We have received some funding to help us create, pilot and evaluate free open access research-based resources and supports from February 2020-February 2023 for:

  1. parents, family support workers and social workers to support young children within a defence (military) family, and
  2. educators to support young children from defence families and assist their peers to develop understanding and empathy.

While the emphasis is on 2-5 years, many of our resources and practical activities are extended to include 6-8-year-old children. Early childhood encompasses children from birth to 8 years. We even have resources that use a multi-layered approach and can be used by children up to 12 years of age. Please see our list of planned eBook resources, including the targeted age groups.

Why do we need resources?

Children from military families generally experience frequent and long separation from one of their parents due to training and deployment. They also move to different houses, towns and cities often. This can cause family stress and this, in turn, impacts children’s development, especially during the vital early years.

Changes in family members

The parent resources will also assist parents and family workers to help children understand some of the changes that occur in families when a parent returns home with a physical injury or mental health condition.

The research behind the project and further research

More about the resources

There are 10 modules in each set of resources for:

  • children (including downloadable, printable, eBooks, activity books, read-along recordings, interactive eBooks, signed eBooks for those with hearing impairment or language delays, teaching activities [puppets, games, songs, puzzles, craft, role plays])
  • parents (including practical ideas to assist children during relocations, deployments, training episodes, responses to deployment [physical, social, emotional, learning], tips from other defence parents, information and support)
  • educators (ways to support the children, parents and carers)
  • family and social workers (ways to support the children, parents and carers).

The resources will be piloted and evaluated in control trials during 2021-2022. Then they will be adapted from the feedback and released to the public in 2023. All resources are free, research-based and online.

The aim of the resources is to give adults the knowledge, tools and support to provide the best support they can to children from military families. We want children from defence families to not only survive military family life but strive.

How can you get involved?

There are a number of ways you can get involved in the project:

  1. give suggestions on what you think should be included in the resources via our ‘contact & suggestions‘ page
  2. provide us with some song suggestions during our songwriting competition
  3. explore our webpages for resources for children, parents, educators, academics/researchers/policymakers, information about our funders, and explore our media releases
  4. Follow our progress on our ‘project progress‘ page and follow us on Facebook and Twitter
Acknowledgement of country

We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we work and acknowledge that the land is Aboriginal land belonging to the Anaiwan nation in Armidale. We acknowledge that other Aboriginal nations also had a relationship with the land, including the Dungutti, the Kamilaroi and the Gumbaynggirr nations. We pay respects to elders past, present and emerging and acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded by the traditional owners of the land on which UNE sits.

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