Media Release by Hon Kevin Andrews MP

Long-term certainty and less red tape for social service providers

The Abbott Government is honouring its election commitments to provide greater certainty for social service providers to improve service delivery for the community.

Five year funding agreements totalling $1.5 billion will be offered to the more than 250 service providers that deliver Communities for Children Facilitating Partner Services, Family and Relationship Services and Family Law Services.

The new five year funding agreements, which will begin on 1 July 2014, will help reduce staff turnover, ensure better service delivery, and enable longer-term agreements for these priority services.

To better reflect the way community services are delivered, existing grant programmes will be consolidated into seven grant programmes, and substantial funding has been committed across these programmes for new and existing services.

The new arrangements include the creation of the Families and Communities Programme; Disability, Mental Health and Carers Programme; and the Housing and Homelessness Programme; in addition to the existing Home Support Programme; Residential and Flexible Care Programme; Workforce and Quality Programme; and Ageing and Service Improvement Programme.

These changes will make it easier for organisations to apply for funding and allow them to focus on delivering important services in the community instead of filling out forms.

The improvements will create a more efficient and effective way of delivering government funds to the community by reducing red tape and duplication for service providers and creating more streamlined, simplified and consistent reporting processes.

The Budget is part of the Government’s Economic Action Strategy to build a strong, prosperous economy and a safe, secure Australia.

The Department of Social Services will provide more information to funded organisations shortly. In the meantime, providers can visit or call DSS on 1800 625 136.