Moving to a new city or province can be a daunting experience, especially for military families who often face the challenge of frequent relocations. However, knowing the available resources and support systems can ease the transition and help families settle into their new homes.
This blog section will focus on the various military family resources available when moving to Alberta, Canada. It covers aspects such as housing, education, health care, employment, and various support services tailored to the needs of military families. So, let’s dive in!
Finding a suitable home is the first step to settling into a new city. Alberta is home to several military bases, including Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Edmonton and CFB Suffield. Military families moving to these bases can access the Canadian Forces Housing Agency (CFHA) services, which provide residential housing units (RHUs) for military personnel and their families.
CFHA manages and maintains RHUs in various neighbourhoods near CFB Edmonton and CFB Suffield. These units are typically more affordable than renting in the local housing market and are available in different sizes to accommodate families’ needs. To apply for an RHU, military families can submit an application on the CFHA website or contact the local CFHA office.
For families who prefer to live off-base, the Integrated Relocation Program (IRP) provides financial assistance and other resources to help with the moving process. The IRP works with Brookfield Global Relocation Services (BGRS) to manage relocations for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and their families.
Alberta offers a high-quality education system, and children of military families can attend public or Catholic schools at no cost. It is essential to understand the registration process, school policies, and available support services for military families.
On top of that, the Military Family Services (MFS) program provides educational support resources for military-connected children. These resources include information on school transition, special needs support, and educational liaisons who work with schools to ensure a smooth transition for military children. The program also offers financial assistance for post-secondary education through the Support Our Troops Scholarship program.
Military families moving to Alberta can access comprehensive healthcare services through the province’s public healthcare system, known as Alberta Health Services (AHS). Upon arrival, it is crucial to register with the AHS and obtain an Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) card.
CAF members can access medical and dental services at the CFB Edmonton and CFB Suffield clinics. For families living off-base, the CAF Health Services website has a list of civilian medical and dental care providers in the province who accept military families.
For military spouses seeking employment in Alberta, the Military Family Services (MFS) program and the Military Spousal Employment Network (MSEN) offer job search assistance, career counselling, and networking opportunities. These programs help military spouses find suitable job opportunities and navigate the local job market.
In addition, the Alberta government’s employment support website, Alberta Works, offers resources, job search tools, and career planning services for residents looking to enter the workforce or change careers.
5. Support Services
Finally, military families can access various support services tailored to their needs in Alberta. The Military Family Resource Centres (MFRCs) in Edmonton and Suffield offers programs and services that cater to the unique needs of military families, such as deployment support, mental health services, and social activities.
The Soldier On program provides support to ill and injured CAF members and their families, offering various activities and resources to promote recovery and well-being. In addition, the Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS) program offers peer support services for military personnel and their families dealing with operational stress injuries, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Moving to Alberta as a military family can be a smooth and rewarding experience with the right resources and support services. By taking advantage of the housing, education, health care, employment, and support services available, military families can transition seamlessly into their new community and enjoy all that Alberta has to offer.
Christ Strong offers real estate services to those looking to relocate to Alberta quickly and as successfully as possible. If you are moving to Alberta, work with us today to find your dream property!