Skip to main content

Armed Forces: Children

Volume 460: debated on Wednesday 9 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what Government support is available for the children of single parents who are serving in combat with HM armed forces; (130651)

(2) what support is provided for the care of children whose parents or guardians are both deployed on overseas operations with HM armed forces.

Service personnel who are single parents remain liable for deployment on operations in accordance with identified operational requirements. The need to make plans in advance for appropriate care arrangements for dependent children is made very clear to all service personnel but is explicitly brought to the attention of single parents. All children of any service personnel deployed on operations will continue to receive the full range of support available, such as unit staff, specialist service welfare organisations, community support staff, MOD children’s education support staff, HIVE information services, and the families federations.

This support will be available direct to children or, more typically, through those who have taken on the care of those children in the absence of the parent, in accordance with the arrangements made by the service parent.

The responsibilities, arrangements, support and advice available in the case of both serving parents being deployed on operations is no different to the case of a serving single parent deploying on operations. The armed forces are very successful in minimising the occurrence of such simultaneous deployments.