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Part 5: Emergency Support for Families Scheme

8.5.1 Purpose

This Part has two purposes.

  1. To support the well-being of a member's dependants while the member is absent on duty.

  2. To provide short-term emergency support for a member's dependants during an emergency situation.

See: Chapter 1 Part 3
Division 1 section 1.3.41, Member
Division 2 section 1.3.83, Dependants

8.5.2 Emergency situation

  1. In this Part, an emergency situation is an event that has these features.

    1. It is unforeseen.

    2. It is sudden.

    3. It exceeds the member's dependants' immediate coping mechanisms.

  2. An emergency situation is not an event that occurs due to a member's ordinary work situation.

    Example: The member is at home but may be required to undertake a regular forecast duty. The family has three children. One child requires scheduled surgery and is still being breast fed which requires the member's partner to remain at the hospital. As the hospitalisation was planned for, the member should have arranged with their unit not to be on duty. This event is not an emergency situation.

8.5.3 Eligibility for emergency support

A member's dependants may be eligible for emergency support for an emergency situation if the member is in any of the following situations.

  1. Absent from home for Service reasons.

    Example: A member is away from home on a work related activity. During the member's absence, one of their children becomes seriously ill and is taken to hospital for tests. The member's partner is with the sick child, leaving another child at home alone and in need of care.

  2. Required to perform duty outside their working hours with less than 48 hours notice.

  3. In hospital or unable to provide care to their dependants for a medical reason.

8.5.4 Applying for emergency support

  1. If a member's dependants are eligible for emergency support under section 8.5.3, either of the following persons may apply for it.

    1. The member.

    2. The member's dependants.

  2. The unit commander may apply for emergency support on behalf of a member's dependants when any of the following agree to receive the support.

    1. The member.

    2. The member's dependants.

    3. The dependants' authorised representative.

    Example: The member is posted overseas. The spouse of the member is incapacitated in an accident and the member has dependant children who are minors. The children's aunt is appointed the guardian and authorised representative of the children. The unit commander is then given permission by the aunt to apply for support.

  3. To apply, the applicant may contact the Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608.

    Note: The Defence Family Helpline intake worker must notify the applicant of the Information Privacy Principles that govern Defence's collection, use and disclosure of their personal information. They must also provide the applicant a record of the application details.

  4. The applicant may also apply in writing to the Defence Family Helpline (DefenceFamilyHelpline@defence.gov.au) or to their local Defence Community Organisation office.

  5. Related information:Members may apply using the Application for Emergency Support for Families Scheme (AD570).

  6. When the written application has been lodged, a Defence Community Organisation social worker is made available to support the member's dependants and drafts a support plan that includes the following information.

    1. The types of services recommended for the member's dependants.

      See: Section 8.5.6, Types of services available

    2. A list of people or organisations who the member's dependants or authorised representative agree may be informed and consulted with during this time.

  7. The support plan is drafted in consultation with the member's dependants or authorised representative and any of the following people, if relevant.

    1. The unit commander.

    2. Chaplains

    3. ADF health staff.

  8. The social worker also assesses the written application and then makes a recommendation to the CDF.

  9. The CDF may approve the application for emergency support and the support plan, having regard to the following.

    1. Whether the member's dependants have experienced an emergency situation.

    2. Whether the member's dependants have insufficient immediate family or local support.

    3. The types of services recommended by the social worker.

    4. The needs of the member's dependants.

Persons who can make the decision under subsection 8.5.4.8 on behalf of the CDF:
Director General Defence Community Organisation
Defence Community Organisation Area Manager
Director National Operations Defence Community Organisation

8.5.5 When emergency support has been approved

  1. The social worker may provide the following support.

    1. Organisation of professional care and emotional support for the family.

    2. Case management services to the family throughout the emergency, with regular feedback to the people who have been agreed upon in the support plan.

      See: Paragraph 8.5.4.5.b, Applying for emergency support

    3. Other support measures as required in consultation with the affected family.

    4. Development of a longer term strategy to ensure the well-being of the family for the remainder of the member's period of absence.

  2. A formal review of the situation is made by the Defence Community Organisation social worker after three days and a written report is then forwarded to CDF through the Area Manager. A copy is placed on the member's case file.

Persons who can make the decision under subsection 8.5.5.2 on behalf of the CDF:
Director General Defence Community Organisation
Director National Operations Defence Community Organisation

8.5.6 Types of services available

  1. The types of emergency services available to a member's dependants may include any or all of the following up to a combined maximum cost of $3,000 for each emergency.

    Services
    Item The services of... may be provided by...
    1. dependant care professional providers.
    2. specialist dependant care
    3. housekeeping
    4. child minding
    5. respite care
    6. travel for immediate family to provide support to the member's dependants the Defence Community Organisation, through the Defence Travel Contract.
  2. Despite subsection 1, if a service listed at items 1-5 is not available in the dependant's location, the CDF may approve payment of travel and associated costs to a provider sourced from another location. The service providers' travel and associated costs are taken into account as part of the cap on assistance payments in subsection 1.

  3. Assistance under this section is only provided to a member's dependants for emergency services recommended in the social worker's support plan.

  4. The assistance toward the cost of the emergency services is paid by the following means, up to the maximum cost for the emergency.

    Assistance
    Item If the services were... Defence Community Organisation will...
    1. paid for by the member's dependants reimburse the cost of the services on presentation of receipts to DCO.
    2. provided and an invoice was issued by the service provider pay the service provider on presentation of the invoice.

Related information: Members may apply using the Application for Emergency Support for Families Scheme (AD570).

 

Persons who can make the decision under subsection 8.5.6.2 on behalf of the CDF:
Director General Defence Community Organisation
Director National Operations Defence Community Organisation

Application to Reservists: Yes, on continuous full-time service.



Forms

Copies of forms are available on the webforms system or through the Defence Service Centre.

  • AD570, Application for Emergency Support for Families Scheme

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Further info

Contact

Defence Family Helpline

1800 624 608

DefenceFamilyHelpline@defence.gov.au

Defence Service Centre

1800 DEFENCE (1800 333 362)

YourCustomer.Service@defence.gov.au