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Family relationship services

A range of support services are available to help separating and separated parents.

These services offer support and education to families experiencing family relationship difficulties.

Family Relationships Services Program

The Family Relationships Services Program (FRSP) aims to improve the wellbeing of Australian families, particularly families with children, who are at risk of separating, or who have separated.

There are 2 sub-programs within the FRSP that provide funding to support this:

  • Family Law Services
  • Family Law Pathways Networks.

Grant opportunities for the FRSP are advertised on the GrantConnect website.

The Grant Program Framework Document provides information related to grant funding under the FRSP.

Family law services

As part of the FRSP, we fund a range of support and education services for separated parents.

These services include:

  • Family Relationship Centres
  • Family Relationship Advice Line
  • Family Dispute Resolution (including regional FDR and First Nations FDR)
  • Family Counselling
  • Children's Contact Services
  • Parenting Orders Program/Post Separation Cooperative Parenting Program
  • Supporting Children after Separation Program

Visit the Family Relationships Online website to find out more about these services and how to access them.

Program review

On 5 September 2023 the Attorney-General, the Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP, announced a review of the FRSP to ensure the program was meeting the needs of the community. The review’s terms of reference include identifying how the program can best meet the needs of the community now and into the future. The review will include consultation with stakeholders and will inform future government decisions on the program and its objectives. View the terms of reference below.

The review was completed on 28 June 2024. The review’s recommendations are currently under consideration.

The evaluation must include:

  1. A review of the effectiveness and efficiency of the current FRSP, including:
    • A review of the extent to which the current elements of the FRSP are meeting the needs of families, including supporting First Nations or other families which may require different approaches to managing conflicts associated with family separations, or may have difficulties interacting with or barriers to accessing FRSP services
    • The extent to which current and future planned activities of the grant recipients are aligned to grant requirements and meeting the needs of families
    • An assessment of the services which are best meeting families’ needs, and any services which may require modification, may no longer be suitable or are not frequently used
    • An assessment of services which are not able to be accessed through the program but which directly support the program’s aims of supporting separated and separating families to resolve disputes outside of Court
    • The extent to which the program complements and supports the broader family law sector (including other professional services accessed by separating families)
    • The services which are most efficiently delivered in combination, to provide necessary supports to families in a connected, holistic manner
    • The outcomes/output measures which best capture the impact and value of the services, for future reporting.
  1. A robust modelling project, using relevant data (such as general population, demographics, projected growth trends etc), to identify the priority location, or delivery method, of services (including online or remote service delivery) to most cost effectively deliver services to the community (projected forward at least 10 years), specifically including:
    • A plain English guide to/summary of the modelling and its conclusions
    • Clear bases for projecting service requirements per capita
    • Proposed optimal geographic distribution of services to meet demand (including growth forecasts)
    • An assessment of the impact of accessibility issues, particularly for regional areas where population is less dense and travel distances may be prohibitive
    • Alternative service delivery models which feed into the demand projection outcomes, particularly in relation to meeting the needs of families unable to access face-to-face services
    • Based on a review of current administrative data and other benchmarking data, recommended unit costs/funding levels per service and location (metro, regional, rural).

Where possible, the model should have a simpler user interface, to allow the department to independently test alternate scenarios depending on program/service configuration (eg services a, b, d etc to be delivered within a single program structure).