Financial Management Program

A new way of working: grant funding in DSS

Families and Communities Programme

Financial Wellbeing and Capability

The Australian Government has a new way of working that recognises and supports the work of civil society organisations. These new arrangements will reduce red tape, provide greater opportunity for collaboration in the delivery of services and generate better outcomes for communities and individuals by effectively targeting community needs and priorities while reducing duplication and administrative burden.

As part of these changes, the Financial Management Program (FMP) will soon become the Financial Wellbeing and Capability Activity.  The intention is to offer more integrated support and better wrap around services which promote financial capability and better help people avoid or resolve financial difficulties and achieve self-reliance.  Early intervention and prevention approaches will also be a focus of this activity.

Information about these changes is available in the Financial Wellbeing and Capability Overview of Changes fact sheet.

Applications for grant funding under the new arrangements will open on 19 June 2014 and close 23 July 2014.  More information can be found at http://www.dss.gov.au/grants.

Please note some services offered under the FMP/FWC will not be part of the grant rounds opening on the 19 June 2014 as their funding does not terminate until June 2015.

To ensure service delivery continues while the new arrangements are implemented, DSS is offering funding extensions to the majority of existing service providers with agreements due to finish by 30 June 2014.

Financial Management Program - Overview

At times people may experience increased financial pressure. This pressure can arise from many sources, including mortgage stress, credit card debt and increased cost of living pressures – often as a result of unemployment, sickness or family breakdown.

Low financial literacy increases people’s vulnerability to financial pressure and can place them at a great disadvantage. The Financial Management Program assists people in times of immediate crisis as well as assisting people and communities through better access to services across a continuum of needs, including supporting longer term financial capability and assisting people to become financially included.

The Financial Management Program can help.

Find out more:

What is the Financial Management Program?

The Financial Management Program is funded by the Australian Government to contribute to improved outcomes for vulnerable people, families and communities by:

  • helping people address immediate needs in times of financial crisis
  • helping people better manage their money and plan for the medium to long term
  • providing access to safe, affordable funds that may not be available through mainstream financial services
  • undertaking research to inform policies to reduce the impact of problem gambling.

Financial Management Program services are voluntary, free and confidential.

Financial Management Program services can be accessed through:

  • Community organisations
  • Self-referrals
  • Department of Human Services
  • utility companies
  • other programs at both the State and Commonwealth level

Financial Management Program is a support program for income management and services are available in income management locations across Australia,

Financial Management Program activities

The Financial Management Program services available are:

Emergency Relief

Provides support for people’s immediate needs in times of crisis. Assistance often includes food and clothing parcels, transport, chemist vouchers, help with rent/accommodation and utilities.

Commonwealth Financial Counselling

Helps people in financial difficulty to address their financial problems and make informed choices. Services include face to face and telephone services that provide free advice and information, advocacy, negotiation and referral.

Money Management services

Provides one on one or small group education and information to help people build longer term capability to manage their money and to increase financial resilience.  Money management services can also facilitate referrals to financial counsellors to help people manage complex issues.

Home Energy Saver Scheme

Helps low-income households improve their energy efficiency and financial sustainability.

Microfinance and matched savings initiatives

Assists people on low-incomes who need a small amount of credit in order to purchase essential household items and consolidate debt, meet unexpected expenses or start a small business. Some microfinance schemes also provide tools to build savings.

National Information Centre on Retirement Investments

Provides people with free information on planning and saving for retirement.

Information for Financial Management Program grant recipients

Both current Financial Management Program grant recipients and organisations interested in providing the Financial Management Program activities are required to familiarise themselves with the Financial Management Program guidelines. There is also more information about activity funding.

More information

Find your nearest Financial Management Program service by calling 1300 653 227 (local call cost only) and ask to be put through to your local state office. Grant recipients can find out more about guidelines and funding at the Information for Financial Management Program Grant Recipients page.

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