Recognition of special needs


DSNSG services are available to all serving and ex-serving personnel and their families


This is a procedure whereby Defence families with special needs can have their status as a special needs family formally recognised by Defence.

You will need to formally submit documentation relating to the "special needs" along with the appropriate application form. DCO staff can assist you with this process, so please give your local DCO office a call.

Special Trips

To assist you to put into place the various requirements of your special needs dependant prior to you posting to your new locality, you may be eligible for either of the following special trips:

  • special needs child assessment and placement visit;
  • special needs pre-posting visit;

For more information, please contact FIND, or the DSNSG National Coordinator. Don’t forget to contact the DSNSG to assist you with your planning and contacts for local service providers and resources.

Early Intervention Assistance

If your child is between the ages of 0 - 6 years and is receiving Early Intervention ie speech therapy, physiotherapy etc and they have to go on a waiting list to receive those services when you are posted, then you may be eligible for Early Intervention Assistance. This can assist towards the cost of:

  • physiotherapy,
  • speech therapy,
  • occupational therapy, etc.

For more information on Early Intervention Assistance, you should contact FIND on 1800 020 031. If you require assistance in locating Early Intervention Programs, then please contact the DSNSG National Coordinator.

School Age

There are a range of special provisions available from the ADF to assist families with children with special education needs, which are required as a result of posting.

You may be eligible for assistance toward the cost of:

  • tuition,
  • therapy,
  • assessments (including academically gifted children)

There is also a provision to approve reimbursement of tuition fees for the child to attend a non-government school, in exceptional cases, where government schools in the new locality cannot meet the child’s special needs.

For further information on this special provisions, please contact either FIND on 1800 020 031, the local DCO REDLO or the DSNSG National Coordinator.

Respite Assistance

If your family was eligible to receive respite care and have been put on a waiting list because of your posting, you may be eligible for assistance toward the cost of accessing respite.

Therapy Assistance

If the person with the special needs was receiving therapy services prior to the posting, and then has difficulty accessing these same services in the new locality, they may be eligible for assistance towards the cost of the therapy.

Equipment Assistance

Specialized equipment is often required by a person with special needs. If this equipment is not immediately available in the new locality, due to the posting, then you may be eligible for assistance in accessing the equipment you need.

Housing Assistance

If your family has special needs, then you may require assistance in the provision appropriate housing and transit accommodation. Please contact the Housing Officer for more information.

Once posted your work begins. There are lots of people that you can contact who can assist you with your special needs and your move; they are:

  • National Coordinator, DSNSG
  • Local Coordinator, DSNSG
  • Family Liaison Officer (FLO)
  • Regional Education Liaison Officer (REDLO)
  • Housing Officer

In addition there are many Disability Information Services and organisations located around Australia that provide a wealth of information relating to support groups, agencies, services providers and much more in the area where you will be living. You will find some of these listed on the following pages.

You can also obtain information from:

  • State Government Health and Community Departments (Disability Services section);
  • major hospitals, especially those specifically for children;
  • local Councils;
  • community health centres;
  • service providers support groups

If you have any questions regarding special needs for a child or dependant and need assistance click here to tell us 'What's up?' or to give us a call

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