Stronger Relationships Trial Frequently asked questions for couples

Registration

Couples can register for their subsidy from 1 July 2014 by clicking on the 'Couples registration' button on this page.

Technical Requirements

The Stronger Relationship trial couples' registration portal is supported by the following browsers:

  • Apple Safari S7 and later versions
  • Google Chrome 31 and later versions
  • Mozilla Firefox 25 and later versions
  • Internet Explorer 9 and later versions.

All other browsers, including Internet Explorer 8, may not work correctly when using the couples' portal.

What is the Stronger Relationships Trial?

The Stronger Relationships trial aims to help couples build and maintain healthy, mutually satisfying relationships by providing them with a $200 subsidy for relationship education and counselling.

Up to 100,000 couples in a committed relationship can participate in the trial.

Couples are encouraged to book into a service as soon as they register, as there is a limit of 100,000 subsidies available.

Why is the Australian Government funding relationship education and counselling?

By strengthening relationships at the outset, and curbing family breakdown, the Government aims to help couples to achieve a greater degree of stability and thereby a better environment for their children.

Relationship and family breakdown also place significant economic burden on the nation with direct government service costs estimated at around $3 billion each year. 

The Government is committed to early intervention responses, such as those under the Stronger Relationships trial, to prevent future personal, social and economic costs of relationship and family breakdown.

Who can participate in the Stronger Relationships trial?

To be eligible to participate in the Stronger Relationships trial, both members of a couple must be:

  • in a committed relationship
  • Australian citizens, permanent residents or otherwise eligible to receive social security payments in Australia, and
  • 18 years or older.

Couples who are not eligible are encouraged to contact the Family Relationships Advice Line on 1800 050 321 or visit Family Relationships Online for information on other available services.

Can couples participate in the trial if they are underage?

Each person must be over 18 years to register for the subsidy online.

Couples who are not eligible are encouraged to contact the Family Relationships Australia Advice Line on 1800 050 321 or visit Family Relationships Online for information on other available services.

What if couples don’t live together?

All couples in a committed relationship are eligible to register for the Stronger Relationships trial—regardless of whether you live together, where you live, what relationship stage you’re in, and what your needs are.

Relationship education can be beneficial to couples moving through many different phases of their relationship, such as deciding to move in together, getting married, having a baby or managing their money.

How can relationship education or counselling help?

Happy, healthy and strong relationships are vital for individual and family wellbeing, and help to strengthen communities.

Couples in healthy, mutually satisfying relationships and their children are likely to live longer, report fewer health problems, and use health and wellbeing services substantially less than people in distressed relationships.

Relationship education and counselling doesn’t just benefit couples wanting to learn relationship skills or work through problems. They have been shown to help people improve their communication and conflict resolution skills and can help couples cope with changes and challenges, such as moving in together, having a baby, getting married, or managing their money.

Couples can enter the Stronger Relationships trial at any phase of their relationship—they don’t have to be newly-weds, they don’t have to intend to marry, they don’t have to have children, and they don’t have to be living together. 

When does the trial start?

The Stronger Relationships trial starts on 1 July 2014 and runs for up to 12 months.

How can couples register for the $200 subsidy?

Couples can register online, from 1 July 2014, for the Stronger Relationships trial.

Following the simple registration process, couples will be sent a unique reference number that will give them $200 towards relationship education or counselling at any of the approved providers listed on the website.

Couples need to provide the reference number at the time of booking into their preferred Stronger Relationships provider.

Couples can choose which service provider listed on the Stronger Relationships Panel they would like to see.

What browsers support the Client portal?

The Stronger Relationship trial Client portal is supported by the following browsers:

  • Apple Safari S7 and later versions
  • Google Chrome 31 and later versions
  • Mozilla Firefox 25 and later versions
  • Internet Explorer 9 and later versions

All other browsers, including Internet Explorer 8, have not been tested and may not work correctly when using the Portal.

What if a couple doesn’t have access to the Internet or an email address?

Approved providers may offer assistance to couples to register online and receive a valid reference number on the Stronger Relationships trial website. 

How long do couples have to register?

Couples can register at any time during the trial but, as there is a limit of 100,000 subsidies being issued, they are encouraged to register and book their initial appointment early.

What can couples expect to receive under the trial?

As part of the Stronger Relationships trial couples can access relationship education or counselling with a service provider of their choice from the Stronger Relationships Panel.

Depending on the couple’s needs and the type of services, they might receive anywhere from one to five sessions with their selected service provider.

The education or counselling can cover a range of topics including parenting skills, financial management and conflict resolution.

In the first meeting, the approved provider will assess a couple's specific needs and goals, and provide a minimum of:

  • Five hours of face-to-face contact, or
  • Four hours for inventory-style pre-marriage education, and/or
  • Two hours of counselling.

After taking part in relationship education or counselling many couples have found it highly beneficial in helping them develop positive and stable relationships.

What is the difference between counselling and education services under the Stronger Relationships trial?

Relationship education under the Stronger Relationships trial is focussed on skills development, and may include elements of parenting skills training, financial counselling or other family services to develop the couple’s relationship skills.

Relationship counselling under the Stronger Relationships trial may include elements of therapy and mediation with the aim of improving, maintaining or amicably dissolving a couple-relationship.

Couples should talk to their selected service provider to determine the most appropriate type of service to meet their individual needs.

Do all service providers accept the subsidy?

Only service providers on the Stronger Relationships Panel can accept the $200 subsidy.

Couples can choose which service provider listed on the Stronger Relationships Panel they would like to see.

How long after registering do couples need to make an appointment?

Couples are encouraged to make their initial appointment as early as possible to avoid missing out.

How long do couples have to complete the relationship education or counselling?

Couples need to complete their relationship education and/or counselling program before 30 June 2015.

Do couples pay anything towards their services?

The Australian Government understands the cost of relationship education and counselling can be high. This is why it is giving up to 100,000 couples a $200 education and counselling subsidy towards building and maintaining a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship.

Service providers will discuss their fees with the couple who may be asked to make a co-contribution towards their education or counselling program.

What if couples can’t afford to contribute?

The Australian Government encourages all committed couples interested in relationship education and counselling to register regardless of their financial circumstances.

If couples are unable to contribute, they should talk to service providers listed on the Stronger Relationships Panel about their individual fee schedules.

Can couples register for the $200 subsidy if they are already participating in relationship education or counselling?

The $200 Stronger Relationships subsidy can only be used for new bookings with the service providers listed on the Stronger Relationships Panel. 

Can couples use the $200 subsidy for a pre-marital education program/course?

Yes, provided that the couple has not already commenced the program and that it is with a service provider listed on the Stronger Relationships Panel.

Participating in a pre-marriage program is an excellent way to start a marriage with strong foundations.

Couples are encouraged to talk to their celebrant about the type of pre-marriage program they accept.

More information

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