Service provision for Defence force families

The latest material added to the Australian Institute of Family Studies library database is displayed, up to a maximum of 30 items. Where available online, a link to the document is provided. Many items can be borrowed from the Institute's library via the Interlibrary loan system.

See more resources on Service provision for Defence force families in the AIFS library catalogue

Improving transition out of the Armed Forces: engaging families through behavioural insights

Halkiopoulos S, Makinson L and Heal J
London : Behavioural Insights Ltd., 2018.
"Each year, approximately 15,000 Service personnel transition out of the UK Armed Forces. Service personnel face a number of challenges after military life - from approaching the civilian job market to managing their finances, and building new social networks and identities. Whilst most will make a successful reintegration into 'Civvy Street', a small but significant number will struggle. A consistent finding is the importance of the family to a successful transition. Yet, family engagement with transition support services remains low. This report draws on evidence from a variety of fields - psychology, economics and behavioural science - to better understand what factors cause families' low uptake of services and identify ways to address these ... This report identifies the cognitive biases and barriers relevant to accessing services and presents ways in which systems can be designed to be more aligned with our understanding of human behaviour."

ADF Families Survey: absences and relocations

Brown T and Wensing E
Canberra, A.C.T. : Directorate of People Intelligence & Research, Dept. of Defence, 2016.
This report presents findings from the 2015 ADF Families Survey - a survey conducted periodically to learn more about the experiences and wellbeing of Australian Defence Force members's families and their satisfaction with family support services. This 2015 survey focused on participants' experiences with Member with Dependants (Unaccompanied) (MWD(U)) arrangements, which is a designation that can be granted to partners and/or dependants who are unable to live in their allocated home for Service-related or personal reasons: for example, where an ADF member is required to serve in a specific location and their dependants are unable to move due to health, employment, or educational commitments. Over 3500 responses were received. This report provides information on the families and children of ADF members, and use and experience of support services relating to deployment, relocation, and reunion. For those families who had undertaken MWD(U), the ADF spouse's employment was by far the biggest consideration, followed by the ADF member's employment and the maintenance of support networks. The most commonly indicated challenges of MWD(U) were around missing their partner and their partner missing the family. Regarding relocations, the most common number of relocations indicated was between one and three in the last five years. Different aspects of relocation had varying degrees of difficulty, with the most difficult aspects surrounding accessing about services and developing support networks, including for children.

Non-resident workers : a comparison of family support services for resource, health, and defence communities.

Langdon R, Rowland B and Biggs H
Australian Bulletin of Labour v. 42 no. 1 2016: 93-107
Non-resident workforces experience high labour turnover, which has an impact on organisational operations and affects worker satisfaction and, in turn, partners' ability to cope with work-related absences. Research suggests that partner satisfaction may be increased by providing a range of support services, which include professional, practical, and social support. A search was conducted to identify support available for resources and health-industry non-resident workers. These were compared to the supports available to families of deployed defence personnel. They were used to compare and contrast the spread available for each industry. The resources industry primarily provided social support, and lacked an inclusion of professional and practical supports. Health-professional support services were largely directed towards extended locum support, rather than to Fly-In Fly-Out workers. Improving sources of support which parallel support provided to the Australian Defence Force is suggested as a way to increase partner satisfaction. The implications are to understand the level of uptake, perceived importance, and utilisation of such support services.

Relationship education for military couples: the development and randomised controlled trial of Couple CARE in Uniform

Bakhurst M
"Military couple relationships have a number of risk and protective factors that set them apart from civilian couples. Financial and job security, subsidised housing and healthcare, and cost-free support services provide advantages to military couples. On the other hand, frequent relocations, separations, and deployments are associated with social and employment difficulties for spouses, emotional disconnection, trauma-related health problems, and relationship distress. These factors give military couples a distinctive risk and resiliency profile that might make them ideal candidates for relationship education (RE) ... This dissertation makes the case for military RE, presenting best practice recommendations for tailoring interventions for use with this special population. Cross-sectional research was conducted to investigate the role of communication and dyadic coping in military couple relationships, to test key assumptions that underpin the design and content of military RE ... The implications of these findings for military RE are discussed. A military-specific adaptation of the Couple CARE program, Couple CARE in Uniform, was developed and tested by randomised controlled trial with a sample of 32 Australian military couples, against a self-directed reading control. Couples saw reliable improvement in relationship satisfaction and communication, however no difference was found between the two conditions ... The challenges and feasibility of working with the Australian military population are discussed."--Author abstract.

A support and resource guide for working with military families

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (U.S.)
Fairfax, Va. : National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families, 2013
This guide aims to help service providers integrate healthy marriage and relationship education into services for military personnel and their families in the United States. It utilises a three-stage process for integrating healthy marriage and relationship education into safety-net services: stage 1, build interpersonal relationships with military service members and their families; stage 2, build interagency relationships with other agencies and groups; stage 3, integrate healthy marriage and relationship education into existing service delivery systems.

Delivery of bereavement and family support services through the Defence Community Organisation: Department of Defence, Department of Veterans' Affairs

Australian National Audit Office
Barton, A.C.T. : Australian National Audit Office, 2012.
The objective of the audit was to assess the management and effectiveness of DCO's delivery and coordination of support services to ADF families, in particular support services provided when an ADF member is seriously injured or ill, or dies in service.

Timor-Leste Family Study 2012: summary report.

McGuire A, Runge C, Cosgrove L, Bredhauer K, Anderson R, Waller M, Kanesarajah J, Dobson A and Nasveld P
Canberra, A.C.T. : Dept. of Veterans' Affairs, 2012.
This study investigates the impact of deployment on the families of Australian military personnel. The study was commissioned to research the physical, mental, and social health impacts on the partners and children of Australian Defence Force personnel deployed to Timor-Leste from 1999 to 2010, based on surveys of 1,332 partners. Family members were compared with the families of non-deployed personnel, regarding health status, risk and protective factors, social support networks, the impact of personnel health on families, and the impact on child behavioural and emotional problems. This report summarises the findings of the study, which are published in full in the technical report.

Timor-Leste Family Study 2012: technical report.

McGuire A, Runge C, Cosgrove L, Bredhauer K, Anderson R, Waller M, Kanesarajah J, Dobson A and Nasveld P
Canberra, A.C.T. : Dept. of Veterans' Affairs, 2012.
This study investigates the impact of deployment on the families of Australian military personnel. The study was commissioned to research the physical, mental, and social health impacts on the partners and children of Australian Defence Force personnel deployed to Timor-Leste from 1999 to 2010, based on surveys of 1,332 partners. Family members were compared with the families of non-deployed personnel, regarding health status, risk and protective factors, social support networks, the impact of personnel health on families, and the impact on child behavioural and emotional problems. It is hoped these findings will help develop supports for the families of deployed personnel.

Veterans and their families

McKie L, Morrison Z and Thomson F
Edinburgh : Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, 2012.
This briefing paper explores the resettlement experiences of veterans and their families in Scotland. Based on workshops with veterans, their families, and service providers, it outlines five areas for service delivery consideration.

Military families.

National Council on Family Relations
Minneapolis, Minn. : National Council on Family Relations, 2012.

Effects of soldiers' deployment on children's academic performance and behavioral health

Richardson A
Santa Monica, Calif. : RAND Corp., 2011.
"This report describes the association between parental deployment and student achievement scores among children in North Carolina and Washington between 2002 and 2008. It also presents findings from extensive interviews conducted by RAND Arroyo Center and RAND Health researchers with teachers, counselors, and administrators from elementary, middle, and high schools regarding how deployments of Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard soldiers have affected children's academic and related behavioral health outcomes. The research team also interviewed civilian and Army experts and stakeholders on child behavioral health. This report offers a set of recommendations to better support these children."--Preface.

Summary of findings: Military Family Needs Assessment

Huebner A, Alidoosti B, Brickel M and Wade K
United States : Military OneSource, 2010.
This study investigates the support needs of American military families and their use of family educational programs and support services. Drawing on a survey of 686 military personnel and their spouses, it examines formal and informal supports, non-usage, use of online resources, barriers to accessing supports, issues and concerns, children's services, what's working well, and areas for improvement.

2008 Defence Attitude Survey: summary of results.

Australia. Dept. of Defence. Directorate of Strategic Personnel Policy Research. People Strategies and Policy Group
Canberra : Director Strategic Personnel Policy Research, People Strategies and Policy, Department of Defence, 2009.
This report summarises findings from the 2008 Defence Attitude Survey, which was published in full as 'A picture of Australian Defence Force families 2009 : results from the first survey of Australian Defence Force families general report'. It presents findings in the areas of leadership, organisational commitment, personal/Family Matters, Career Management, Employment Package, Working Life, and Wellbeing, with comparisons from each annual survey from 1999 and for Navy, Army, Air force and civilian personnel.

The first Australian Defence Force families survey: achieving shared understanding and commitment.

Australia. Dept. of Defence. Directorate of Strategic Personnel Policy Research. People Strategies and Policy Group
Canberra : Directorate Strategic Personnel Policy Research, Department of Defence, 2009
The first Australian Defence Force families survey was conducted in late 2008/early 2009, and received 5749 responses. It sought the opinions of army personnel in Australia and their partners on key issues of army life for couples and parents, and how they thought the Department of Defence could support them better. This booklet for participants presents some of the findings of the survey and how the Department of Defence intends to improve its services and policies in response. Sections include: How are ADF families travelling?: indicators of life satisfaction; Defence support for families: family support services, culture and communication; Deployments: experiences and attitudes; Coping with deployment and other service-related absences: what aids the adjustment process for families?; The interaction between ADF Service and ADF families; and Families and retention.

