The Army Welfare Service (AWS) is delivered as part of wider welfare support provision across the Army. It provides second line welfare support through a confidential service, to the Army and its families, delivered by a mix of military and civilian specialist welfare workers who are led by civilian registered social workers. First line welfare support is provided at Unit level by the Chain of Command, Unit Welfare Officers, administrative staff, medical staff and pastoral support. The WRVS is also available at some locations.
The AWS is not allocated a separate annual budget. It sits within the Army’s Regional Command budget area. However, AWS expenditure incurred for the period financial year (FY) 2010-11 to FY2020-21 is held and is provided in Table 1 below.
Table 1: AWS expenditure FY 2010-11 to FY 2021-21
Information about the number of staff employed by the AWS is only held for 2012 onwards and is shown in the Table 2 below.
Table 2: AWS staff employed in each calendar year since 2012. This includes all AWS staff, not just caseworkers, such as business support staff.
Information about the number of referrals to the AWS is only held from 2016 onwards and is shown in the Table 3 below. Prior to this, there was no digital casework management system in place and the collation of statistics from paper records would be both time consuming and unreliable.
Table 3: Referrals to AWS for the period 2016 – 2021.
Number of referrals to AWS
All AWS Personal Support Workers are either qualified Social Workers or graduates of the seven-month Defence Specialist Welfare Worker Course which was comprehensively updated in 2016. Additionally, since 2018 it has been mandated as part of their post qualifying development, they must undertake the AWS run MOD Domestic Violence Informed Practice (DVIP) Course, within six months of qualifying as Army Welfare Workers. Those who qualified before 2018 have also undertaken the DVIP Course. Information about the number of AWS staff who have undertaken specialist domestic abuse training is only held from 2016 onwards and is shown in the Table 4 below:
Table 4: Number of AWS staff who have completed the MOD DVIP Course since 2016.
Number DVIP Trained