Policy, Government and the Voluntary Sector

New research reveals financial support for children from Armed Forces families

New DSC research has revealed the current funding landscape for service children.

Ground-breaking research by DSC reveals that funders spend at least £8.6 million each year on the needs of children with parents in the armed forces, supporting needs such as education, mental health and wellbeing, and crisis support.  

How many funders and how much funding?  

DSC identified 69 funding organisations (including Armed Forces and wider charities, statutory organisations, businesses, and social enterprises) that provided funds to support Armed Forces children and young people in the UK, either directly or via intermediary organisations. Collectively they spend at least £3.1 million annually to support 8,600 individuals and at least £5.5 million to support 600 organisations. In addition, statutory funding streams (not included in the 69 funders outlined above) provided £28 million. 

DSC also found that just 10% of the 69 funders identified were defined as specialist child-focused funders. In other words, only a small minority of funders have a central focus on supporting Armed Forces children and young people.  

Who and what can be funded? 

The research found that eligibility criteria for funding were generally quite broad. The typical age range for support is between birth and 18 or 25 years of age. Most funders could support Armed Forces children and young people throughout the UK and from both Serving and ex-Service families. Funders most commonly directed funding towards wellbeing and social support, followed by educational support and mental health support for children.  

How can I find out more? 

Funded by Forces in Mind Trust, and in partnership with the Service Children’s Progression (SCiP) Alliance – the full report also includes findings about the types of funding provided, whether funders require evaluation of project outcomes, and the role of collaboration in better meeting the needs of children from service families. It also includes recommendations for funders and further research.  

The report, Funding for Armed Forces Children and Young People, is launched today and can be freely accessed at www.dsc.org.uk/research, or via the direct link: www.dsc.org.uk/publication/funding-for-armed-forces-children-and-young-people/  

Lead author, Chester Howarth (DSC Senior Researcher), said:  

“For the first time, this research paints a picture of the landscape of funding for Armed Forces children and young people, filling gaps in knowledge and shedding light on collaboration and evaluation among those funding Service children and young people.” 

Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, Thomas McBarnet, said: 

“This research provides us with not only an evidence base on the funding and support landscape for Armed Forces children and young people, but also provides insight on their support needs and the barriers to accessing support. This information is invaluable to statutory, charitable, and other funders and we commend the report to them. In particular, we draw their attention to the need to improve the capture and sharing of data to ensure that funding is distributed to where it is best placed and most needed, and used to inform future policy and strategy across the charity sector as well as across central and local government.”