JENNY MACKLIN MP
Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services
and Indigenous Affairs
ROBERT MCCLELLAND MP
$100 MILLION FOR FAMILY RELATIONSHIP SERVICES
Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, and Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, today announced the Government would invest more than $100 million over the next two years to assist families deal with relationship difficulties.
The funding will support a range of measures such as early intervention services including counselling, skills training, mediation, as well as post-separation services including family and couples counselling, specialised family violence services, dispute mediation and parenting support.
These services will be delivered through 60 Early Intervention Services, 40 Family Relationship Centres and 30 Post Separation Services.
Families can often face complex and difficult relationship issues and it is important that family services are available to support them before problems escalate, Ms Macklin said.
This funding is part of the Australian Governments commitment to assisting families by providing access to a range of appropriate services which best meet their different needs.
There has been a significant increase in families using family relationship services in the nine months from July last year to April this year with more than 212,000 people attending a provider. This compares with the 12 months to June 2008 where service providers saw 234,000 people seeking help.
Based on these early figures, the Australian Government is projecting a 29 per cent increase in attendance at family relationship services this year compared to last year.
The number of people seeking support for post separation parenting and relationship difficulties has risen substantially.
Mr McClelland said, I am pleased these new funding agreements will enable family services to continue their critical role in reducing family conflict and providing affordable, effective and fair dispute resolution.
These services provide parents with the ongoing support and assistance that can prevent family breakdown. If separation does occur, they can minimise the negative impact on children, Mr McClelland said.
New funding agreements for family relationship services will introduce increased flexibility to ensure services are tailored and more responsive to the individual needs of families and children.
Contact: Jessica Walker (Macklin) 0430166633
Adam Siddique (McClelland) 0407473630
Organisations to receive funding: