Resources for children

Children may need extra support when their parent or care giver is absent from home. These strategies can assist.

  • Utilise the ADF Equip Program to help children deal with parental absence.
  • Talk with children about the planned absence and listen to their worries.
  • Encourage children to express their feelings and help them find ways to feel better with activities that build coping skills.
  • Where possible try to keep normal daily routines and schedule in quality/fun time.
  • Maintain connection and closeness with the absent parent - discuss and plan how to use the communication options available.

ADF parents need to maintain open and frequent communication with their children during absences. These strategies can assist.

  • Record story telling, talking and singing before departing, so children can hear a parent's voice.
  • Plan contact for important activities and event.
  • Share everyday details and answer all questions children have.
  • Send care packages home and ask children to send special packages too.
  • If conversations are making it harder for children to adjust to a parent's absences, write letters instead.

Resources are available to help guide children through parental absence, including:

  • books to help younger children understand the military lifestyle
  • information sheets to support children with the challenges of separation
  • welcome home banners.

Contact the Defence Member and Family Helpline to access resources and support.