Family Relationship Centres -Taskforce
Monday, 19th September 2005 at 1:09 pm
The Australian Government has established a taskforce to advise ministers on how best to implement its 65 new Family Relationship Centres.
The taskforce members are Mr Phil Barresi MP, Mr Stephen Ciobo MP, Mr David Fawcett MP (Chair) Mr Michael Ferguson MP, Mrs Kay Hull MP, Mr Michael Keenan MP, Ms Jackie Kelly MP and Ms Louise Markus MP.
The Government says this group will ensure that the family relationship centres, the centrepiece of the Government’s $397 million package to help families with relationship difficulties, work well within the existing system and meet the needs of the community.
Pro Bono Australia reported on the Federal Budget initiative earlier this year.
The Budget papers described Family Relationship Centres as a place where all families can go to get help with their relationship difficulties.
The Government says the centres will be a visible entry point into the family law system, which will provide some mediation services and refer families to other appropriate services.
The new taskforce will advise on the quality and performance standards of the centres and consult with community organisations delivering family relationship services to ensure the new centres deliver best quality services.
The Attorney general Phillip Ruddock says that contrary to recent claims, this taskforce will not advise on the selection of service providers or the locations of Family Relationship Centres.
The terms of reference for the Taskforce are to:
– review the implementation of 65 Family Relationship Centres
– advise on the performance framework and practitioner standards for the centres
– advise on the interface between the centres and the family courts, the Family Relationship Services Program, the child support system and other social infrastructure
– give feedback on the communications strategy on the Government’s family law reforms.
The Taskforce should consult with non-government organisations delivering family relationship services. The Taskforce will not advise on the selection of service providers or the locations of Family Relationship Centres.
The Taskforce will operate until 31 July 2008, by which date all 65 family relationship centres will be established.
The Taskforce will report to the Attorney-General and the Minister for Family and Community Services.