Families and Children Activity

Important notice for former Family Support Program service providers

The Australian Government has a new way of working that recognises and supports the work of civil society organisations. These new arrangements will reduce red tape for civil society, provide greater opportunity for collaboration in the delivery of services and generate better outcomes for communities and individuals by effectively targeting community needs and priorities while reducing duplication and administrative burden.

As part of the Government’s commitment to implement a new way of working for grants, significant improvements are being made to grant funding across DSS.

The new Families and Communities Programme (FCP) incorporates a large portion of DSS grants to bring together early intervention and prevention services across communities.

Existing programs have been streamlined into the new FCP to provide early intervention and prevention support to families, children, young people, volunteers, refugees, migrants and other individuals with special circumstances.

Applications for grant funding under the new Families and Communities Programme closed on 24 July 2014. More information about the grants process can be found on the DSS Grants homepage.

Most organisations providing Family and Relationship Services, Family Law Services and Communities for Children Facilitating Partner services were offered five year grant agreements that commenced on 1 July 2014, under the new Families and Children Activity.

DSS is offering two month funding extensions to the majority of existing grant agreements due to expire on 31 December 2014 to ensure continuity of important community services over the Christmas and New Year period.

Families and Children Activity

The Families and Children Activity (FaC) is delivered under the Families and Communities Programme and provides support to families to improve the wellbeing of children and young people to enhance family and community functioning, as well as increasing the participation of vulnerable people in community life.

Organisations provide prevention and early intervention activities to improve the wellbeing of families and children, including after separation, enhance family functioning and economic engagement and strengthen communities.

The FaC Activity consists of six sub-activities:

A suite of key documents have been prepared to support providers under the new FaC Activity:

Family Support Program Guidelines

The Program Guidelines provide information relating to the former Family Support Program.

Evaluation and Research Activities

For publications and articles on families, children, parenting and relationships, refer to Publications & Articles.

Families and Children Expert Panel

To support more robust prevention and early intervention approaches, a panel of research, evaluation and practice experts is being established.

The Panel will help to build the capacity of service providers to deliver evidence-based programs and practices and continue to build this evidence base through evaluation, with a focus on prevention and early intervention approaches.

Please refer to the Families and Children Expert Panel page for further information.

Child Family Community Australia (CFCA)

Child Family Community Australia is an information exchange at the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS).

The CFCA information exchange is the product of the amalgamation of three AIFS clearinghouses - the National Child Protection Clearinghouse, Australian Family Relationships Clearinghouse and Communities and Families Clearinghouse Australia.

The CFCA information exchange began operation on 30 March 2012, and is a central point of knowledge translation and exchange for professionals in the child, family and community sectors.

More information can be found on the Australian Institute of Family Studies website.

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.

Complaints process

All FaC Activity providers are required to have procedures in place to receive feedback on their services, including complaints. Information on a service provider's complaints policy is available at the service outlet. If you wish to make a complaint about a Service, contact the service provider management directly in the first instance.

If you are not comfortable talking directly with the service provider or if you are not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled by the provider, please contact the DSS Feedback Coordination Team:

Email: complaints@dss.gov.au

Telephone: 1800 634 035

Fax: (02) 6204 4587

Mail: The Department of Social Services Complaints
GPO Box 9820
Canberra ACT 2601

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