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Positive progress for families suffering from family violence

By June 13, 2017No Comments

By Gianna Huesch

Families affected by violence are to benefit from the new Family Advocacy and Support Services (FASS) programs unveiled by the Federal Government in October last year as part of the $100 million Third Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children.

The National Plan began its first phase in 2010 and is now in its third phase (2016-2019), during which $18.5 million will be spent on establishing 23 Family Advocacy and Support Services around the country.

Now, Attorney-General George Brandis has launched the new FASS program for Western Sydney in the Parramatta Registry of the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court of Australia, enabling families to access frontline legal duty and social support services.

Mr Brandis said the program, delivered by Legal Aid Commissions in family law registries in each state in partnership with Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services and Relationships Australia, will “connect people with trauma-informed help such as risk assessments and safety planning”.

The Chief Justice of the Family Court, Diana Bryant, welcomed the announcement, saying it would help families ““navigate the Federal and State Court systems and obtain the support services needed”.  The program extends beyond legal support, offering lawyers experienced in violence issue as well as specialist family violence workers.

Legal Aid NSW Family Law Director Kylie Beckhouse said FASS programs went “beyond providing much needed legal support to treat the client as a whole person, with a unique story and a unique set of social and practical needs that extend well past the courtroom door.”  She said the approach “recognises that families affected by violence may also have complex non-legal needs in areas like housing and mental health” and explained the services would “assist people with issues such as child abduction and disputes over custody, as well as related legal needs such as obtaining domestic violence orders”.

Sources: http://www.psnews.com.au/aps/552/news/family-court-to-be-more-friendly and https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/wig-chamber/21133-family-lawyers-welcome-new-measures#!/ccomment-comment=8413

Read more about FASS: http://www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au/what-we-do/domestic-violence/family-advocacy-and-support-service-fass

If you need assistance with a parenting matter involving an abusive ex-partner, please contact Cristina Huesch or one of our experienced solicitors here at Alliance Family Law on (02) 6223 2400.

1800RESPECT – 1800 737 732

Relationships Australia – 1300 364 277

Please note our blogs are not legal advice.  For information regarding obtaining the correct legal advice, please contact Alliance for a free first conference.

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