Dedicated men’s support workers in all Family Advocacy and Support Services
Fourth Action Plan actions
- Improve support and service system responses
- 18 Improve access to and embed trauma-informed support for perpetrators of domestic, family and sexual violence to prevent reoffending and promote rehabilitation and treatment.
What are we doing?
This initiative employs dedicated men’s support workers in all Family Advocacy and Support Services (FASS) registry and circuit locations. The support workers assist both male victims and alleged perpetrators to access appropriate support services, such as parenting programs and men’s behavioural change programs.
- The Commonwealth Government provided $7.844 million from 2019-20 to 2021 22 to fund this initiative.
- An additional $85 million was provided to enhance and expand the FASS under the 2021-22 Federal Budget. This funding will support the continuation of the dedicated men’s support service for an additional three years beyond 1 July 2022, as well as providing this support in 26 additional locations.
More information on this initiative can be found at https://familyviolencelaw.gov.au/fass/
What have we achieved so far?
An independent evaluation of the FASS was completed in October 2018. While positive of the effectiveness of the FASS, the evaluation report found that a key service enhancement would be to include dedicated men’s support workers in FASS locations.
Funding for the dedicated men’s support workers commenced in the 2019-20 financial year. Since commencing, the dedicated men’s support workers have provided referral and support services for over 2,707 men across the FASS locations.
Distribution of funding for this program transferred to the National Legal Assistance Partnership (NLAP) from 2020-21.
What is next?
- The additional funding provided under the 2021-22 Federal Budget will support the expansion of the FASS and dedicated men’s support workers to the Rockhampton Family Law Court Registry and 25 additional circuit locations across New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, from 1 July 2022 through to 30 June 2025.
- An evaluation of the FASS is expected to be undertaken in 2023-24.
What difference will we make?
Greater engagement by men with the court system, enabled by increased social support, will contribute to a significant reduction of court time spent on self-represented matters as well as further supporting victim safety.
The expansion of the FASS from 1 July 2022 will ensure the dedicated men’s support services will be available in every location with a family law court registry and/or circuit, ensuring that family law litigants across Australia can access the services offered by this program.