Special needs: A guide for ADF families

This information has been written by the Defence Special Needs Support Group (DSNSG) to provide information for Service families who have a child or other dependant with Special Needs.


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


It’s not easy moving from place to place at the best of times. People who have someone with special needs worry not only about their own career prospects, housing and postings but also special needs issues. However, if you are aware of the resources available to you, both civilian and military, you will be much more informed which will make it easier to plan your future.

There is a huge range of support available to people with Special Needs, although this may differ from State to State. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice. You’ll be surprised at the number of people who are only too willing to share their time and experience.

For further information ring the Family Information Network for Defence (FIND) on 1800 020 031 and ask for the phone number of the National Coordinator Defence Special Needs Support Group.

About the DSNSG

The Defence Special Needs Support Group started in 1994 as a small group of Defence families brought together by a common bond - they all had someone in their family with special needs and they found it frustrating finding appropriate services due to being mobile. The families decided that it was easier helping each other out with information and support, rather than going it alone.

The Defence Special Needs Support Group has now grown into a National organisation with many local support groups and several hundred families located around Australia.

The Group provides support, information,assistance and advocacy for all ADF families who have a dependant (child,spouse or other dependants) with Special Needs. It maintains a comprehensive data base on "special needs" information around Australia and operates a National Parent-to-Parent Network, as well as producing a National Newsletter.

If you would like more information regarding the Defence Special Needs Support Group and how it may help your family, please contact the National Coordinator.

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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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