Deployment Workshops, Services and Programs
The MFRC has a variety of programs to help military members and their families cope with the significant challenges of deployment. Workshops are scheduled in accordance with expressed demand. Deployment workshops are free, and in most cases, child care can be arranged. Show your interest in one of the following workshops by calling 250-363-2640.
Stress is an individual response to a gap between resources and demands. Demands and resources can come from the individual and/or the environment. In order to manage stress, we have to take time to reflect on the situation that we are facing and identify what we can control and change in order to re-establish the equilibrium. In this workshop, we’ll look at some stress buster tools you can use during the deployment.
Re-establishing Your Relationship
Do you have concerns about what things will be like once your partner has returned from their deployment? You may find that re-establishing intimacy after a long separation can be challenging. This workshop will provide you with information to understand the different forms of intimacy, identify roadblocks that may prevent you from achieving it and provide you with tools that will help you re-establish intimacy.
Return and Reintegration
Military families have identified reunion as their most challenging time to manage. The MFRC invites you to an information session designed to address your needs and concerns about family reunion. Operational stress and the "battle ground" mind set can affect your reunion process. Having an understanding of the impact of transitioning from a theatre of war to everyday life is essential for your entire family - including your returning loved one. This presentation mirrors what the members are given as they exit theatre to help soldiers and families understand about adjustment post-tour. Discover useful techniques and tips to have a successful homecoming.
If you’ve moved around a bit, you’ve probably made new friends along the way, and lost touch with other friends. Were there other parents that you got together with through your children’s school; or couples that you got to know through your partner’s work; or friends that you made at your work? This workshop is about the challenges of making and keeping friends while living the military lifestyle and the importance of a strong network during a deployment.
Every time something changes in your life, you undergo a period of transition, a period when you react and adjust emotionally to the new situation. Everyone manages transitions in their own way. By understanding the process of transition it will help you understand the emotions that you may experience and will provide meaning to you in order to find ways to adjust to this change.
Preparing for Deployment & Dealing with Deployment
Before your partner/spouse deploys, make sure you are prepared. No matter how many deployments your family has experienced, this workshop can benefit you. Making sure you have all the checks in the box and understanding the emotional cycle of deployment will help you and your family prepare for your loved one’s upcoming absence. A flexible attitude will benefit you while dealing with your current deployment. We all cope differently when separated from our loved ones. Come on out and share what works for you and learn from others as we all share our best deployment coping strategies.
For information about dates of upcoming workshops, visit your Upcoming Activities page.
Having trouble finding a workshop date or time that works for you? Do you live too far away from the MFRC to participate in the Children’s Workshops? Would you like to better support your child throughout their parent’s deployment? What about doing your own Children’s Deployment Workshops at home? We have developed Children’s Deployment Workbooks for children 3 to 12 years of age and an easy-to-use Parent Guide for the parent at home which includes tips and activities for the deployed parent. Stop by any MFRC location to pick up your copy today! Copies of these manuals are available to deployed members on their ships and electronically upon request. Deployment staff are available to assist you throughout the deployment with email support.
Deployment Workshops for Children help children adjust to a parent being away on deployment. Workshops offer an opportunity for children to interact with other children who are going through the same experience. These workshops will help validate your child's feelings about deployment. Workshops are available for children starting at pre-school age all the way to teens.
Visit your Upcoming Activities page to find date/times of upcoming workshops.
Would you like to meet others preparing for or dealing with a deployment? Are you new to the area or military lifestyle? These evenings are provided as a social opportunity for people to connect and share over a cup of java! MFRC staff will be on hand to provide any requested information. Free child care provided if registered in advance.
Visit your Upcoming Activities page to find date/times of upcoming coffee nights.
Free Deployment Respite Child Care (for infants to school age) is available through the MFRC for one continuous 3 hour period per week up to a maximum of 4 sessions per month when a military parent is deployed (or away for work related reasons) for 28 consecutive days or more (21 days for MCDV members). Punch Cards (available at the MFRC) are used to keep track for the period during which each family can access the program. Parents must complete registration forms and follow established guidelines. This program is provided through MFRC fundraising dollars. If you have unique child care needs, call the MFRC at 250–363–2640.
The Esquimalt MFRC has designated computers at all locations where families affected by work-related separations can e-mail or access the internet.
Stay connected with each other during deployment through the Parenting From Afar Program. Ask for the Parenting from Afar and Pregnancy and Newborn Package, available at the MFRC and on ships. Both parents can share the experience of learning about your growing baby. Packages includes handouts about how to support the at-home parent, parenting from a distance, pregnancy, breastfeeding and caring for your newborn. Call the MFRC at 250–363–2640 for information.
The Esquimalt MFRC and deploying unit offer a pre-deployment information session three to six weeks before the departure of a ship. Topics addressed are the sailing schedule, communication, special considerations, power of attorney, what to do in the event of an emergency, the cycle of deployment, common reaction and ways of coping while your loved one is away the multitude of services available at the Esquimalt MFRC, and preparing for homecoming.
Upon receiving the Family Information Form (English, French), an information package will be sent to the person indicated on the form. The package includes a family handbook, information on preparing for deployment, Mission Information Line, emergency childcare, CFMAP, a greeting letter, Family Network Information, tips for mailing care packages and many other helpful resources.
The Esquimalt MFRC offers the Friends and Neighbours (F.A.N. Club) Puppet Program. This volunteered-based program uses life-size, colourful puppets and prepared scripts to assist children ages 3 to 11 learn how to cope with issues such as deployment and reunion. Performances are done at local schools and at various MFRC events. If you are interested in more information or want to volunteer for this program, please call the MFRC at 250-363-2640 (toll free: 1-800-353-3329).
You can be part of your child's bedtime routine even while you are away. Before you depart, make a videotape of yourself reading a story or doing another activity. Your child can enjoy it when you're away. Age appropriate books and toys provided. Bring your own blank DVD. This program is free. Call 250–363–2640 to book an appointment.
The main purpose of the Staying in Touch (SIT) calls is to ensure that families of CF members remain connected to base and community resources and services during work related separations. This is not a counseling service nor is it the role of the SIT staff to give advice. Their role is to offer a friendly voice and a listening ear. All contacts are strictly confidential.
Our “Read me a Bedtime Story” has taken to the high seas! Members onboard ships sailing for 4 months or more have a library of child-friendly books onboard to choose from and are able to record themselves reading from sea. Members then send the recording home and families can access the same books at our library located at the MFRC – CPAC so children can follow along with their parent’s recording. This program is free.
Stay connected with your loved one serving in Afghanistan through our VTC. Enjoy a conversation with your loved one in a comfortable, private office at CPAC. The VTC is scheduled through the deployed CF member. For information, call 250–363–2640.
There are a variety of volunteer opportunities in this program, ranging from heading up a Family Network, coordinating social/recreational activities or assisting with casual childcare. Learn more about volunteering.