I saw this article earlier today on the CTV website. A short item from The Canadian Press.
Below that, I put up a copy of the DND press release that the article draws from.
I will comment in depth on the them later. I think several items hidden in these articles are
worthy of closer examination. Besides the addition of yet another office, the previous promises to
"hire an additional 218 mental health professionals by the end of March 2009"
(several references in the December 2008 ombudsmen report Pages 2,15,22 and 28- http://www.ombudsman.forces.gc.ca/rep-rap/sr-rs/osi-tso-3/doc/osi-tso-3-eng.pdf
now seems to be reduced to 117 new Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) positions. That is alot less than promised when you knock the administrative staff off that 117 for 8 offices and an Ottawa HQ.
DND to open eight support centres across Canada
Mon. Mar. 2 2009
The Canadian Press
copy at : http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090302/DND_supportcentres_090302/20090302?hub=Canada
HALIFAX -- The Canadian government is creating a national network of support centres to help care for ill and injured armed forces personnel, their families, former members and the families of the deceased.
Eight Integrated Personnel Support Centres will be staffed in every region of the country over the next few months to oversee case management and program delivery, Defence Minister Peter MacKay announced Monday.
"Whether returning to military life or exploring a new civilian career these members and their families will receive the assistance they need," said MacKay.
The centres will operate under a single Canadian Forces unit based in Ottawa co-ordinating casualty report and case management programs and planning and managing return to work programs.
Veteran's Affairs Minister Greg Thompson said the partnership with DND will provide veterans and their families with more seamless service.
"They will improve existing services by aligning progress on a member's file with one defined set of priorities," he said.
The centres will be located in Vancouver, Edmonton, Shilo, Man., Toronto, Petawawa, Ont., Valcartier, Que,. Gagetown, N.B., and Halifax.
The Joint Personnel Support Unit
BG–09.006 - March 2, 2009http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/view-news-afficher-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=2880
In the provision of care and support to its ill and injured personnel, the Canadian Forces (CF) are far ahead of where they were ten years ago. As part of an ongoing process to improve the level of services, the CF has established a network of eight support centres to meet the needs of ill and injured personnel from the Navy, Army and Air Force, providing them with an integrated “one-stop service.” The support centres, known as Integrated Personnel Support Centres (IPSCs), operate under the Joint Personnel Support Unit (JPSU), which is headquartered in Ottawa.
The mandate of the JPSU is to respond to requests for support and report to the chain of command on issues of concern raised by ill and injured CF personnel. The JPSU accomplishes the following:
* It improves the quality of care and services provided to ill and injured CF personnel.
* It ensures that military personnel have access to the same high standard of care and support across the country.
* It reduces the potential for gaps, overlaps and confusion, ensuring that no CF member “falls through the cracks.”
* As military personnel move frequently, the JPSU concept recognizes that people heal better and faster when they are close to their family and their social support network.
* The JPSU gives military personnel a new mission – to heal (recover), to regain their strength (rehabilitate) and to choose their best way forward (reintegrate).
The principal aim of this initiative is to ensure that all Regular Force and Reserve Force personnel and their families are provided an equitable level of care and support regardless of environment or location, through centralized command and control.
The JPSU provides a CF/VAC integrated “one-stop service” for ill and injured CF personnel and their families. It supports currently serving and releasing CF personnel, both Regular Force and Reserve Force. It caters to both referrals and walk-in clients, to long-term injured personnel and to members considering retirement. It responds to queries from family members regarding support services and programs for ill and injured personnel, and provides referrals as appropriate.
The services made available through the JPSU include the following:
* Return to Work (RTW) Program coordination;
* Casualty tracking;
* Casualty administrative support and advocacy;
* CF Case Management;
* Service Income Security Insurance Plan (SISIP) financial services;
* Liaison with Military Family Resource Centres, local base support representatives and local unit Commanding Officers; and
* VAC client and transition services.
The JPSU improves on earlier initiatives in several key ways. It provides one-stop access to services and benefits, simplifying the process for clients seeking assistance. It reduces the potential for gaps and overlaps, and the potential for confusion among service providers. VAC staff become engaged earlier in a releasing member’s transition process. Shared standards and guidelines lead to care and support which is consistent across departments (DND/CF and VAC); environments (Army, Navy, Air Force); components (Regular Force and Reserve Force); bases, wings and units; and the country.
The JPSU is the central military unit to which a number of Integrated Personnel Support Centres (IPSCs) belong. The IPSCs will be located as follows:
* Vancouver, British Columbia;
* Edmonton, Alberta;
* Shilo, Manitoba;
* Toronto, Ontario;
* Petawawa, Ontario;
* Valcartier, Québec;
* Gagetown, New Brunswick; and
* Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Locations will open over the coming months. The individual IPSCs will be structured and staffed based on the size and relative needs of the population they serve. Approximately 117 new Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) positions will be filled across Canada.
A Realignment of Resources
The delivery of casualty support services at the base, wing and formation level has been occurring for as long as the CF has been training and employing members and sending them into operational theatres and special duty operations. On the national level, new initiatives were launched in 1998 and again in 2007. While filling gaps in service, however, these did not comprehensively address the needs of the CF. In 2008, the Chief of Military Personnel (CMP) recommended the stand-up of casualty support units which would provide a consistent level of care for all CF personnel. The Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) accepted this recommendation, and announced the intent to further enhance casualty support by establishing centrally managed units across the country.
Leadership recognized that the earlier system of care management was complex, and that simplifying it would benefit personnel in need. The JPSU provides CF personnel and their families with coordinated, seamless and integrated care when illnesses or injuries occur, and through the stages of recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration into military or civilian life and employment