New Research: Investigating Reservists’ family members’ views on welfare and support services


Families of Reservists: a Mapping Exercise for Support and Welfare (FRAME-SW)

A new study is canvassing the views of the families of Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and Royal Air Force Reservists on the provision of welfare support available to Reservists and their families.

Oxford Brookes University, King’s College London and the University of Aberdeen are conducting research into welfare and support services for the family members of UK Reservists: Families of Reservists: a Mapping Exercise for Support and Welfare (FRAME-SW).

The Government and the MOD have a publically declared an obligation to support all members of the Armed Forces and their families, through the Armed Forces Covenant. Defence recognises the importance of understanding and supporting the needs of families. However, there has been relatively little research on the families of Reservists to date.

Around nine in ten volunteer Reservists agreed that their family supports their Reserve service and a higher proportion of Reservists than regulars were satisfied with the support their family received when they were last deployed on operations. This is a positive view from the Reservist but it would be useful to know how much Reservist families are aware of all the support and welfare provision that is potentially available to them. This would help to best target support and welfare for the future and to identify if there are any current gaps in provision.

Most Reservists are not employed full time and their families may have little to do with military life until their family member takes part in operations or extended training. Therefore, it can be difficult to reach the families of Reservists through traditional study recruitment methods. Reservist family members may not tend to think of themselves as part of the service community. This can prevent their views being heard.

The aim of this study is to make a real difference to understanding current awareness and utilisation of available welfare and support services provided to family members of UK reservists. As well as what changes, if any, would have the most benefit or biggest impact for these families.

Family members can share their views by taking part in a survey, phone interviews and/or focus groups. The team will also interview welfare and support personnel at the MoD, allied charities and Reservist Units. If you are a Reservist yourself you can still help us by passing on details of our study to your friends and family members, as well as other Reservists who may do the same.   This also includes the family members of Full Time Reserve Service (FTRS) personnel.

How to get involved:

This study is open to any individual over the age of 18 who considers themselves a family member of a Reserve in the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army, or Royal Air Force. This may include birth or step family, extended family and close friends.

To get involved in the study or to find out more please visit 

You can also contact us on 01865 482988, email us at [email protected], and follow us on Facebook @framesw and Twitter @frame_study.  

The study will run from October 2017 until February 2017. The results will be reported to the MoD. It is funded by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and commissioned by the Defence Human Capability Science and Technology Centre (DHCSTC). The study has received ethics approval from the Ministry of Defence Research Ethics Committee. Reservists and their family members can also visit our website for a signposting guide to the current welfare services for Reservists and their families. We always welcome feedback on our survey, website and signposting guide.

Led by Professor Vince Connelly at Oxford Brookes University, the team includes Professor Nicola Fear, Chair in Epidemiology and Director of the King’s Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR) at King’s College London; Dr Zoe Morrison, senior lecturer in Management Studies at the University of Aberdeen; Dr Sarah Hennelly, post-doctoral researcher, Oxford Brookes University; and Joanna Smith, research assistant, Oxford Brookes University.

Reserve Forces