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Defence Member and Family Support

For ADF members and their families

1800 624 608

Support for Defence kids

Children of Defence families face a unique series of challenges - they experience parental absence due to deployments, and major changes in their lives with frequent relocations and starting at different schools.

Life in a Defence family can also be a rewarding one for children, as with the challenges comes the opportunity for personal growth and development. With the appropriate support, children can grow in self-reliance and confidence, step up and take on new responsibilities, develop strategies for coping with change and stressors, and become proactive and focus on the positive things in their lives.

To help reduce the impacts of relocation and parental absence on Defence children and build on their strengths, DCO:

  • provides a range of education assistance,
  • increases the availability of childcare to mobile Defence families,
  • employs EDLOs, specialist staff who advise families and schools on education issues and Defence student wellbeing,
  • positions Defence School Mentors in schools to help Defence students integrate into new schools and provide them with support,
  • produces information and resources for parents to help children develop strategies to deal with the challenges of Defence life,
  • provides regional education information for relocating families,
  • has a range of products for kids to build on their self-reliance and positive experience of Defence life including toys, books and DVDs, and
  • runs KidSMART and TeenSMART fun and interactive resilience-building programs for children.

For more information about any of these services or products, contact the all-hours Defence Member and Family Helpline on or 1800 624 608. 

Related: Managing difficult times