Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Local organisations providing support for vulnerable families

Joint Media Release with:

  • Robert McClelland MP, Attorney-General
    Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

  • Robert McClelland MP, Attorney-General
    Julie Collins MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Community Services

Community organisations in 2,200 locations across Australia have now received funding to deliver vital support for vulnerable families and children.

Under the Gillard Government’s Family Support Program, community organisations are sharing in more than $1 billion over the next three years to support local families. A range of family and children services will share in $588 million and a further $453 million will support family law services.

The Family Support Program supports families, improves children’s wellbeing and safety, and builds more resilient communities.

Community organisations will deliver important services such as parenting skills training, relationship counselling, playgroups, family law services and intensive support for vulnerable and at-risk children and families.

The Australian Government consulted closely with service providers in developing the initiative and for the first time we are delivering three year contracts to service providers – giving these organisations greater certainty and allowing them to focus less on paperwork and more on delivering support to Australian children and families who need it most.

The Family Support Program streamlines more than 20 Family and Children’s programs into four streams to provide more flexibility to meet families’ needs, while making sure the important elements of the current program are retained. The four new activities are:

  • Communities for Children services to provide prevention and early intervention activities to families with children up to 12 years in disadvantaged communities throughout Australia, including Indigenous families in remote communities.
  • Family and Relationship Services to help adults with relationship issues, provide counselling for young people and children, and broader parenting support.
  • Specialist Services to help families affected by drugs, violence and trauma.
  • Community Playgroups that are run by parents to provide a friendly and safe environment where mums and dads of young children access early learning development resources and receive peer support.

These services work alongside the family law services to ensure that families across Australia, especially those living in disadvantaged locations, have access to more integrated services to support them during critical life events.

National services such as the Family Relationships Advice Line, Mensline, Family Relationships Online and the Raising Children website support face-to-face service delivery.

Family support services are a vital element of the Government’s National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children, which provides a national approach to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of Australian children.

These services support our commitment to putting the safety and wellbeing of children at the heart of the Australian Government’s social policy agenda.