A picture of Australian Defence Force families 2009: results from the first survey of Australian Defence Force families general report

Atkins S
Canberra : Directorate Strategic Personnel Policy Research, Department of Defence, 2009.
This survey sought the opinions of army personnel in Australia and their partners on key issues of army life for couples and parents, and how they thought the Department of Defence could support them better. It was conducted in late 2008/early 2009, and received 5749 responses. This report presents the findings of the survey and the Department of Defence's response to the issues raised. Sections include: Living arrangements, life satisfaction, perceptions of support services and policies for families, coping with partner absence, single parents, children's reactions to parent absence, relocation, impact of work on family, impact of family on work, service intentions and retention, partner influence on retention, and the impact of the Home Ownership Assistance Scheme on retention.

'Military people won't ask for help': experiences of deployment of Australian defence force personnel, their families, and implications for social work

Siebler P
Deployment of armed forces can have a negative impact on the physical and mental health of army personnel and family members. This study investigates the experiences of deployment on Australian Defence Force (ADF) peacekeepers who were deployed to East Timor in 1999 and their partners, regarding positive and negative impacts on family members, communication, health, family functioning, and Department of Defence social work services.

Supporting youth and their families : 2008 resource issue.

Eugene, OR : Integrated Research Services, 2008.

Supporting Australian Defence Force peacekeepers and their families: the case of East Timor

Siebler P
Canberra : Directorate of Strategic Personnel Planning and Research, Australian Defence Force, c2003.
This report focuses on how Australian Defence Force personnel and their families perceived support during deployment to East Timor. The main aim of the project is to increase understanding of the experience of what it means to a deployed and non deployed spouse to be supported through all stages of an overseas deployment. The objectives are to: identify support needs during all stages of deployment; identify strengths and gaps in family support service delivery; create a model of service delivery that is likely to be effective in supporting personnel and their families before, during and after deployment; and provide recommendations for policy and practice to better support personnel and their families during all stages of deployment.

Analysis of NCGSF relocation survey 2002.

Swann J
Canberra, ACT : Defence Families Australia, Department of Defence, 2002
Regardless of the reasons, families feel isolated and disaffected when they are forced to relocate by the Australian Defence Force and do not receive adequate support or timely information. The National Consultative Group of Service Families (NCGSF) survey sought both qualitative and quantitative feedback from families, in respect of their experience of relocation and associated support services, during the posting period of mid December 2001 to end January 2002. This paper summarises findings from this survey.

Caring for infants and toddlers

David & Lucile Packard Foundation.
Los Altos, Calif. : David and Lucile Packard Foundation, c2001.

The adjustment of children of Australian Vietnam veterans: is there evidence for the transgenerational transmission of the effects of war-related trauma?

Davidson A and Mellor D
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry v. 35 no. 3 Jun 2001 345-351
The presence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in trauma survivors has been linked with family dysfunction and symptoms in their children, including lower self esteem, higher disorder rates and symptoms resembling those of the traumatised parent. This study aims to examine the phenomenon of intergenerational transfer of PTSD in an Australian context. Contrary to expectations, no significant differences were found between the self esteem and PTSD symptomatology scores for any offspring groups. Unhealthy family functioning is the area in which the effect of the veteran's PTSD appears to manifest itself, particularly the inability of the family both to experience appropriate emotional responses and to solve problems effectively within and outside the family unit. Methodological refinements and further focus on the role of wives and mothers in buffering the impact of veterans' PTSD symptomatology on their children are indicated. Further effort to support families of veterans with PTSD is also indicated.

Military men make sense of marital separation: implications for social work practice.

Gillis J
In: 'Promoting Inclusion - Redressing Exclusion: the Social Work Challenge' conference proceedings, Joint Conference of the AASW, IFSW, APASWE and AASWWE, September 1999. Barton, ACT: Australian Association of Social Workers, 1999, v.1, p323-328
This paper explores issues for men by discussing the findings of a recent master of social work study which aimed to explore the implications for Defence social work intervention that assists men in the military following marital breakdown. Use of support services; the military context; and the men's perception of social work are issues discussed.

New Zealand Vietnam veterans' family programme, Nga Whanau a Tu (Families of War) : development and outcome.

