience.

Her Excellency highlighted the work being done to create a circle of support for military and Veteran families. “As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the Leadership Circle illustrates the power of collaboration and community engagement across the country for the benefit of military and Veteran families,” she said.

Canada is home to 40,000 Regular Force military families, 14,000 Reserve Force families and more than 600,000 Veterans. They access a variety of programs and services in their neighbourhoods, including child care and eldercare, health and mental health, education, employment and transition support. Community programs are more inclusive and welcoming of military and Veteran families when professionals and practitioners have a high degree of military literacy – awareness of their experiences and unique “military life stressors” (i.e. high mobility, separation and risk). The Leadership Circle facilitates innovative partnerships and collaborations based on building military literacy.

Statistics on Military and Veteran families in Canada:

  • In the mid-1990s, 80% of military families in Canada lived ON a base – today, 85% live OFF-base
  • 49% of serving CAF members and 37% of Veterans have children under 18
  • The majority (54%) of surveyed children in military families say they feel pride in their deployed parent
  • 87% of surveyed CAF partners say they are able to cope emotionally with their partner’s absence during deployment
  • 3 in 10 surveyed CAF partners spouses say their career has NOT been affected by their partner’s military service
  • 8% of Veterans report living with low income, compared with 15% of Canadians

“The military lifestyle is unique and full of adventure. The effectiveness and well-being of our military members is underpinned by their strong, resilient, and proud military families who remain that way due to the programs and services delivered by the types of organizations represented in the Leadership Circle,” said Major General Wayne Eyre, Deputy Commander Military Personnel Command.

“Canadian military and Veteran families can thrive if they have access to appropriate care and support. Since military families move so frequently, they often face special challenges like finding a family doctor or continuing educational progress for their children when they relocate to a new community, or a new province,” said Colonel Dan Harris, Director, Military Family Services and Co-Chair, Canadian Military and Veteran Families Leadership Circle. “Military Family Services, as a co-founder of the Military and Veteran Families Leadership Circle, is happy to collaborate with our many committed partners to enhance military literacy among associations and organizations in Canada.”

“The true value of the Leadership Circle is fully realized as committed members continue to work together to produce useful resources, develop innovative programs and establish strong relationships,” added Nora Spinks, CEO of the Vanier Institute of the Family and Co-Chair of the Canadian Military and Veteran Families Leadership Circle.

“When a man or woman serves in the Canadian Armed Forces, the entire family serves with them.  Sharing innovative ideas is key; and providing reliable information for professionals and community practitioners about the unique lifestyle of military and Veteran families is vital to building awareness,” said Karen McCrimmon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, who also attended the event.  “Veterans Affairs Canada is proud to be working with so many committed organizations to enhance understanding, access, resources and care for Veteran families.”

The Canadian Military and Veteran Families Leadership Circle is a collaboration between organizations and leaders from across the country that is building awareness, capacity, competency and community in support of military and Veteran families. This growing initiative is currently comprised of more than 60 individuals from over 50 organizations, including 38 member organizations, who are working with and for military and Veteran families in Canada.

 


Learn about the Leadership Circle Hubs.

Watch the video message to Leadership Circle members and participants from Hon. Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence.

Learn about military and Veteran families in Canada with A Snapshot of Military and Veteran Families in Canada.

Watch the CFPC video about ensuring equitable access to quality health care for military families.




A Snapshot of Military and Veteran Families in Canada

Canada’s military and Veteran families are diverse, resilient and strong, and they are a great source of pride for the country. They engage with – and play important roles in – their workplaces, communities and the country at large.

Like all families, military and Veteran families access a variety of programs and services in their communities, including (but not limited to) child care and eldercare, health and mental health, community recreation and leisure, and education and employment. However, these programs and services are often delivered by professionals and practitioners who have little or no understanding of, or experience with, military and Veteran families.

This lack of military literacy – awareness of the unique experiences of military and Veteran families and the “military life stressors” (mobility, separation and risk) that affect them – can result in negative experiences for both service providers and the families they seek to support.

To enhance the understanding of military and Veteran families, the Vanier Institute has published A Snapshot of Military and Veteran Families in Canada – the third in our new series of publications providing statistical analyses of diverse family experiences and the social, economic, cultural and environmental contexts that shape family life.

Highlights include:

  • Canada is home to 108,000 members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and more than 600,000 CAF Veterans.
  • In the mid-1990s, 80% of military families in Canada lived on a base, whereas 85% live off-base today.
  • There are more than 64,000 children growing up in military families in Canada.
  • Four in 10 military families with children rely on or need non-parental child care; 30% of these families report experiencing difficulties finding adequate care.
  • More than half of surveyed CAF spouses agree that “military children are at a disadvantage because civilian public schools do not understand military life.”
  • Between 21% and 27% of military families in Canada report that they do not have a primary care physician for themselves or their children, compared with 15% of the general population.
  • CAF personnel report spending a quarter of their time away from home on military-related duties.
  • More than one-quarter (27%) of surveyed CAF spouses report that they have relocated at least 4 times due to military postings.
  • More than half (51%) of surveyed CAF spouses say they’ve made some career sacrifices as a result of their partner’s military service.

 

Download A Snapshot of Military and Veteran Families in Canada from the Vanier Institute of the Family.

 


Suggested reading:

Military and Veteran Families in Canada: Collaborations and Partnerships Compendium 1.0

Building Inclusive Communities for Canada’s Military and Veteran Families

The Current State of Military Family Research