The family unit has an undeniable importance for all cultures around the world. To celebrate the essential role families play, the United Nations has designated May 15 as International Day of Families.
In the sub-culture of the military community, families play an unmatched role in supporting their military loved one, and overall, the larger military family is an essential support system for all those belonging to this community.
"Family means everything to the military community. Family can be your parents, children, siblings, aunts, uncles and grandparents. But it can also be your adopted family - friends, neighbours, and coworkers, who might not be related to you but are the people you go to for love, support, friendship, and favours.
“These adopted family members are especially important to military families because they might be thousands of kilometres away from their immediate family, new to a community and facing the challenges that come with the military lifestyle. Your friends and coworkers that you meet on the military journey are the ones that understand what you're going through and will help at a moments notice with cutting the lawn, fixing the dishwasher or watching your children when you have an emergency,” said Devon Taylor, Communications & Development Coordinator at the Trenton Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC).
In recent years, more and more policymakers and leader are beginning to recognize the important contributions families make.
This year’s theme for the International Day of Families, “families, education, and well-being,” aims to call attention to the role of families and family-oriented policies in promoting education and overall well-being of their members, especially when it comes to early childhood education.
This year’s International Day of Families will also highlight best practices for caregivers to fulfil their roles as educators for the welfare of their children and best practices of the private sector to support working parents.
For the military community, Military Family Resource Centres are the go-to in providing the tools for the overall well-being of families and support to parents in their roles. MFRCs across the country provide a breadth of programs in this regard.
“The Education and Employment department at the MFRC is one of our busiest programs. Education and employment can play a big role in feelings of self-worth which contributes to overall well-being. Our staff are dedicated to helping military family members find the right path - whether that is through exploring furthering education, taking past work experience and applying them to new program credits or connecting with new opportunities - so that they get the most out of their posting here and maintain or gain back that sense of well-being,” added Taylor.