Commanders can seek information, informal assessment and advice, or direction to other resources from the Defence Family Helpline at 1800 624 608. The Helpline operates 24-7 and is staffed by human services professionals, including psychologists and social workers.
Through the Helpline, you can access our teams of specialised staff, located in DCO Area Offices around Australia.
Military Support Officers (MSOs) will be your primary point of contact within DCO. These uniformed officers and senior NCOs, from the rank of WO2 to MAJ (equivalent), come from all three Services, and are the focal point for advice and support on all matters pertaining to the military.
Social workers can provide you with professional assessment and reports on the family's circumstances to help inform your decision-making.
Other support staff can advise you or the ADF member and their family about education issues, or local community resources, services and events.
To access these support staff, call the all-hours Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608.
The Military Support Officers facilitate communication and coordinate information and support between the families of ADF members and Defence, including Commanding Officers, units, DCO offices, chaplains, the National Welfare and Coordination Centre (NWCC) and other military agencies.
The MSOs also provide information, practical guidance and advice on service welfare and military issues to Command and Defence families.
The MSO can help identify any need for welfare training in your unit, and can develop and deliver tailored training programs, welfare support conferences and briefings related to family support including pre-deployment briefings.
Local DCO Area Offices also conduct casualty notification training to equip officers with the knowledge and skills to make appropriate and sensitive notifications to families. Commanding Officers are responsible for ensuring that they have sufficient numbers of staff in their units who have received this training.
To find out more about training and briefing opportunities, contact the Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608.
In the event of a serious injury or illness in a Defence family, our staff can advise the family and Command and, where necessary, coordinate arrangements for compassionate consideration or AUSDIL.
In the event of the death of an ADF member while in service, DCO provides bereavement support to the family, and appoints a case management team. The Bereavement Support Team works closely with Command, units, chaplains and other relevant areas of Defence to give the family all necessary support and guidance, and coordinate funeral arrangements and the administration of deceased estates.
Related: Emergency & crisis support