It is important to recognize that the MFS(E) UK does not serve a centralized base because CAF families are spread out across the UK in over 40 different military units. There is no centralized daycare, no pre or post school children’s clubs, no youth centre, and no family medical or dental centre. However, these services are available in the local economy, and MFS(E) UK staff are available to assist you in locating the services that you need, or to refer you to local resources.
Families posted to the UK integrate into their UK communities, taking the “when in Rome” approach! The communities can be quite unique, and your experience in the UK will be quite different depending on where you will be living. A posting to bustling London will be quite a different experience to a posting to a rural village. Both have their own appeal and their own challenges.
The UK school system is generally quite good, and most children find themselves challenged by the work. The Canadian Forces Dependent Education Program has a dedicated staff member in the UK who can assist with questions. Spouses can find employment on the British economy if they wish.
The MFS(E) UK has a number of initiatives to welcome newcomers and to help ease the transition to living in the United Kingdom. You are encouraged to contact MFS(E) UK prior to your house hunting trip to ascertain what services you would like to access. You will receive a “Thriving in the UK
” guidebook that will answer many questions that you did not even know you had! You will meet with MFS(E) UK staff for a briefing during your in-clearance. Families are encouraged to attend that informative session if possible. The Canadian Forces Support Unit in Ruislip will also provide invaluable assistance with CAF related questions, providing among other resources a “Welcome to the UK” Handbook.
MFS(E) UK constantly collects and distributes information to the CAF community. A resource library of reference material relevant to MFS(E) mandated services is available for in person browsing, or books can be mailed to those at a distance. The MFS(E) Newsletter is emailed every quarter. Please ensure we have your correct email address as the Newsletter will keep you informed of programs and information in the Canadian military family community.