Family Mental Health Support Services Questions and Answers Issue no. 4



Wednesday 20 March 2013


Q1.  Could a non-government organisation (NGO) that is funded by a State or Territory Government Department be a Consortium member or receive FMHSS funding if it were to apply?

A1.  Organisations are eligible to apply if they are one of the eligible entity types listed in Section 3.2 of Part C3 of the Program Guidelines. 

State and Territory government entities are not eligible. 

Coverage Areas

Q2.  What is the FaHCSIA zoning for East Gippsland? On the State level East Gippsland now encompasses Wellington Shire. Is this the same for Federal Government?

A2.  The Coverage Area for East Gippsland is the East Gippsland Local Government Area.  A map of the area covered by the East Gippsland Local Government Area is at

Q3.  Will FMHSS funding be rolled out in the Toowoomba region in Queensland?

A3.  In this selection process, FMHSS funding is only available for the Coverage Areas listed on the FaHCSIA funding web page and in the Application Form.

Q4.  Is the final roll-out for FMHSS program delivery expected to be April/May 2014? What will be the geographically defined site/coverage areas for the final roll-out for FMHSS program delivery?

A4.  No further detail is available on the timing or coverage areas for the rollout of new services as final decisions are yet to be made.

Q5.  Is the Latrobe catchment area listed in the service location table the same as the Latrobe catchment area listed on the map of Victorian local government areas?

A5.  Yes, a map of the area covered by the Latrobe Local Government Area is at

Q6.  The sites and coverage areas for New FMHSS do not include any in the Northern Territory. Does this mean that there will not be any funding provided for the Northern Territory in this round?

If so, will there be any future funding allocation of a similar nature in the Northern Territory?

A6.  In this selection process, FMHSS funding is only available for the Coverage Areas listed on the FaHCSIA funding web page and in the Application Form.

Two new FMHSS will be available in the Northern Territory  through a separate process that will be undertaken later this year or in 2014, as part of Stronger Futures.

Other Issues

Q7.  What is the maximum amount able to be applied for under this round of funding for the 20 New FMHSS?

A7.  As set out in Section 3.1 of Part C of the Program Guidelines, funding available for each of the 20 new services will be $356,300 (GST exclusive) per year.  Funding is adjusted each year in line with the indexation rate applying to the Targeted Community Care appropriation.

Q8.  Page 10 of the Resource Kit states “It is not the intent of the New FMHSS that it becomes an emergency relief measure and New FMHSS are not to use their funds to purchase services from another provider”.

The footnote on page 16 of Part C3 of the Program Guidelines states “New FMHSS may dedicate a small part of their budgets (up to 10%) to support program participants and families to access practical and material assistance if all other options  have been exhausted and the assistance is required to meet the goals of the Family Action Plans. FMHSS may not purchase services from other providers.” Q13 of the application asks us to provide details on subcontracting and brokering any or all of the service provision.

Please clarify the differences between subcontracting/brokering service provision and the purchasing of services from another provider?

Can applicants enter into an agreement with a partner to deliver specific services within the FMHSS? If so, do applicants need to include this as a line item within the budget template?

A8.  In New FMHSS providers are required to deliver all the services themselves, unless they have obtained approval from FaHCSIA to subcontract or broker the service.

Formal approval is not required to purchase ‘material and practical assistance’ from third parties such as sports uniforms, school excursion money etc.

In brokerage a service provider is funded to deliver the service but buys a specific service from another provider as part of the service delivery for specific clients on an ad hoc basis.  The funded provider is still responsible for delivery of the service and the broker is subject to the same responsibilities as the funded provider. The funded provider would also be responsible for paying the other service provider out of the funding it receives from the Commonwealth.  For example the funded service buys relationship counselling from another service provider for a specific client.

Subcontracting is when the Department agrees that a funded provider will engage another provider to deliver all the services or an identified set of services to clients.   The funded provider is still responsible for delivery of the service; however, the subcontractor delivers the service and is subject to the same responsibilities as the funded provider.  The funded provider would also be responsible for paying the other service provider out of the funding it receives from the Commonwealth.  For example a consortium may propose that a subcontractor deliver all group activities in schools and the funded provider deliver all other FMHSS activities.

Yes, all expenses associated with delivering New FMHSS should be included in the budget.

Q9.  In the application form Criteria 5 states that applicants can include attachments. Please clarify if the attachment word count is included in the Criteria’s total word count or is this additional?

A9.  Word limits only apply to responses to the five selection criteria.  Attachments may be considered in the selection process.

Q10.   Question 21 of the application form asks if the organisation can provide current financial statements. Does this refer to financial statements from the 2011/12 financial year or does this include interim management accounts, for example up to 31 December 2012?

