Chapter Three - People > Performance Against People Matter Priorities for 2004-05 > Special Feature
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Defence People | Special Feature

Spotlight on
Family Support

The ADF recognises that if it is to remain an employer of choice in today's competitive employment market and achieve and maintain its workforce levels now and into the future, it must have a comprehensive suite of appropriately targeted retention and recruitment measures.

A key factor in personnel retention is the way the ADF supports its highly mobile workforce by reducing the impact of frequent relocations on its military members and, importantly, their partners and dependants.

Defence has a range of family support measures in place to ensure that ADF families are engaged within their local communities as they move around Australia on posting.

Defence Childcare Program

The Defence Childcare Program has been supporting ADF families since 1996. A major review of the program was undertaken in 2004-05 and an expanded range of services has been available since 1 July 2005.

Children at play at a Defence childcare centre.
Children at play at a Defence childcare centre.

The program aims to provide ADF families with quality childcare arrangements, which comprise priority access to childcare places in Defence childcare centres and access to 650 commercial childcare centres throughout Australia, as well as 'outside of school hours' care.

In 2005-06, Defence is looking to broaden childcare support provisions to help families cope with emergencies and the absence of ADF members on deployment.

Defence School Transition Aide Program

When ADF families move from one locality to another, children are faced with enrolling in new schools and settling into different state and territory education curriculums.

To help families and students adjust to the changes, the Defence School Transition Aide Program sponsors aides in 127 primary schools that have a high enrolment of ADF children. In 2005-06, another 32 positions will be funded in secondary schools.

The Defence School Transition Aide Program offers assistance with integrating students into their new schools and accessing community and Defence services and support.

Assistance is also available towards tuition for children whose education is affected by their change of school on posting.

Providing support to children of ADF members as part of the Defence School Transition Aide Program.
Providing support to children of ADF members as part of the Defence School Transition Aide Program.

Services Workforce Access Program for Partners

One of the major challenges faced by spouses and partners of ADF personnel is transferring employment or finding work in their new posting locations. The Services Workforce Access Program for Partners was introduced in 2003 and offers practical and financial assistance with employment placement.

The program may include individually-tailored services, such as transition to work and job placement services, training to help secure employment or payment towards professional registration expenses.

During 2005-06, the program is being enhanced to include financial assistance to help with developing professionally-prepared resumes.

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