Edition 12 - 10 March 2008

Welcome to the twelfth edition of the Family Relationship Services Program (FRSP)
Sector e-News 2008.

We have some interesting topics for you this month, including:

  • Have your say about how the family law reforms are impacting on your service
    The Australian Institute of Family Studies is conducting research on how the changes to the family law system are impacting on the family relationships services sector and its clients
  • National Families Week 2008
    National Families Week 2008 will be held between 11-17 May.  The theme for the week is “Work and Family – getting the balance right”

For new subscribers, FRSP Sector e-News is an ideal opportunity for you to reach 450 FRSP service providers and industry stakeholders to share service delivery news or to raise any issues you think the sector should be aware of. Welcome to the twelfth edition of the Family Relationship Services Program (FRSP)
Sector e-News 2008.

We have some interesting topics for you this month, including:

  • Have your say about how the family law reforms are impacting on your service
    The Australian Institute of Family Studies is conducting research on how the changes to the family law system are impacting on the family relationships services sector and its clients
  • National Families Week 2008
    National Families Week 2008 will be held between 11-17 May.  The theme for the week is “Work and Family – getting the balance right”

For new subscribers, FRSP Sector e-News is an ideal opportunity for you to reach 450 FRSP service providers and industry stakeholders to share service delivery news or to raise any issues you think the sector should be aware of. 

To contribute to the next edition’s news or to provide feedback about articles in this edition, please email frspe-news@dss.gov.au

Regards

Robyn Fleming
Branch Manager
Family Relationship Services Branch

Hot topics

Mensline Australia announces new cross cultural promotional materials

Mensline Australia, the national telephone counselling support service for men with family and relationship issues, now has a new range of resources available to support men and families from different cultures.  These tip sheets and pamphlets have been developed after extensive consultation with the Indigenous, Arabic speaking, Vietnamese and young men’s communities.

The delivery of these materials is a key outcome of our Cultural x Change Project. This project has involved a greater level of engagement with each of the target communities supported by Community Liaison Workers representing each cultural group. For more information on this project you can go to www.menslineaus.org.au

The above materials are available for viewing through the following links:

To order hard copies of these materials please email enquiries@menslineaus.org.au and for more information on the project itself please contact Jeremy Hearne the Manager of Programs for Mensline Australia at jhearne@menslineaus.org.au

What is happening with the new Supporting Children after Separation Program?

The Supporting Children after Separation Program is going ahead.   The locations and date of the selection process are currently being considered by the Attorney-General and will be announced as soon as possible.

FRSP News

AGD Internet site expanded to include information for FRSP service providers

Following consultations with stakeholders last year, improvements are being made to the Attorney-General's Department's web site for practitioners. The new pages will create a 'one-stop shop' for all practitioner resources developed by the Department.

A simplified navigation structure and several new pages are being published with resources previously only available on the Family Relationships Online ‘Secure Site’.

There will be dedicated pages and resources for Family Relationship Advice Line staff, Family Relationship Centres staff, Research and Evaluation, Useful links and more.  In some cases the information can be downloaded directly from the website or sent on request.

Improvements have also been made to the Family Dispute Resolution pages and resources to make the information easier to access for both current practitioners and potential applicants.

These new pages and resources will replace the current Family Pathways Branch pages during March, and the ‘Secure Site’ will be shut down a few weeks after the new pages go live.

The information for service providers currently on Family Relationships Online will also be moved across to the new pages, leaving that sites content purely for the general public.  Stakeholders will be informed once the new pages are published.

Framework for Screening, Assessment and Referrals in Family Relationship Centres and the Family Relationship Advice Line

The Attorney-General’s Department has recently revised the Framework for screening, assessment and referrals in Family Relationship Centres and the Family Relationship Advice Line (the Framework).

The Framework was developed by the Institute of Child Protection Studies and the Australian Catholic University to provide the Centres and Advice Line with a resource to guide good practice when undertaking screening and assessment in the new service system which commenced operations in July 2006.  The Family Relationship Centres and the Family Relationship Advice Line are required to apply the Framework’s principles to their screening and assessment work. 

