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Defence School Mentor Program
The Defence School Mentor (DSM) Program has been established through funding by the Defence Community Organisation (DCO) to facilitate the best possible educational outcome for children of Australian Defence Force Members. The DSM’s role is to provide direct ‘hands on' support and assistance within the school to ADF members and their families, therefore minimising the impact of mobility on education.
There is currently one DSM located at St Clare’s who supports students during their transition into and out of the school, and also provides support and encouragement during stressful and emotional times, such as when members are absent from the home due to deployment or training.
The DSM provides direct support to families by:
- Being a primary point of contact for ADF families within the school.
- Welcoming ADF parents and children to the school and assisting them in becoming familiar with the school, the staff, classroom parents and other school facilities.
- Providing welcome packs to new students to ease their transition into the school and monitoring any initial integration issues, such as friendship, peer groups and classroom difficulties.
- Working with both staff and parents to support students during times of deployment or training.
- Linking ADF families with relevant support networks within the school and the community where necessary.
- Running a Defence Kids Club which provides an informal, safe and friendly environment where students can meet and get to know each other while participating in various activities on offer.
- Providing ADF families the opportunity to meet through regular morning teas.
- Attending regular DSM meetings, and having regular contact with the REDLO and DCO to keep abreast of ADF issues.
- Passing on specific ADF items of interest via the school newsletter.
- Providing farewell packs to students when exiting the school.