Welfare provision during your tour in the Tidewater area
It is impossible to summarize all of the various issues that a family may confront during their tour in the United States. Details of what welfare and community support is available, are provided through the arrival brief, UKGov.net and BayBrits.us websites and, of course, the USA Support Group (Tidewater) Chief Clerk, our locally resident Embassy representative, responsible for supporting personnel and families in the Tidewater region.
Unlike a posting in the UK, the agencies available to support our overseas based military families in their time of need, are not always well known. Within this Community Support section, we have identified a number of agencies, both locally and in the UK, who are available and may be able to offer you the support you need.
There may be a time where families are reluctant to seek help through approaching their chain of command. Sensitivity is key in dealing with welfare support and, unless there is an overriding reason, you can be assured your circumstances will be treated in the strictest confidence. The Chief Clerk, as part of the British Embassy team, is charged will supporting families and provision of welfare* support to the British families in the Tidewater region. You have the option to approach him directly to understand who is best placed to offer the right support for you.
There are also on-base US welfare support staffs who can offer support. We have provided details of the Fleet and Family Support Centers within Hampton Roads. You reminded however that as excellent as the US system is, which by and large mirrors that of the UK, there are subtle differences in how certain circumstances are dealt with. You should ensure you are aware of UK regulations before taking any action with the US support services.
If you are worried about something or have something you want to discuss with someone, please do not feel that you are alone and that there is no-one who can help you through it. We are here to help – seek advice at the earliest opportunity – early action can prevent great heartache later on.
* The responsibility for Welfare, Discipline and Conditions of Service rest with the British Embassy but are delegated to the UK NLR for the USA Support Group(Tidewater) area of responsibility.