Family and Relationship Services

Family and Relationship Services (FaRS) provide early intervention and prevention services and focus on at-risk families including those at risk of breakdown, with children at risk of abuse or neglect, and/or experiencing disadvantage or vulnerability.

Services include information and referral, support, education and skills training, counselling, dispute resolution, outreach, community capacity building and development.

Who will benefits from FaRS?

FaRS aim to strengthen family relationships, prevent breakdown and ensure the wellbeing and safety of children through broad-based counselling and education. These early intervention and prevention services aim to support families when going through change, such as when they form, extend, or separate.

FaRS support family members with intact relationships, separated families, extended family members, individuals, children and young people, couples and significant others such as grandparents and kinship carers who have caring or other relationship responsibilities.

Locating Family and Relationship Services

Visit the DSS Grants Service Directory to find a FaRS provider near you.

Operational Guidelines

FaRS Operational Guidelines assist providers to work in a consistent, coordinated and cooperative way. The guidelines outline the key elements of service delivery and seek to clarify policy and process questions that may arise during the delivery of the FaRS activity.

Activity Work Plans

FaRS grant agreements include requirements for Activity Work Plans (AWPs). These requirements are listed in the reporting milestones table of new grant agreements. The FaRS AWP template is available here:

FaRS documents

Review point

In 2023-24, the department will review the mid-term performance of FaRS service providers. The review will commence on 1 September 2023 and the department will notify providers of their outcomes by 29 February 2024.

The assessment criteria for the Review Point are contained within the FaRS Operational Guidelines (link above).

Extensions from 1 July 2021

FaRS providers received 5-year grant extensions from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2026.

As part of these extensions, the department introduced a number of reforms aimed at improving reporting and tracking of outcomes for Australia’s families and children. More information is available on the FaC Activity 2021 reforms webpage.

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