Deane F, MacDonald C, Chamberlain K, Long N and Davin L
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy v. 19 no. 1 Mar 1998 1-10
This article reviews recent research concerned with the association between combat-related post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and interpersonal functioning, before describing the development of a pilot program established to provide mental health services for Vietnam veteran family members. The results of a brief program evaluation are also presented. Sixty clients provided posttreatment and six-month follow-up data on a variety of outcome measures which were compared with independent ratings returned by 33 therapists. On average, clients reported that counselling had been beneficial and indicated satisfaction with services received. However, at posttest, therapists indicated that approximately 50% of clients were in need of continued treatment. There was a decrease in satisfaction with services over the posttest follow-up period, but no change on most measures of psychotherapy outcome.

Network news: war veterans and family therapy.

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy v. 17 no. 3 Sep 1996 155-160
Correspondents in this 'Network News' focus on dealing with the trauma and difficulties that plague war veterans in their transition to living with the memories and experiences of war, and that impact also on veterans' families.

Ageing at home.

Barr F
In: It's about time ... respite for carers: Carers Association of Australia Conference proceedings. Canberra, ACT: Carers Association of Australia, 1996, p19-23
In the 1992 Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) Survey of Clients and Carers, co-resident carers, female spouses or partners were identified as 89% of all carers. This paper outlines the role of the DVA in encouraging and supporting ex-service organisations, through the Residential Care Development Scheme, to increase the housing options available for veterans. A veteran's carer is currently supported by the following range of programs: respite care, in-home and residential; carer support; education programs; carer education; and payment of allowances. What happens when the support services are not adequate is outlined and how early admission to an institution affects both the veteran and carer is discussed. The author stresses that veterans can and do age successfully at home, requiring clinical services, social contact and activities and above all, carers.

Serving Australia: the Australian Defence force in the twenty first century : personnel policy strategy review.

Australia. Dept. of Defence
Canberra, ACT : Directorate of Publishing Defence Centre, 1995
This report proposes a Personnel Policy Strategy for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) that focuses on issues of employment and work practices, pay and entitlements, family support, the Reserves, and training and education. The Personnel Policy Strategy is designed to ensure that people are accorded due weight in the broader framework of defence business and activities. In a chapter titled 'Support for Members and Families', the report proposes a number or recommendations to promote the welfare of ADF families. Mobility is identified as a key problem, and its impact on spouse careers is also considered. The chapter concludes with a set of recommendations that deal with family support services, spouse employment assistance, child care policy, education assistance and families with special needs.

Australian Defence Force Families Mobility and Dislocation Study : public report

Snider G
Melbourne : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 1994.
The Families Mobility and Dislocation Study (FMDS) represents part of the Australian Defence Force's (ADF) ongoing commitment to ameliorate family disadvantage arising out of Service requirements. The study explores the extent of mobility and dislocation experienced by members of the ADF, and the effects on child care, children's education and spousal employment. Data are compared with data from four Melbourne local government area samples involved in the Australian Institute of Family Studies Australian Living Standards Study. Recommendations are made, and a brief ADF response to the report is included. The author's conclusion is that, while it would not appear that any wholesale restructuring is required of the ADF's provision of family support services, additional responsibilities could be undertaken by service providers which would enhance the quality of Service life.

The Australian armed forces: can service in the forces be family friendly?'

Whelan J
Unpublished, 1994, 13p. Paper presented at Strengthening Families and Communities, Centacare National Conference, Hobart, August 1994
This paper describes apsects of work and life in the Australian Army in the context of social changes that are affecting families. The author discusses those areas where conflict is likely to occur between the requirements of the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) and the needs of families. The effects of military life on spouses and children are described. The high rate of mobility and dislocation can result in poor employment and education prospectives for ADF partners. Frequent school changes for children, and concern for the ageing relatives of ADF members and their partners can also impact negatively on the family. Next, the author explains how the ADF has responded to these difficulties. Have family-friendly initiatives been successful? Various programs are described including the appointment of family liaison officers and the establishment of the Australian Defence Families Information and Liaison Service.

Finding the path together : the meaning of long-term group work for World War II veterans, their spouses, and their carer.

Tropp D
The author, formerly a social worker at the Department of Veteran Affairs, examines the use of group work methods with war veterans who suffered from anxiety states and physical disabilities, and their wives who cared for them. Her thesis reports on her analysis of the group processes using the Holistic Developmental Model (HDM). A client satisfaction scale, an unstructured interview, group discussion, and story telling experience are used in the study.

Army Community Service Melbourne: unit information.

Army Community Service (ACS)
Melbourne, Vic : Army Community Service, 1990
The major role of the Army Community Service (ACS) is the welfare of soldiers and their families thus encouraging the retention of Army personnel while maintaining a regard to the role, functions and needs of the Army. ACS provides families with a wide range of support services as well as general community information, and is a referral point to other specialised agencies. This document includes information about the ACS, family liaison officer duties and role, and Army office policy guidelines.
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