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Catholic Welfare joins call for family services funding boost

Agencies supported by Catholic Welfare Australia and two other welfare peak bodies have issued an urgent pleas for $16 million in Federal Funding in order to meet current demand for counselling and mediation services, and increasing service delivery costs.

A joint statement said the Federal Government has told the agencies to cut the number of parents and children they are prepared to see, and not to expect more funding.

"We are extremely disappointed that the Government does not see these services - those that help families when they are most in need - as worthy of funding," said Catholic Welfare Australia chair Fr Joe Caddy.

"With divorce and separation rates as high as they are in this country we should be doing absolutely everything we can to help children, their mums and their dads, when they are struggling and under pressure."

"Catholic Welfare Australia welcomed parts of the Government's initial response to the Inquiry into Child Custody Arrangements - particularly the emphasis on the need for mediation services to preclude any legal processes," said Fr Caddy. "However, we fear that the Government's failure to commit funds to existing programs in fact makes a mockery of their commitment to pursue non-legal options for couples and families facing breakdown."

Joint Family Services Sector - Access to counselling and mediation services for families is in distress (Catholic Welfare Australia 27/7/04)

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28 Jul 2004