As the concept of continuous improvement is integral to developing good practice, the Attorney-General’s Department contracted the Institute to review and enhance the Framework.  This was done by consulting with staff in the first 15 Centres and the Advice Line on their experiences so far. 

The revised Framework has been distributed widely through the service sector providing the opportunity for comments.

If you would like a copy of the revised Framework please email Jeanette Daniel at   jeanette.daniel@ag.gov.au

Sector News

Understanding Money Pays Off - Getting the most from the Understanding Money Website

Understanding how money works is a lifelong skill.  No matter what life stage people are at, everyone needs to make decisions about money.  The Understanding Money website www.understandingmoney.gov.au  contains information to help people take control of their finances and make better financial decisions at all stages of life.


The website offers a wide range of easy reading financial literacy information, and handy tools to help you keep your payments under control such as a Financial Health check, budget planner that can be printed or downloaded onto the home computer, and calculators for savings and mortgage loans. The downloadable Understanding Money handbook offers a compact snapshot of important financial literacy topics to help you take control of your finances. Other useful sections include: 

  • Put yourself in charge — provides information and tips to help you manage your savings, budgeting, controlling your debt, investing and superannuation;
  • Life happens!  This section identifies events that affect everyone at some stage of their lives, and provides important information on how to manage the financial implications of these events (see picture above); and
  • In the Spotlight — provides easy to read articles on current topics in the news such as ‘Reverse Mortgages’ and ‘Switching Home Loans’.

The website also features Educators and Trainers, pages designed to provide information on financial literacy initiatives and a range of quality endorsed financial literacy products for the school, adult and community and workplace sectors.  For more information, visit the Understanding Money website, or contact the Financial Literacy Foundation via email at financial.literacy@treasury.gov.au.

Have your say about how the family law reforms are impacting on your service

The Australian Institute of Family Studies is conducting research about how the changes to the family law system are impacting on the family relationships services sector and its clients. This is an important component of the Institute’s Evaluation of the Family Law System.

To ensure that this research accurately reflects the views and experiences of the family relationships sector it is important that we hear from as many people as we can – from a variety of service types and locations.

We would like to invite all staff who are employed in one or more FRSP services that have been in operation for at least 12 months to participate in a survey about the family law reforms.

The survey can be completed online or downloaded as a hardcopy. Your responses are strictly confidential and no information about individuals (or the agencies for which they work) will be identified in reporting the findings of the study.

Email invitations have been circulated to the managers of organisations eligible to take part. The invitations contain a link and PIN number to access the survey. If you have not received this email please ask your Manager about how you can become involved or contact Kelly Hand (Manager, Service Provision Project) on 1800 352 275 or via email familylawevaluation@aifs.gov.au.

The Evaluation has been commissioned by the Attorney-General’s Department and the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

The Family Relationship Advice Line - Telephone Dispute Resolution Service

The Telephone Dispute Resolution Service is a component of the Family Relationship Advice Line and is funded under the FRSP. It provides telephone based family dispute resolution as an alternative to Family Relationship Centres or other face to face dispute resolution services for parents requiring assistance in negotiating parenting arrangements.

The Telephone Dispute Resolution Service is not publicly promoted as a separate service to the Family Relationship Advice Line and is not open to the public for self referral.  Access to the service is available only through the Family Relationship Advice Line (Ph 1800 050 321), or through a warm referral from a Family Relationship Centre or FRSP funded Family Dispute Resolution Service.  Clients should only be referred after they are assessed as suitable for telephone based family dispute resolution. 

Clients should never be advised that there is a telephone family dispute resolution service provided by the Family Relationship Advice Line, nor should clients be referred to the ‘Telephone Dispute Resolution Service’. This would create an expectation for the client that they will be able to use the service when in fact their issues or needs may not suit telephone based family dispute resolution.

When a person calls the Family Relationship Advice Line, they will receive free information, advice and referral on family relationship and separation issues. An Adviser will assess whether dispute resolution may be suitable for particular callers and if so, will determine whether it would be most appropriate to refer the caller to a face to face service or to transfer the caller through to the Telephone Dispute Resolution Service. 

