Defence Community Organisation

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The Defence Community Organisation offers a broad range of programs and services to help Defence families face the challenges and make the most of the opportunities provided by military life.

The best way to access any of these services is to contact the all-hours Defence Family Helpline on DefenceFamilyHelpline@defence.gov.au or 1800 624 608. The Defence Family Helpline operates 24-7, staffed by qualified human services professionals.

Deployments. Time apart from families due to deployments, training or other Service requirements is an integral feature of Defence life. The DCO services inform and prepare families for these times, providing support to make these experiences positive and strengthening ones for your family.

Support during relocation. The DCO offers support, practical assistance and resources to help Defence families manage a mobile lifestyle, and reduce the effects of relocations.

Partner support.  Partners of ADF members can access funding for education and employment services to enhance their career options and to help them to secure employment when posted with their partner. We also help partners develop stress management strategies.

Children’s education. The DCO provides information, resources and programs to help minimise the disruption to children’s education caused by relocation. Regional Education Liaison Officers are experienced teachers and are available to advise Defence families on education issues. School based Aides and Mentors support Defence children through the process of changing schools and times of parental absence.

Childcare. Children of Defence families can receive priority of access to Defence childcare centres around Australia. Funding may also be available to organisations that provide childcare services and Defence partners seeking to set up a family day care business.

Dependants with special needs. Families can obtain practical assistance to reduce the impact of relocation in these cases.

Emergency and crisis support. Assistance is available to families facing a crisis when an ADF member is absent from home for Service reasons. Support programs are available in instances of illness, injury or bereavement.

Community connection. Families connecting with their local community can obtain personalised advice or access a directory of Defence and community run organisations, in their local area. Not for profit organisations running programs in support of Defence families can apply for financial support.

Transition to civilian life. The DCO provides a range of practical guidance and support to assist ADF members planning to leave Defence to make a seamless transition to civilian life.

Defence Family Matters magazine. This free tri-annual lifestyle magazine is specifically for the families of military personnel.

Services for Reservists. The families of Reserve members can access a broad range of support services.

For more information about the services the DCO provides to Defence families go to: www.defence.gov.au/dco

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