Why should I provide my feedback to the Military Family Panel Process?
Frequently Asked Questions: Military Family Panel Process
Your input is critical for the Canadian Armed Forces to continue to understand the issues most affecting military families and act on these rapidly and decisively. By providing us with feedback, you can help to influence military family program and service design so that we remain family focused in everything we do at Military Family Services.
How do I communicate my feedback to the Military Family Panel Process?
Our aim is to make communicating feedback as accessible as possible to all families, wherever they are (and whatever their situation is), at a time and in a format that is convenient for them. Therefore, our phone, email, ground mail and social media will be available to families to communicate their feedback, 24/7. We will also hold specific virtual feedback sessions (teleconference and videoconference), four times per year, on questions related to the military lifestyle.
When am I able to communicate my input?
You can provide your feedback any time - 24/7. For a list of ways to communicate with us, please click here.
What happens to my feedback to the Military Family Panel Process?
All feedback is considered, whether it is communicated by email, social media, phone or in-person. No comment is unimportant.
Here is how it works:
How often can I provide comments and feedback, and how do you filter the comments?
- When feedback is received, it is compiled and summarized in such a way that ensures anonymity and confidentiality of family members, while still retaining as much of the family members’ words and intent as possible.
- It is then reviewed by the Military Family Panel Process Feedback Team, a small group of people who have first-hand experience of the military lifestyle. The Team is made up of military family and serving military members who, collectively, have 65 years of military experience and 78 years in a military family, having been posted to 13 locations across Canada.
- The feedback is categorized into key themes and recommendations and then directed to relevant partners, stakeholders and military leadership (e.g.: Chief of Military Personnel; Military Family Resource Centre Executive Directors; family associations or groups; Director General Health Services; etc.) to make them aware of the situation and the perspectives of families on particular issues.
- Feedback and any action taken is then reported back to families via social media, websites and email.
We are happy to receive your comments and feedback, 24/7 by email, phone or social media. For a list of ways to communicate with us, please click here.
Feedback will be summarized and directed to the proper leaders, authorities and partners in such a way that ensures anonymity and confidentiality of family members. However, every effort will be made to avoid any “filtering” during this process, in order to ensure that the authentic family voice is conveyed directly to the military leadership and partners.
What is the experience level of individuals moderating and analyzing the data?
The Director, along with the senior management team within Military Family Services, is responsible for setting the course and priorities for Military Family Services. Employees are hired for their expertise in a number of areas and for their ability to contribute positively to the well-being of military families as per our mission statement. We aim to hire the best qualified staff to fulfill our mandate. Being from a military family is deemed to be an asset, although not a requisite for employment.
Requiring that someone be from a military family as a condition of employment would be discriminatory, just as being a parent is not a prerequisite for anyone working within a children's hospital, or similarly for someone working in a daycare for example.
The Director of Military Family Services is wholly responsible for the Military Family Panel Process, as directed by Chief of Military Personnel Command. The Family Feedback Team's composition is well represented and provides many perspectives and years of experience in a number of fields. Their responses within the #MyVoice forum represent a collective voice on behalf of the whole of Military Family Services.
How does the feedback go to military leadership?
After the feedback is collated (to ensure confidentiality of participants), it is reviewed by the Feedback Team (which has 78 years of military family experience).
The feedback is categorized into key themes and recommendations and then shared with relevant partners, stakeholders and military leadership (e.g.: Director of Military Family Services, Chief of Military Personnel Command; Military Family Resource Centre Executive Directors; family associations or groups; Director General Health Services; etc.) so that they may gain an appreciation for families’ perspectives on various issues.
How do you respond to the concerns once they are summarized?
Once the feedback is summarized, we send it to relevant partners, leaders and authorities. Any feedback and resulting action from partners, leaders or authorities is then communicated back to families via social media, websites and email.
Does it replace the Canadian Armed Forces member grievance process?
No, any officer or non-commissioned member who has been aggrieved by any decision, act or omission in the administration of the affairs of the Canadian Armed Forces for which no other process for redress is provided under the National Defence Act is entitled to submit a grievance.
Does it complement the Office of the Ombudsman function?
Yes, the Canadian Armed Forces Ombudsman investigates complaints and serves as a neutral third party on matters related to the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces. Acting independently of the chain of command and managers, he reports directly to the Minister of National Defence.
Isn’t the Military Family Panel Process simply a “complaint centre”?
The Panel Process is to get feedback from a wide variety of military families on all issues related to military family life. Some of the feedback will be critical—critique is an important part of improving military family program and service design.
We do, however, also welcome success stories and the Process will encourage participants to state challenges and potential opportunities to address the challenges.
The desired outcomes of the Panel Process are positive ones: to enable families to offer feedback on the programs and services available to them; to connect families with the appropriate stakeholders; to provide a forum where families are able to connect with one another and to report back to families how the issues are being addressed.
How did the Military Family Panel Process evolve from the National Military Family Council?
The National Military Family Council was originally set up as a voice of military families and to build on the Military Family National Advisory Board that preceded it. Over time however it was apparent that being a conduit for all military families was too onerous for a small group of volunteers and that there were systemic challenges preventing them from effectively capturing and channeling the collective voice.
In October 2014, we introduced the Military Family Panel Process at the Strengthening Resilience Conference in Cornwall which included members of the former National Military Family Council.
The Military Family Panel Process is an ongoing consultative process to engage with families at a working level and provides an ongoing source of information and referral to internal subject matter experts throughout the Canadian Armed Forces.
The Process will offer a family perspective to inform policy, benefits and program administration as they affect military families.
The establishment of the Military Family Panel Process is in response to the reports released in fall 2013 by the Canadian Armed Forces Ombudsman and Chief Review Services. Both reports indicated that the Canadian Armed Forces need to listen more and communicate more effectively with military families.
The Military Family Panel Process will occur mostly by virtual means, and convene families in person as required depending on the issue. All opportunities to engage with families, whether individually or in groups, will be considered within the context of the Family Panel process.
Military families will be encouraged to participate in the Military Family Panel Process through the Family Information Line by calling 1-800-866-4546, communicating via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or through our Facebook page. Families who want to find out more about ways to share their voice, can click here.