Conference and Events

National Families Week 2008

National Families Week 2008 will be held between 11-17 May.  The theme for the week is “Work and Family – getting the balance right” which reflects the importance of encouraging Australians, particularly working parents, to find ways to more effectively balance work and family life. 

All Australians, including community organisations, schools, councils, companies and individuals are invited to participate in National Families Week this year. 

Further information is available at the Families Australia website.

The Pregnancy, Babies and Children’s Expos

Community groups and customers wanting a one-stop-shop of Child Support Agency information can get it all at the forthcoming Pregnancy, Babies and Children’s Expos.

The CSA is attending all five Expos around the country to raise awareness of the Child Support Scheme Reforms and to promote the Agency’s range of booklets and services available to support separated families. The Expos will also provide the general public with a valuable opportunity to meet CSA staff and find out more about the role of the Agency.

The Pregnancy, Babies and Children’s Expos provide families with parenting information and product advice and are being held in Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne. Come and see us at the following venues:

Adelaide Showground, Wayville (14-16 March)
Sydney Showground Dome, Sydney Olympic Park (16-18 May)
Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, South Bank (27-29 June)
Perth, Claremont Showgrounds, Claremont (15-17 August)
Melbourne Exhibition Centre, Southbank (17-19 October)

Parenting Orders Program Forum 10-11 April 2008

A Forum will be held in Sydney on Thursday 10 and Friday 11 April 2008 for practitioners working in services under the Parenting Orders Program.

The Forum will provide opportunities for professional development with a focus on clinical practitioner skills for current service providers and organisations. This will include small group work on challenging case scenarios with an emphasis on child inclusive/child focussed practice, and discussion of issues surrounding self-care and working with supervision. Participants will also have the opportunity to network with other services and stakeholders through the sharing of good practice knowledge.

For more details, please contact Yvette Martin on (02) 6234 4821. 

Seminars on Contemporary Issues in Family Research

The Australian Institute of Family Studies offers a series of seminars, free to the public, presenting research on national and international issues related to family.  The seminars go from one to one and a half hours and are designed to promote a forum for discussion and debate.  

Abstracts and full text of past and current seminars and information relating to them are available at the Australian Institute of Family Studies website.

Seminars are held at 11.30 am on the third Thursday of each month at:

Level 20, 485 La Trobe Street, Melbourne
(between William and King Streets, and opposite the Flagstaff Gardens)

People wishing to attend a particular seminar should contact the Australian Institute of Family Studies on phone (03) 9214 7888 or email aifs-seminars@aifs.gov.au

To be notified about forthcoming seminars in 2008 or the availability of presentations or papers, please subscribe through the aifs website.

First National Indigenous Family and Community Strengths conference - Our Culture: A Strength To Build On

14-16 April in Newcastle

Convened by: The Family Action Centre, The University of Newcastle In partnership with: The Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care Incorporated (SNAICC)

Fifth Australian Family and Community Strengths conference – Community Engagement: A Rewarding Business

16-18 April in Newcastle

Convened by: The Family Action Centre, The University of Newcastle

Both conferences will be held at The University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

To find out more go to: Family and Community Strengths conference web page.

Resource Updates

Child Support Scheme Reforms stakeholder eBulletin

The Child Support Scheme Reforms Stakeholder eBulletin is a great resource for information about the reforms being implemented from 1 July. The bulletin will highlight different aspects of the new child support scheme and will help keep you up-to-date with particular issues that separated parents are concerned with, regarding child support and the reforms.

Below are links to the latest editions of the stakeholder eBulletins. If you would like to receive regular editions of this eBulletin, you can add your details to the Child Support Agency's Community Services Directory and be kept up to date with the latest news about the child support scheme reforms.   

Subscription

If you do not wish to receive the newsletter, send an email to unsubscribe to frspe-news@dss.gov.au and include the subject header
Unsubscribe to FRSP Sector e-News.

If someone you know would also like to subscribe to FRSP, please have them email: frspe-news@dss.gov.au and include the subject header
Subscribe to FRSP Sector e-News.

Feedback

We value your interest in this publication and seek your feedback about the articles published. Feedback notes will be kept confidential. 

We also seek contributions from the sector. Should you have a topic of interest you feel the sector or industry stakeholders would be interested in, please send to the FRSP mailbox below for consideration.  Those articles not selected will be saved and reconsidered for later editions. 

