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 benefit?

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.

Specialised Family Violence Services

Specialised Family Violence Services deliver specialised services that support children, families, individuals and couples who are experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, family and domestic violence.

Services may include youth focus groups, tailored in-home support, family capacity building, education sessions and workshops, counselling and behaviour change programs that support users of violence to address and change their behaviour.

Under the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022, Specialised Family Violence Services were expanded. From 2019-2022:

  • eight new providers are delivering Specialised Family Violence Services in 14 new locations,
  • four Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations are trialling the delivery of culturally appropriate Specialised Family Violence Services in the Northern Territory, and
  • twenty-three existing Specialised Family Violence Service providers are expanding or enhancing their service delivery.

Who will benefit?

Specialised Family Violence Services support individuals or family members experiencing or witnessing, or at risk of experiencing, domestic or family violence.

MensLine Australia

MensLine Australia Services (1300 78 99 78) is a telephone and online counselling service for men with emotional health and relationship concerns.

Services include specialist telephone and online counselling, tools and resources to raise awareness of the impacts of domestic or family violence, and referral to and from other organisations. MensLine also offer the Changing for Good (CFG) program, a men’s behavioural change program which aims to reinforce and maintain behavioural and attitudinal change in men.

For more information, please access the MensLine Australia website

Who will benefit?

MensLine is for all men and all types of relationships, anyone who is worried about a male family member, partner or friend, and health professionals working with men.

The CFG program aims to help people to stop using violence against their family, including those at risk of using violence, benefiting both the person using violence and family members experiencing violence.

Organisations approved to conduct marriage education programs under the Marriage Act 1961

Under the Administrative Orders, the Minister for Social Services has the power to approve an organisation to conduct marriage education programs under the Marriage Act 1961.

This approval allows organisations to qualify for Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The ATO requires organisations to have the Minister for Social Services’ approval to conduct marriage education programs before they apply for DGR status.

Once approved by the Minister for Social Services, organisations are listed on the Department of Social Services’ website (see below). The pre-approval to seek DGR status does not constitute an endorsement of services or providers by the Department of Social Services.

Currently the following providers have been approved to conduct marriage education programs under the Marriage Act 1961:

(The department does not endorse these organisations’ service delivery over other organisations.)

  • PMRC (Australia) Inc.
  • JJunction
  • Faith Revival For The Nations (FReN-Australia)
  • Alpha Australia National Office

To find out more about the pre-approval process please email

Please note: Approval by the Minister for Social Services does not automatically endorse organisations as a DGR. Organisations are required to apply for DGR status with the ATO.

Please contact the Australian Tax Office to find out more about Deductible Gift Recipient status.

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