HMPPS CFO has committed to offering additional central support for those working with veterans within either custody or the community. The following provides some background and explains the approach we are taking:
In 2016 we secured funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund to deliver the Network for Ex-Service Personnel Project (NESP https://mod.co-financing.org/) and have been working closely with MoD since that time. Since then, we have embedded much of the learning from this collaborative work into our wider CFO3 Employability and CFO Activity Hubs programmes. These support veterans in custody as well as those on community sentences. The experience gained from this has allowed us to continue to embed support more effectively and strengthen our links to wider HMPPS and MoJ policy teams and initiatives.
We have also seen an increase recently in Ministerial requests relating to support for veterans in the CJS and it is clear that there is growing interest in this policy area. Establishing key contacts across each area to respond effectively to these requests along with other CFO veteran communications is also a priority, without creating an additional burden of work on any region.
HMPPS CFO (https://www.co-financing.org/) is now operating as the central point of contact for issues/responses relating to ex-Armed Service Personnel (or veterans) currently serving custodial or community sentences. CFO has committed resources to this agenda by creating a dedicated post of Veteran Policy Lead, who will be taking the HMPPS CFO Ex-Armed Services Action Plan forward (key aspects of which are represented within the MoD Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/veterans-strategy-action-plan-2022-to-2024/veterans-strategy-action-plan-2022-to-2024-html). This is in recognition of the fact that we are currently delivering a number of veteran services and providing support to Veterans in Custody Support Officers (ViCSOs). To further this work, it has been agreed that CFO will offer resources and central support to all PGD areas with regard to their work with veterans.