A10.  For Q21 of the Application Form, if requested by FaHCSIA, the organisation would need to provide the two most recent audited financial statements and a current financial statement, which may be interim management accounts. 

Q11.  Can applicants attach Letters of Support to the application? If so, will these carry any weight in the assessment of the application?

A11.  Applicants may attach letters of support to the application for Criterion 3.  These may be considered in the assessment process.

Q12.  Does the suggested team size of 3 FTE include the suggested Team Leader role?

A12.  Yes, ideally the Team Leader role of the NEW FMHSS would be undertaken by the most qualified/experienced member of the team. 

Q13.  Can a contract project manager role to assist in the establishment of the service (as suggested by FaHCSIA) be included in establishment costs? Or does this need to be factored into the ongoing annual budget?

A13.  A Project Manager role could be included in the establishment costs and should not be included in the annual budget.

Q14.  If there are two children from one family with two very different challenges which have presented either simultaneously or on two separate occasions, is this counted as one family or two events?

A14.  For data collection purposes short-term intervention, referral and assistance is counted per family.  For intensive long term early intervention support, providers are required to collect data on the family and separately on each child or young person to whom intensive assistance is provided.  Please refer to Part C3 of the Program Guidelines and the FMHSS Resource Kit for further information.

Q15.  Are the ‘Short Term’ sessions a total of six sessions over 3 years? The reason for asking is that should the sessions be terminated after two sessions (for example) and were recommenced at a later date, would this be considered a second series of sessions or still the original suite of sessions?

A15.  While FaHCSIA nominated a number for the ‘short term’ sessions, the equally important qualification is that ‘short term’ support does not require the development of a Family Action Plan, the worker and family agree it can be undertaken in up to six sessions, and it would be concluded within 12 months

If the issues are ongoing and serious enough to warrant a Family Action Plan, the work needs to be regarded as long term and intensive, and recorded as such.

In the example given, the answer would depend on the reason for the termination after two sessions and the reason they resumed. The first contact could be short term but the second contact may require long term intensive support.

Q16.  In Part B: Information for Applicants, section 1.3 Applicants Responsibilities states, “Only one application per organisation/region will be assessed. If more than one application is submitted, only the latest application will be considered.”  This seems to be in contrast to page 1 of the Application Form which states, “if you wish to apply to deliver FMHSS in more than one site, a separate application is required for each site.”

Should applicants intending to apply for multiple sites submit only one application form covering multiple sites or multiple application forms, one for each site?

A16.  Only one application per organisation per Coverage Area will be assessed.   Applicants must complete a separate Application Form for each Coverage Area for which they wish to apply for funding.  Part B relates to the situation where an Applicant submits multiple applications for the same Coverage Area.  In this situation only the latest Application (received before the closing time) would be considered.

Q17.  Would children on child protection supervision orders be eligible for the FMHSS program?  These children are under a child protection order but remain at home with their families who retain all parental responsibility.

A17.  Children and families in contact with the child protection system (where families retain parental responsibility) may be eligible for New FMHSS.   Children and families under the care of the child protection system (that is those children under Child Protection Orders and where the State has total or shared parental responsibility) are not eligible for New FMHSS.

Q18.  Can applicants include images or visuals within the space allowed for response to the selection criteria (apart from attachments)?

A18.  Images and visuals may be included in responses to selection criteria.  Words within images/visuals are included in the word limit.

Q19.  The Application Form allows for attachments in Criterion 3, 4 and 5, whilst Part C3 only allows for attachments in Criterion 3. Also Criterion 5 in the application form has a 1200 word limit, whilst Part C3 has a 600 word limit. Please clarify which one is correct.

Q19a.  Considering that applicants should only include attachments where requested to do so, and that Criterion 3 is the only criterion that specifically asks for evidence which may include attachments, is Criterion 3 the only criterion where applicants are able to include attachments?

Q19b.  Are we able to include attachments to Selection Criteria 1 and 2?

A19, 19a, 19b.  Attachments may only be provided in Criterion 3 ,4 and 5 as per the Application Form.  As stated in Question and Answer Issue No. 3, the word limit for Criterion 5 is 1200 words.

Q20.  FaHCSIA has indicated that establishment funding will be available for successful applicants. Please indicate the types of expenditure that would be classified as establishment costs? For example, would recruitment costs or the costs of acquiring equipment like phones and computers be part of establishment costs?

A20.  Establishment funding will be provided for one-off costs associated with setting up the service.  This may include recruitment costs, office equipment, fit out of office space and attendance at establishment workshops convened by FaHCSIA.

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