Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

Drug support for families in Perth

Families with drug and alcohol issues in Western Australia are receiving specialist support services through the Gillard Government’s Kids in Focus – Family Drug Support program.

The Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Community Services, Julie Collins MP, today visited Women’s Health Services in Northbridge, to see how the services are assisting parents, grandparents, and carers to build safe and secure environments for children.

“A safe and secure environment is incredibly important to a child's development and I am pleased with the success of Kids in Focus since it began earlier this year," Ms Collins said.

The Federal Government announced in May this year that Women’s Health Services, in consortium with Community Link and Network WA and Cyrenian House, would receive $1.2 million over three years to provide a range of flexible counseling, education, and support services to families and children affected by substance abuse.

The Northbridge service is one of eight Kids in Focus – Family Drug Support services being delivered across Australia, under the Government’s National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020.

A key objective of the Kids in Focus – Family Drug Support program is to act early to address drug and alcohol problems in families before they escalate.

Parliamentary Secretary Collins also met with key stakeholders to discuss the Government’s changes to the Family Support Program to ensure it better supports vulnerable and disadvantaged families, and reduces red tape and paperwork for service providers.

The Government committed $330 million to the Family Support Program in 2010-11, which includes family law services.

A major feature of the reformed Family Support Program will be the requirement for providers to ensure they prioritise vulnerable and disadvantaged families and children.

Kids in Focus has been designed in line with the new requirements and in just a few months it is already making a real difference.