Catholic Welfare says less time in court makes happier families

Catholic Welfare Australia welcomed yesterday's announcement by the Attorney General of locations for the new Family Relationship Centres, saying that they "include areas of real community need".

The Sydney Morning Herald reports today that the first 15 of 65 family relationship centres to be opened by the federal government will be in areas with high numbers of young families. The centres are intended to help families and protect the rights of the child, but fathers groups are demanding improved rights for fathers.

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock announced the location of the first 15 centres - spread throughout the six states and the Northern Territory - at a family event today in Penrith in Sydney's west.

"The new Family Relationship Centres will provide new ways for families to resolve disputes without relying on the courts. For children in particular, we know that less dispute will mean less damage in the long-run" said Executive Director Frank Quinlan (pictured) in a statement released yesterday.

"We welcome the Australian Government's efforts to move family relationships out of the court system. Catholic Church agencies and other Church and community based organisations have been delivering services to families for decades. These existing services provide a strong foundation for new programs to assist families in crisis" he said speaking in Canberra today.

"Catholic Welfare Australia's members assist over a million people every year. We are the largest provider of family services in rural and regional Australia and we administer family relationship services in excess of $70 million every year" Mr Quinlan said. "The family services sector is crying out for support and these centres are an important part of that response."

"We welcomed this initiative when it was included in the budget, and we welcome today's announcement as a further step toward making the centres a reality for Australian families. We look forward to working with both government and other agencies to ensure that Family Relationship Centres deliver on their promise.

Less time in court makes for happier families (Catholic Welfare Australia 31/7/05)
Relationship centres 'to help families resolve disputes' (Sydney Morning Herald/Australian Associated Press 1/8/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Welfare Australia

Catholic Welfare comments on 'overdue' Family Law changes (CathNews 27/7/05)

32 Aug 2005