Family Resilience

Managing Disruption to the Family Unit

Serving members of the Australian Defence Force have committed to a career that often requires long periods away from home for training, exercises and deployments. For members with families, this can present challenges on the home front.
Each unit conducts pre-deployment briefings for its members and their partners, which provide information specific to the deployment at hand.

RSL Queensland and Defence Community Organisation also run educational forums during the year that provide Defence families with practical strategies to manage the situations they are likely to face during their serving member’s career, and ensure they are well prepared for the practical and emotional impacts of these.

Video: Karen Young of Toowong Private Hospital

Fostering Resilience in Children

ADF children are exposed to a range of challenges and changes as a result of the defence lifestyle and resilience is a key component  to helping children face these challenges. Did you know there are seven core factors to resilience?
These are:

  • Competence
  • Confidence
  • Connection
  • Character
  • Contribution
  • Coping
  • Control

As parents, you can encourage resilience in children by demonstrating important values. Connection, contribution and coping are characteristics that have a unique alignment to the defence lifestyle and role modelling these behaviours and demonstrating good health can help to foster resilience within your family dynamic.

Parenting in the ADF

A lifestyle involving frequent moves, temporary absenses and living a life of contribution and service to others is unique to Defence families. It is unsurprising that parenting styles may differ and can often cause tension when there are constant changes, particularly in the case of a parental absense. Arriving home and re-establishing a parental role will call for periods of understanding and adjustment from everyone.

One of the most important things parents can do is to emotionally connect with their children, spend time with them, listen to their concerns and recognise that children, whilst part of the military family, live in the community and are not adherent to the same military values. And remember that with patience, understanding and obtaining support and professional help from others, parenting issues can be successfully addressed.

7th Brigade acknowledge the changes that come with managing a disruption to the family unit throughout exercises and deployments. They have a wide range of support available on base, as well as practical tools that be accessed online.

To find out more about who supports our personnel on base, please see the WELFARE SUPPORT page of this website. Additionally, please see the attached resources that provide you with practical strategies to manage and prepare for disruptions such as exercises and deployments.

Toowong Private Hospital | Mates4Mates | RSL Queensland

Defence Community Organisation

Staffed by social workers, teachers, and Military Support Officers, DCO provides:

  • critical incident support for death or illness of ADF members
  • short-term counselling and referrals for family and relationship issues
  • crisis support
  • specialist relocation and posting support - preparing for making moves, connecting with the community, advice on schools and support available to Defence children
  • deployment and managing absence support - how to assist children and families managing the Defence lifestyle, scheduling of support events
  • advice on DCO National Programs in relation to education assistance, child care, partner employment, community grants
  • support to units on base

DCO provides a 24 hour emergency hotline for currently serving members and their family.

1800 624 608 (24 hours)

Open Arms

Open Arms provide support for children of ADF personnel of all ages. There are counselling services available to help you build strong and healthy relationships at all stages of family life, including:

- The absence of a parent during deployment, and adjusting when they return home
- Helping children with concerns around changes and stressors like making friends at a new     school
- Understanding, identifying and working through trauma
- Transitioning from ADF to civilian life
- Working through relationship breakdowns and challenges
- Building a blended family
- Support for the family if a serving member has died.

Call Open Arms on 1800 011 046