Article contributions/feedback for the next edition is welcome by 14 March 2008. The next edition 13 will go out on 14 April 2008.

To provide feedback and/or to send topics of interest, email frspe-news@dss.gov.auand include the subject header Feedback to FRSP Sector e-News.

Contact us

This e-newsletter is produced by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) in collaboration with the Attorney-General’s Department.

To contact the editor, please email frspe-news@dss.gov.au.

Previous Issues

Previous Issues of FRSP e-News

Quick Links

FRSP websites

Government websites

Clearinghouses

Legal websites

Family websites

 

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To contribute to the next edition’s news or to provide feedback about articles in this edition, please email frspe-news@dss.gov.au

Regards

Robyn Fleming
Branch Manager
Family Relationship Services Branch

Hot topics

Mensline Australia announces new cross cultural promotional materials

Mensline Australia, the national telephone counselling support service for men with family and relationship issues, now has a new range of resources available to support men and families from different cultures.  These tip sheets and pamphlets have been developed after extensive consultation with the Indigenous, Arabic speaking, Vietnamese and young men’s communities.

The delivery of these materials is a key outcome of our Cultural x Change Project. This project has involved a greater level of engagement with each of the target communities supported by Community Liaison Workers representing each cultural group. For more information on this project you can go to www.menslineaus.org.au

The above materials are available for viewing through the following links:

To order hard copies of these materials please email enquiries@menslineaus.org.au and for more information on the project itself please contact Jeremy Hearne the Manager of Programs for Mensline Australia at jhearne@menslineaus.org.au

What is happening with the new Supporting Children after Separation Program?

The Supporting Children after Separation Program is going ahead.   The locations and date of the selection process are currently being considered by the Attorney-General and will be announced as soon as possible.

FRSP News

AGD Internet site expanded to include information for FRSP service providers

Following consultations with stakeholders last year, improvements are being made to the Attorney-General's Department's web site for practitioners. The new pages will create a 'one-stop shop' for all practitioner resources developed by the Department.

A simplified navigation structure and several new pages are being published with resources previously only available on the Family Relationships Online ‘Secure Site’.

There will be dedicated pages and resources for Family Relationship Advice Line staff, Family Relationship Centres staff, Research and Evaluation, Useful links and more.  In some cases the information can be downloaded directly from the website or sent on request.

Improvements have also been made to the Family Dispute Resolution pages and resources to make the information easier to access for both current practitioners and potential applicants.

These new pages and resources will replace the current Family Pathways Branch pages during March, and the ‘Secure Site’ will be shut down a few weeks after the new pages go live.

The information for service providers currently on Family Relationships Online will also be moved across to the new pages, leaving that sites content purely for the general public.  Stakeholders will be informed once the new pages are published.

Framework for Screening, Assessment and Referrals in Family Relationship Centres and the Family Relationship Advice Line

The Attorney-General’s Department has recently revised the Framework for screening, assessment and referrals in Family Relationship Centres and the Family Relationship Advice Line (the Framework).

The Framework was developed by the Institute of Child Protection Studies and the Australian Catholic University to provide the Centres and Advice Line with a resource to guide good practice when undertaking screening and assessment in the new service system which commenced operations in July 2006.  The Family Relationship Centres and the Family Relationship Advice Line are required to apply the Framework’s principles to their screening and assessment work. 

As the concept of continuous improvement is integral to developing good practice, the Attorney-General’s Department contracted the Institute to review and enhance the Framework.  This was done by consulting with staff in the first 15 Centres and the Advice Line on their experiences so far. 

The revised Framework has been distributed widely through the service sector providing the opportunity for comments.

If you would like a copy of the revised Framework please email Jeanette Daniel at   jeanette.daniel@ag.gov.au

Sector News

Understanding Money Pays Off - Getting the most from the Understanding Money Website

Understanding how money works is a lifelong skill.  No matter what life stage people are at, everyone needs to make decisions about money.  The Understanding Money website www.understandingmoney.gov.au  contains information to help people take control of their finances and make better financial decisions at all stages of life.


