Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

Government Invests in Keeping Families Together

Thousands of families, particularly those in rural and regional Australia, will benefit from more than $5 million of investment in relationship services over the next financial year. This funding is an investment in two initiatives that seek to strengthen vital family relationships.

Funding of $4.1 million will be provided through the Men and Family Relationship Programme, to continue the operation of 54 men’s services in rural, regional and metropolitan Australia.

These services will continue to deliver support and counselling to help men improve and better manage their relationships with partners, ex-partners, children and step-children.

Services will continue to provide specific assistance to men who live in rural and regional areas, who are from indigenous or ethnic communities, or who are in the prison system.

Through this initiative more than 10,000 men have received support and advice about how to build stronger family relationships. Continued funding for 2002-03 will build on this success.

The Government is also providing funding of $1.3 million to continue the operation of Family Relationships Education services in high need areas in rural and regional Australia.

More than 80 per cent of surveyed couples who have used Family Relationships Education services report that they received information useful for maintaining and strengthening their family relationships.

This continued funding is recognition by this Government that, even though family life in Australia is rapidly changing, families are the cornerstone on which this nation depends for future wellbeing.

More information on FaCS Budget measures