Defence Force

Helping Young Children Cope with Extended Parental Absences


Infographic supplied by Dr. Marg Rogers

Some parents go to work in the morning and return home in the evening to take care of the kids. However, for some children whose parents serve in the Australian Defence Force, their parents may go to work and not return for months. 

Today we interviewed UNE lecture of Early Childhood Education, Dr. Marg Rogers about her research into building resilience in young children whose families are working in the Australian Defence Force. While necessary, long deployments may cause a range of issues that may be seen within young children, especially when they are too young to fully understand the nature of their parent’s absence.

The research team from UNE has received funding from The Ian Potter Foundation, to create 2 free programs for educators and parents to help support children between the ages of 2-5 that are impacted by having family members in the ADF.  The 2015 ADF Families Survey showed over 50% of all children whose parents served in the ADF were aged preschool or younger. These programs will be released in February 2023.

To contact the research team please email: ecdefenceprograms @

Download the full episode here.

Dr. Marg Rogers is a lecturer in the Early Childhood Education team within the School of Education. Her teaching areas include early childhood, families, communication and speech development, literacy, critical literacy, health, nutrition and well being, and creative arts at all levels. 

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