Improving transition out of the Armed Forces: engaging families through behavioural insights

Each year 15,000 military personnel transition out of the UK Armed Forces. Whilst the majority transition successfully, a small but significant number struggle. Family plays a crucial role in this process, but their engagement with transition support remains low. This report draws on evidence from a variety of fields – psychology, economics and behavioural science – to better understand what factors cause families’ low uptake of services and identify ways to address these.



Increasing family engagement with the transition process is important when designing systems to improve outcomes of Service personnel leaving the Armed Forces. In this report we highlight a range of directions for thinking about how structures and processes in the Armed Forces can increase engagement with support services. For example, by simplifying processes where possible, considering how options are configured and recognising the importance of the military identity.
This review is the first deliverable of a one-year exploratory phase to understand how these barriers may affect families on a day-to-day basis, and how we can address these issues.  It will be supplemented with a comprehensive programme of qualitative fieldwork with families of currently serving Armed Forces personnel, as well as Veteran families. We hope to provide recommendations to improve transition provision for families and test these in a field trial, in order to better understand what works for families of transitioning Serving personnel.

Date Published

June 27, 2018