The website offers a wide range of easy reading financial literacy information, and handy tools to help you keep your payments under control such as a Financial Health check, budget planner that can be printed or downloaded onto the home computer, and calculators for savings and mortgage loans. The downloadable Understanding Money handbook offers a compact snapshot of important financial literacy topics to help you take control of your finances. Other useful sections include: 

  • Put yourself in charge — provides information and tips to help you manage your savings, budgeting, controlling your debt, investing and superannuation;
  • Life happens!  This section identifies events that affect everyone at some stage of their lives, and provides important information on how to manage the financial implications of these events (see picture above); and
  • In the Spotlight — provides easy to read articles on current topics in the news such as ‘Reverse Mortgages’ and ‘Switching Home Loans’.

The website also features Educators and Trainers, pages designed to provide information on financial literacy initiatives and a range of quality endorsed financial literacy products for the school, adult and community and workplace sectors.  For more information, visit the Understanding Money website, or contact the Financial Literacy Foundation via email at financial.literacy@treasury.gov.au.

Have your say about how the family law reforms are impacting on your service

The Australian Institute of Family Studies is conducting research about how the changes to the family law system are impacting on the family relationships services sector and its clients. This is an important component of the Institute’s Evaluation of the Family Law System.

To ensure that this research accurately reflects the views and experiences of the family relationships sector it is important that we hear from as many people as we can – from a variety of service types and locations.

We would like to invite all staff who are employed in one or more FRSP services that have been in operation for at least 12 months to participate in a survey about the family law reforms.

The survey can be completed online or downloaded as a hardcopy. Your responses are strictly confidential and no information about individuals (or the agencies for which they work) will be identified in reporting the findings of the study.

Email invitations have been circulated to the managers of organisations eligible to take part. The invitations contain a link and PIN number to access the survey. If you have not received this email please ask your Manager about how you can become involved or contact Kelly Hand (Manager, Service Provision Project) on 1800 352 275 or via email familylawevaluation@aifs.gov.au.

The Evaluation has been commissioned by the Attorney-General’s Department and the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

The Family Relationship Advice Line - Telephone Dispute Resolution Service

The Telephone Dispute Resolution Service is a component of the Family Relationship Advice Line and is funded under the FRSP. It provides telephone based family dispute resolution as an alternative to Family Relationship Centres or other face to face dispute resolution services for parents requiring assistance in negotiating parenting arrangements.

The Telephone Dispute Resolution Service is not publicly promoted as a separate service to the Family Relationship Advice Line and is not open to the public for self referral.  Access to the service is available only through the Family Relationship Advice Line (Ph 1800 050 321), or through a warm referral from a Family Relationship Centre or FRSP funded Family Dispute Resolution Service.  Clients should only be referred after they are assessed as suitable for telephone based family dispute resolution. 

Clients should never be advised that there is a telephone family dispute resolution service provided by the Family Relationship Advice Line, nor should clients be referred to the ‘Telephone Dispute Resolution Service’. This would create an expectation for the client that they will be able to use the service when in fact their issues or needs may not suit telephone based family dispute resolution.

When a person calls the Family Relationship Advice Line, they will receive free information, advice and referral on family relationship and separation issues. An Adviser will assess whether dispute resolution may be suitable for particular callers and if so, will determine whether it would be most appropriate to refer the caller to a face to face service or to transfer the caller through to the Telephone Dispute Resolution Service. 

Conference and Events

National Families Week 2008

National Families Week 2008 will be held between 11-17 May.  The theme for the week is “Work and Family – getting the balance right” which reflects the importance of encouraging Australians, particularly working parents, to find ways to more effectively balance work and family life. 

All Australians, including community organisations, schools, councils, companies and individuals are invited to participate in National Families Week this year. 

Further information is available at the Families Australia website.

The Pregnancy, Babies and Children’s Expos

Community groups and customers wanting a one-stop-shop of Child Support Agency information can get it all at the forthcoming Pregnancy, Babies and Children’s Expos.

The CSA is attending all five Expos around the country to raise awareness of the Child Support Scheme Reforms and to promote the Agency’s range of booklets and services available to support separated families. The Expos will also provide the general public with a valuable opportunity to meet CSA staff and find out more about the role of the Agency.

