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ADF Families Survey 2022

Participant Information and Consent

Welcome to the ADF Families Survey. This survey is being run by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) in collaboration with the Department of Defence.

This page tells you about the survey and what is involved in taking part. It is provided to help you decide whether you want to participate. Please read the information carefully. If you have any questions about the research or come across anything you don't understand, you can contact the researchers at AIFS ( or Defence ( You can also discuss your decision to participate with a friend or family member if you feel it would be helpful. 

What is the ADF Families Survey?

The ADF Families Survey is one of the main ways that Defence collects information about the experiences and circumstances of ADF Families, particularly the services and supports that ADF families use and need. This year, the focus of the survey is on family member wellbeing and the impact of COVID-19 on ADF families. 

Why take part?

This is an opportunity to share your family's experiences of service life with Defence. Results from the survey are reported to Defence and other ADF family stakeholders, such as Defence Families Australia and the Department of Veterans' Affairs. By completing the survey, you can help to inform policies and programs to ensure that they are able to support current and future ADF families.

Who is eligible to participate?

This survey is restricted to families of Permanent ADF members (SERCAT 7 and 6) and reserve ADF members on a period of continuous full time service (SERVOP C(CFTS)). The following people are invited to participate:

  • Civilian partners of ADF members (with or without children),
  • Former partners of ADF members who share care of dependent children,
  • ADF members who are part of a dual serving couple,
  • ADF members who are single parents, and
  • ADF members with other Defence recognised dependents (such as elderly parents requiring care).

Note: For ADF members with a civilian partner, this survey should be completed by the partner of the ADF member, not the member themselves. 

For this survey, the word 'partner' can refer to a spouse, a Defence recognised interdependent partner, or a non-Defence recognised interdependent partner (e.g. a defacto or non-resident partner in an ongoing relationship).

What is involved?

The survey takes about 30 minutes to complete. It asks questions about your family characteristics, experiences as part of an ADF family, family relationships and family wellbeing. There are some mandatory questions which are used to tailor the survey to your circumstances, however response to most questions is optional. There is some opportunity to provide detail in free text response.

Depending on your circumstances, some questions could be upsetting. If you become upset and want to talk to someone, there is a link to support services at the bottom of each page.

Participation is voluntary and you can withdraw from the survey.

If you choose not to participate, there will be no impact on your relationship with Defence or the Australian Institute of Family Studies and no detriment to your and/or your family member’s career, future health care, services entitlements, or benefits from Defence or the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA). 

If you start the survey, you can withdraw from the survey at any time with no detriment to you or your family member's career, future entitlements, or benefits from Defence or DVA. If you exit before completing the survey but after completing all mandatory questions, the data you do provide will be retained in the project dataset and used in analysis where possible. If you want your data withdrawn, you can contact the research team and ask us to remove your data. However, the anonymous nature of the survey means that we will only be able to withdraw your data (after you start) if the nature of your responses allows us to identify your particular survey response. 

How is your privacy protected?

While the survey is anonymous and does not require you to provide any personally identifiable information, we understand that some people may feel identifiable by their responses (particularly to questions about demographic characteristics). Your responses are confidential and will only be accessed by researchers who adhere to strict ethical and privacy considerations. This may include collaboration with university research programs and publications to help develop evidence-based recommendations and advance scientific knowledge. 

To protect your privacy and confidentiality, only grouped results will be reported. This means that you will not be identifiable from the results reported. Attitudes and opinions will not be presented for groups of sizes that could be identifiable. 

The only exception to your privacy is if you provide information relating to a risk to Defence security, a civil or military offence, an unreported abuse, or information that suggests that you or someone you know is at risk of harm. Depending on what information you share, we may need to tell someone about this. In these instances, this information may be reported in accordance with Defence mandatory reporting requirements. For more information about your rights as a participant please read the Departments of Defence and Veterans' Affairs Human Research Ethics Committee's guidelines for volunteers

Contacts for more information, concerns or complaints 

If you have any questions, concerns, or complaints about this research you can contact the research team at AIFS or Defence:

Australian Institute of Family Studies

Principal Investigator: Dr Jody Hughes

Phone: 03 9214 7867


Department of Defence

Principal Investigator: Jessica Boh

Phone: 02 5109 5355



Alternatively, you can contact the Departments of Defence and Veterans’ Affairs Human Research Ethics Committee at and quote protocol number 425-22.

Consent to participate

By clicking ‘Next’, you are giving your consent to participate in the 2022 ADF Families Survey. Thank you for taking part and helping us to better understand ADF families' needs.