Family and Relationship Services

Family and Relationship Services 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.

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

Who will benefit?

The service aims to help people stop using violence against their family, including those at risk of using violence, benefiting those experiencing the violence.

Specialised Family Violence Services

The Australian Government allocates around $5 million each year for 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, the Australian Government has invested $10 million to expand delivery of the Specialised Family Violence Services.

  • Under the first wave of the expansion, eight providers have received $4.8 million over three years, from 2019-20 to 2021-22, to deliver Specialised Family Violence Services in 14 new locations.
  • Under the second wave of the expansion, four Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations have received $1.5 million over two years, from 2020-21 to 2021-22, to trail the delivery of culturally appropriate Specialised Family Violence Services in the Northern Territory, and
  • Twenty-three Specialised Family Violence Service providers received additional top up funding of $3.4 million over two years, from 2020-21 to 2021-22, to expand or enhance their service delivery.

Who will benefit?

Individuals or family members experiencing or witnessing 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 offers 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?

The service aims to help people stop using violence against their family, including those at risk of using violence, benefiting those experiencing the 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 of Social Services’ approval to conduct marriage education programs before they apply for DGR status.

Once approved by the Minister, organisations will be listed on the Department of Social Services’ website. 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 seek DGR status with the ATO:

(The department does not endorse these organisations’ service delivery over other organisations which are not currently approved to seek DGR status):

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

To find out more about the pre-approval process please email fars@dss.gov.au

Please note: being approved by the Minister of Social Services does not automatically endorse organisations as a deductible gift recipient. Organisations are required to apply for DGR status with the ATO.

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

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