The Pregnancy, Babies and Children’s Expos provide families with parenting information and product advice and are being held in Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne. Come and see us at the following venues:

Adelaide Showground, Wayville (14-16 March)
Sydney Showground Dome, Sydney Olympic Park (16-18 May)
Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, South Bank (27-29 June)
Perth, Claremont Showgrounds, Claremont (15-17 August)
Melbourne Exhibition Centre, Southbank (17-19 October)

Parenting Orders Program Forum 10-11 April 2008

A Forum will be held in Sydney on Thursday 10 and Friday 11 April 2008 for practitioners working in services under the Parenting Orders Program.

The Forum will provide opportunities for professional development with a focus on clinical practitioner skills for current service providers and organisations. This will include small group work on challenging case scenarios with an emphasis on child inclusive/child focussed practice, and discussion of issues surrounding self-care and working with supervision. Participants will also have the opportunity to network with other services and stakeholders through the sharing of good practice knowledge.

For more details, please contact Yvette Martin on (02) 6234 4821. 

Seminars on Contemporary Issues in Family Research

The Australian Institute of Family Studies offers a series of seminars, free to the public, presenting research on national and international issues related to family.  The seminars go from one to one and a half hours and are designed to promote a forum for discussion and debate.  

Abstracts and full text of past and current seminars and information relating to them are available at the Australian Institute of Family Studies website.

Seminars are held at 11.30 am on the third Thursday of each month at:

Level 20, 485 La Trobe Street, Melbourne
(between William and King Streets, and opposite the Flagstaff Gardens)

People wishing to attend a particular seminar should contact the Australian Institute of Family Studies on phone (03) 9214 7888 or email aifs-seminars@aifs.gov.au

To be notified about forthcoming seminars in 2008 or the availability of presentations or papers, please subscribe through the aifs website.

First National Indigenous Family and Community Strengths conference - Our Culture: A Strength To Build On

14-16 April in Newcastle

Convened by: The Family Action Centre, The University of Newcastle In partnership with: The Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care Incorporated (SNAICC)

Fifth Australian Family and Community Strengths conference – Community Engagement: A Rewarding Business

16-18 April in Newcastle

Convened by: The Family Action Centre, The University of Newcastle

Both conferences will be held at The University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

To find out more go to: Family and Community Strengths conference web page.

Resource Updates

Child Support Scheme Reforms stakeholder eBulletin

The Child Support Scheme Reforms Stakeholder eBulletin is a great resource for information about the reforms being implemented from 1 July. The bulletin will highlight different aspects of the new child support scheme and will help keep you up-to-date with particular issues that separated parents are concerned with, regarding child support and the reforms.

Below are links to the latest editions of the stakeholder eBulletins. If you would like to receive regular editions of this eBulletin, you can add your details to the Child Support Agency's Community Services Directory and be kept up to date with the latest news about the child support scheme reforms.   

Subscription

If you do not wish to receive the newsletter, send an email to unsubscribe to frspe-news@dss.gov.au and include the subject header
Unsubscribe to FRSP Sector e-News.

If someone you know would also like to subscribe to FRSP, please have them email: frspe-news@dss.gov.au and include the subject header
Subscribe to FRSP Sector e-News.

Feedback

We value your interest in this publication and seek your feedback about the articles published. Feedback notes will be kept confidential. 

We also seek contributions from the sector. Should you have a topic of interest you feel the sector or industry stakeholders would be interested in, please send to the FRSP mailbox below for consideration.  Those articles not selected will be saved and reconsidered for later editions. 

Article contributions/feedback for the next edition is welcome by 14 March 2008. The next edition 13 will go out on 14 April 2008.

To provide feedback and/or to send topics of interest, email frspe-news@dss.gov.auand include the subject header Feedback to FRSP Sector e-News.

Contact us

This e-newsletter is produced by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) in collaboration with the Attorney-General’s Department.

To contact the editor, please email frspe-news@dss.gov.au.

Previous Issues

Previous Issues of FRSP e-News

Quick Links

FRSP websites

Government websites

Clearinghouses

Legal websites

Family websites

 

Last updated: