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Family Care Plan (FCP) [Merged]

mech16

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I have to say that this topic caused me to get a log in and I do have to apologize for the long post it is a topic that I have strong feelings about, both as a supervisor and a parent.

Background
1. SrNCO so I'm a supervisor.
2. My spouse is also a military member. This means obviously neither of us is a stay at home parent.
3. I'm the senior member both in rank and time in (TI for those acronym nuts)
4. We have 3 small kids age 6,3,1

Well I agree that FCP is there for absence from work for duty related reasons I have had way to many supervisors and officers tell me that we have to use it for those other problems like a sick kid etc...  Some people have relatives living in other provinces as their FCP backups.  This is normally done for many reasons, financial cost and knowing someone you trust and have a relationship with will be looking after your kids in an emergency.  This is not always a plan that can be put in place in a morning, this is why the MFRC has programs to help bridge the time between when you have to leave for duty reasons (very short notice) and when the FCP can be fully put in place.  They also have plans for emergencies if you need help, i.e. loss your caregiver unexpectedly and need some time to locate a new one.  I have accessed these programs twice in the last 4 months and even they can take awhile to get into place, possibly a few days depending on the urgency and requirements, the more kids you have the harder it seems to find a perfect/acceptable solution.

If you also look in DAOD's QR&O's and the new leave policy manual you will find ref to CO's can grant up to 2 days sick leave (note it does not specify how many times in a month this can be granted unlike short leave etc..)  but there is no guidance or examples of acceptable practise in guiding this policy. This leads to very wide and different interpretations through out the military.  Some units allow you to call in sick while other insist you go to the UMS / MIR every single time.  There are even units that let you call in if your kids or spouse is sick.

In the mid to late 90's when the policies started changing the unit I was with at the time allowed people to call in, of course we had to police the policy and unsure they were not abusing it.  Most recently units I have been with have made me use annual days for sick kids.  There was even rumors about a CANFORGEN, CANELECTGEN or some form of paper orders on the topic but after years of looking for them no luck so far.

Now to the actual problems.
1. Most major coporations and unions (yes the forbidden word) have policies that allow for family days or call in sick.  Even some military units have it published in RO's how they handle the situation.  Rules and regulations are clearly laid out and in some cases certain flexability is even laid out also.
2. If your kids are sick they can not go to school.  If they get sick at school you have to go pick them up. It is in pretty much all schools rule books.
3. If your kids are sick they can not go to daycare or the babysitters. Most places make you sign papers acknowledging this rule.
4. If your daycare provider / babysitter is sick they normally will not take any kids for that day.
5. Alot of families now are 2 income families so good luck finding someone who is a stay at home spouse that will want to look after sick kids especially if they have their own. They can not afford to be sick anymore than you can.
6. If you have to call in an outside agency, aka a professional caregiver agency, they may or may not be willing to or even able to on short notice  (30min or less) come look after sick kids.  Now add the fact of at least $25 an hour cost for them.  Sick kids 2 days = lots of money about $500 or so in most cases.
7. If you need to take annual days everytime a kids is sick you may end up with none left over for the actual purpose of leave which is to rest and recover and to spend with your family developing and strengthening those bonds so they are in place when you are away for duty reasons.
8. YOU CAN NOT PLAN WHEN YOUR KIDS ARE SICK - unable to plan for every problem and plans made today may not be good when you need to implement them. That neighbor who said they could look after the kids may be on holiday, sick themself, or even started work somewhere else.

So all this to say I believe the only way to solve this is for the system to be clarified, actually get direction from higher (maybe even the CDS) on the policy, to many differences in policy interpretations cause problems with moral and feelings of resentment may build up.  Because lets face it if your buddy across the road in another unit is getting to call in sick and gets sick days to look after his kids and you have to go to the UMS everytime and your unit makes you take annual days to look after your kids you are not going to be very happy.  I have seen SrNCO's who love their job and are hardworkers turn in their release paperwork over this.

The FCP and the MFRC has come along way in helping both the member and the forces to deal with family emergencies but I feel they are more focused on the long term solutions like serious illnesses and deployments, not the short term like the flu or 1-2 days loss of childcare or things like unexpected school closures.

Just to touch on the topic of the "lazy worker" you will not get any better performance out of them if they feel like they are being "hammered" all the time, this leads to administration problems for the supervisor and worse. This is not to say you can not put the carrot in front of them saying that the harder they work for you the harder you will work for them.  Sometimes this may include being creative in creating flexability in a inflexible system.

If you want to even add more fuel onto the discussion. 
1. What do you do when your work says no and you have exhausted all options and not found a babysitter ? Take them to work ?
2. What about medical appointments for the kids ? are they any less important than yours ?

How do I handle the situation now, well it calls for creativity now and sometimes asking for forgiveness after the fact.  I take the brunt of this alot but I will look after my troops and this includes family whenever I can but I expect stuff back from them.  Work hard and play hard.
 

Papa_Jim

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@ Simian Turner

Umm.  It is your duty to show up at work.  You kid is sick.  The Family Care Plan exists to ensure your family is taken care of for "Duty" reasons.

That is, make sure you have a plan for when your kids are sick.  I am a single father of 3 boys.  I have a plan which involves several different people.  Yes it is a pain in the butt, but you have a DUTY to do.

I have seen, done, and allowed all manner of things - as the work had to get done including working from home, using leave, bringing kids to work etc.

I am no hardass on this but certainly it is up to you to figure your family out.  The CF didn't issue you the family.

Should you consistently fail to be able to look after your family I would be applying remedial measures to you for your failure to adapt to the needs of service life.
 

Fishbone Jones

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Papa_Jim said:
@ Simian Turner

Umm.  It is your duty to show up at work.  You kid is sick.  The Family Care Plan exists to ensure your family is taken care of for "Duty" reasons.

That is, make sure you have a plan for when your kids are sick.  I am a single father of 3 boys.  I have a plan which involves several different people.  Yes it is a pain in the butt, but you have a DUTY to do.

I have seen, done, and allowed all manner of things - as the work had to get done including working from home, using leave, bringing kids to work etc.

I am no hardass on this but certainly it is up to you to figure your family out.  The CF didn't issue you the family.

Should you consistently fail to be able to look after your family I would be applying remedial measures to you for your failure to adapt to the needs of service life.

Tone down your attitude, here and on the rest of the board. Your points may be valid, but you don't have to be so condecending to get them across.

Milnet.ca Staff
 

Muttenthaler

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I'm going to forward this doc to some of my "clerk-net". I can't believe you took the time to draft an SOP for doc updating, I admire your work ethic.

As a reminder to all those reading this thread, see your clerks to make sure that your docs are updated. In many cases, the clerks forget, and/or need the practice anyway ;) Just cross your t's and dot your i's and you'll find that policy will work in your favour 9 times out of 10.
 

chappyk

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Hey Guys:

I'm in the Navy and I've been landed because of having recently becoming separated and now being a single father.  I have put in  memo for a compassionate land posting for 2 years.  Someone just told me today that if I do not have a family care plan in place and can't sail....that I could be released?  Can anyone comment on this?
 

PMedMoe

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I don't know about being released, but IIRC, every CF member with children must have a family care plan.
 

chappyk

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Hmm, today was the first I've ever heard of it and I've been in for a year.  We have no family here, but I'll have to look into this tomorrow.
 

PMedMoe

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That's why you never heard of the family care plan.  Now, you're a single father, you have to have means in place to look after your children in the case of deployment, etc.
 

Pusser

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Keep in mind that your family situation has changed rather suddenly; therefore, your family care plan needs to be updated.  The CF needs to give you time to do that.  Can you be released for not having a family care plan?  In a sense, yes, but it takes a considerable amount of time to do that.  We don't kick you out overnight because of a change of circumstances.  It's only if it becomes a cronic problem that we start looking at that option.

Compassionate postings exist specifically to deal with temporary problems and to give you a chance to resolve them.  The assumption is that you will fix the problem within the period of the posting (i.e. two to three years).  Asking for a compassionate posting is a good first step.  Keep going with that and start on fixing the situation.

Who told you that you could be released for not having a Family Care Plan?  He/she is being alarmist.  It's not that simple.  There are many hoops to jump through before that happens.  It is your Divisional System's job to help you through this.
 

chappyk

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Thank you Pusser, I feel a bit better and will take steps to ensure my family care plan is updated.  I certainly had no intentions of starting my new career this way.  But my daughter needs to be helped.
 

Jarnhamar

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Does anyone know if there is some kind of rule regarding the amount of notice a chain of command has to give a soldier in order to have her show up at work at a timing she isn't accustomed to?

For example if a soldier's normal timing for work is 07:30am can the CoC message her the night before and tell her she has to show up the next day at 05:30hrs for some kind of fast ball tasking when the member has children they would need to find last minute care for?

I could have sworn there was a 2 day notice rule for something like this but I can't find a reference for it.
 

George Wallace

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ObedientiaZelum said:
Does anyone know if there is some kind of rule regarding the amount of notice a chain of command has to give a soldier in order to have her show up at work at a timing she isn't accustomed to?

For example if a soldier's normal timing for work is 07:30am can the CoC message her the night before and tell her she has to show up the next day at 05:30hrs for some kind of fast ball tasking when the member has children they would need to find last minute care for?

I could have sworn there was a 2 day notice rule for something like this but I can't find a reference for it.


You are joking; right?


They can call you up in the middle of the night and tell you to be into work immediately.  It is called an Alert Recall/Bug Out/Snowball/and a number of other names.
 

Jarnhamar

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hotei said:
Is the individual on call?

No.


George Wallace said:
You are joking; right?


They can call you up in the middle of the night and tell you to be into work immediately.  It is called an Alert Recall/Bug Out/Snowball/and a number of other names.

Nope not joking, I think you're wrong too.  I believe there is also a different between a unit bug out and an 8pm phone call saying you have to be at work 2 hours early tomorrow for some last minute tasking that just came up, good luck finding someone to take your kids.
 

George Wallace

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ObedientiaZelum said:
Nope not joking, I think you're wrong too.  I believe there is also a different between a unit bug out and an 8pm phone call saying you have to be at work 2 hours early tomorrow for some last minute tasking that just came up, good luck finding someone to take your kids.

Sorry that you feel this way.  This is the military.  Circumstances can not be predicted all the time and last minute taskings or emergencies do arise.  Someone has to do the work, and if it means calling someone in to do it, it will be done.  People are going "out the door" all the time and support personnel have to ensure that they do so as smoothly as possible.  Your question really does not sound like you understand that circumstances like this happen in the military.

Really sorry that you don't understand this and that your soldier doesn't understand it as well.
 

PuckChaser

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She must work at my unit. Any change in timings is "Family Care Plan". I'm under the impression Family Care Plan is for emergencies, not activating it and causing financial hardship because someone wants to start a ruck march at 0715 instead of 0700.
 
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