For two years the Office of the Ombudsman of the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has been mapping out the transition process for medically released CAF members, in conjunction with the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman. The end product showcases how complicated the process can be and the burden it is on members and their families.
The maps, created for both reserve and regular force members, demonstrate step by step the stakeholders and steps involved in releasing from the military from the time an injury takes place to the time the member is released.
“The objective of this joint mapping initiative was to construct a model of the current reality. It is important to keep in mind that each stakeholder in the medical release process has different roles, priorities, and a unique perspective on the transition process. The visual maps, representing this process, are a high-level illustration of the activities that take place among stakeholders.” stated the Office of the Ombudsman.
The work done since 2014 to develop these maps has helped to drive conversation, according to Ombudsman Gary Walbourne, between Veterans Affairs Canada and CAF through their Joint Team 2020 initiative.
“Moving forward, these maps can serve as a reference tool for decision makers to chart necessary changes to the medical release process, so as to reduce the administrative burden that is currently placed on ill and/or injured members,” stated Walbourne.
The maps will be part of a wider report that will be released soon: Simplifying the Service Delivery Model for Medically Releasing Members of the Canadian Armed Forces. The Office of the Ombudsman also plans to release educational pieces in the next few weeks for CAF members transitioning to civilian life about the benefits offered by the VAC.
The project was announced on June 17, 2014 by the Veterans Ombudsman and the DND/CF Ombudsman.
Veterans Ombudsman, Guy Parent, also recently suggested a Navigator tool to assist veterans and their families through the transition process. This is currently being piloted by Veterans Affairs Canada.
The Office of the Veterans Ombudsman is also currently looking into factors that best contribute to a successful integration into civilian life.
To access the Reserve Force and Regular Force Transition Process maps visit the Office of the Ombudsman website