Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Funding to strengthen families

Eight organisations will receive Howard Government funding offers under the Strengthening and Supporting Families Coping with Illicit Drug Use (‘Strengthening Families’) initiative.

Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today announced the organisations, which have been selected to receive funding offers following the $13.6 million extension to the Strengthening Families initiative.

Projects funded under this first phase of the initiative will provide targeted family support, advice, information, referral and counselling services to families with members coping with, or at risk of illicit drug use, Senator Patterson said.

The much valued How to Drug Proof Your Kids program, delivered by Focus on the Family, will be continued nationally under this initiative.

Family Drug Support and Parent to Parent will be offered funding to provide education and family support services to families across NSW.

Tasmania’s grandparents raising grandchildren will be able to access better coordinated services through additional funding provided to the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren – Support Project.

Odyssey House in Victoria will be offered funds for its new Counting the Kids program while South Australia’s Drug Beat and Western Australia’s Teen Challenge, will both provide better targeted and enhanced family support projects.

Drug Arm will be offered funding to improve and expand its DrugArm Family Project targeting the Toowoomba, Warwick and Stanthorpe regions in Queensland.

We are also working closely with the Australian National Council on Drugs to develop a national project so that children of drug users in treatment will have the opportunity to access much needed support funds through an innovative brokerage fund. These children and their families will have better access to appropriate support services and activities. The fund will also provide an incentive for drug and alcohol workers to identify and respond to the needs of these children.

Strengthening Families will be administered by non-government organisations, directly funded by the Australian Government. Early next year the Howard Government will invite funding applications from a number of organisations to meet further identified funding priorities through a second selection phase.

The Strengthening Families initiative is an early intervention, family-focused component of the wider National Illicit Drugs Strategy and reflects the Australian Government’s commitment to investing in supporting families and young people, Senator Patterson said.