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Defence Member and Family Support

For ADF members and their families

1800 624 608

Deployment & time apart

If you would like to receive regular contact from us during your family member’s deployment, you must register with the Defence Member and Family Helpline on 1800 624 608.

Families can access a range of support during the ADF member’s absence. We provide regular deployment support calls, 24-hour advice and referrals, social work, and assistance with emergency and crisis, as well as special assistance for children dealing with parental absence. The member’s unit is also there to help and will run programs of support for you.

You can also read about maintaining your mental health and wellbeing during challenging times.

DMFS provides a range of support services, practical assistance and products to support Defence families during times of deployment and family member absence.

Time apart from families due to deployments, training or other Service requirements is an integral feature of Defence life. Our services seek to inform and prepare you for these times and provide you with support to make these experiences manageable, positive and strengthening ones for your family.

By being informed, preparing and planning, and employing coping strategies, both children and adults can use the challenge of deployment as an opportunity to step up and face new responsibilities, mature and grow, and develop their self-reliance and self-confidence.

To access any of these deployment support services or products, contact the all-hours Defence Member and Family Helpline on 1800 624 608 or email

Planning for and guidance through deployment

We have a variety of information and resources available to familiarise you with what you might expect from each stage of deployment. Our resources will also give you practical guidance for each stage, such as outlining administration you should carry out pre‑deployment, different ways of communicating with the deployed family member and hints and tips to readjust as a family when the member returns.

Related: Before deployment | During deployment

Strong and supported families

A key part of our support for deployment is helping families build on their strengths and resilience. We have interactive programs, information products and community connection services available to help families be as supported, positive and self-reliant as they can be.

Related: Support for families

Deployment Support booklet

Find all the deployment support information you need in one booklet, including information about preparing for deployment, what to expect before, during and after a deployment, and how to access additional support if needed. The Deployment Support Booklet is available for free from the Helpline.

Download: Absence from home support

Family and parental leave payments

If your family receives Family Tax Benefit (FTB) or the Australian Government’s Childcare Package and the benefit is in your ADF member’s name and they are deploying overseas, there are things they must do.

ADF members who receive FTB or the Childcare Subsidy and are deployed overseas for more than six weeks will have their payments stop once they have been overseas for six weeks – if they don’t contact the Department of Human Services and take the action listed below. Contact with the Department of Human Services should be made before departing Australia.

To ensure their payments do not stop, they must provide the Department of Human Services with a letter signed by their Commanding Officer on Department of Defence letterhead stating they are being deployed overseas and the period that they will be deployed. An approximate return date is acceptable but if they remain overseas longer they will need to contact the Department to prevent payments reducing or stopping. A letter must be provided every time they are deployed overseas.

The ADF member must also contact the Department of Human Services if they return briefly to Australia during the deployment or it will affect payments.

The ADF member can also consider transferring payment of family assistance to a partner or other carer of children who is remaining in Australia while they are deployed.

For more information visit: