Much Promise for Vulnerable and Disadvantaged Families in Government's Family Services Announcement
Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA) believes today’s announcement by the Government outlining its commitment to the future of the Family Support Program has great potential to provide better services to families as well as providing a more secure operating environment for those organisations and people who assist them.
Earlier today, the Minister for Community Services, the Hon Julie Collins MP, and the Attorney-General, the Hon Mark Dreyfus QC, MP committed almost $1.5 billion for the Family Support Program over four years.
“The Government’s decision to fund Family Support Programs for four year contracts reflects a maturity of understanding that working with vulnerable and disadvantaged families requires a longer term investment and commitment,” said Acting Executive Director of CSSA, Ms Jackie Brady. “Much of this work is about building trusting and workable relationships with families and individuals and it is extremely beneficial to our members to know they have ongoing commitment from the Government in their work for four more years.”
“This announcement reflects many of the key messages CSSA has been delivering about ways to improve existing services,” she said. “It is certainly positive to see the Government’s stated intent to build on models that currently work. However, we would encourage Government to consider a stronger investment in research for innovation to ensure that the program retains its flexibility to meet the needs of vulnerable families in complex and changing circumstances.”
"Our experience in working with vulnerable and disadvantaged families is longstanding and we welcome the commitment to build on early intervention and prevention strategies and we will be seeking to work closely with Government to ensure this emphasis is effective,” she said.
“Moving towards an outcomes framework and the promise of reduced red tape are certainly welcome measures as articulated by Minister Collins today,” she said.
“We are grateful for the extensive consultation that has underpinned work on this program to date and we look forward to being actively engaged with the Government as the vision moves through to implementations,” Ms Brady said.
CONTACT: Jackie Brady 0417 220 779