New partnerships to expand life-saving domestic violence support

We have established several new partnerships to expand Family Advocacy and Support Services (FASS) across the state and provide more legal counseling and court support to those impacted by domestic violence.

Organizations will partner with us to provide duty counsel services, domestic violence support services and mental health support services in the circuits of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA ) throughout Victoria.

FASS is an integrated service that provides holistic duty counsel services and social supports to people affected by domestic violence with matters in family law court, including connecting clients with family law services. housing, financial advice and drug and alcohol support.

In last year’s budget, the Australian government committed $85 million over three years to expand the national FASS program.

For Victoria, this means that the FASS program will be established at FCFCOA circuit locations at:

  • Geelong
  • Warrnambool
  • Ballarat
  • Bendigo
  • Shepparton
  • Mildure
  • Morwell.

The FASS program will continue in permanent FCFCOA registries in Melbourne and Dandenong, with funding enabling the addition of mental health supports at all locations.

The implementation of the FASS expansion project is underway, with FASS services expected to commence at FCFCOA circuit locations from the end of September 2022.

Our new FASS partners

Following competitive expressions of interest processes, we will partner with the following service providers under the FASS program over the next three years through June 30, 2025:

  • Relations Australia Victoria will provide mental health supports across all FCFCOA permanent circuits and registries
  • FASS domestic violence support services for women and gender diverse clients will be provided by the following organizations at FCFCOA circuit locations:
    • Bethany Community Support Inc – Geelong and Warrnambool
    • Center for Non-Violence (in partnership with Primary Care Connect and WRISC) – Bendigo, Ballarat & Shepparton
    • Mallee Sexual Assault Unit Inc. Mallee Domestic Violence Service – Mildura
    • Quantum Support Services – Morwell
  • No To Violence will provide FASS domestic violence support services for male clients in all FCFCOA circuits and permanent registries
  • Duty counsel services will be provided by Victoria Legal Aid and the following organizations in the FCFCOA circuits:
    • Barwon Community Legal Service – Geelong and Warrnambool
    • ARC Justice (in partnership with Ballarat & Grampians Community Legal Service) – Bendigo, Ballarat & Shepparton
    • Mallee Family Care Ltd Community Legal Service – Mildura
    • Anglicare Community Legal Service Victoria Gippsland – Morwell

Our permanent FASS partners

We are also pleased to announce that the following existing FASS partners who provide domestic violence duty counsel and support services to FCFCOA’s Melbourne and Dandenong permanent registries will continue under the FASS program:

  • No to violence
  • Safe steps
  • MEANS
  • Peninsula Community Legal Center
  • Monash Southeast Legal Department.

FASS assistance is not means-tested, and FASS domestic violence and mental health support workers can help clients even if they already have an attorney.

If you have a client who is eligible for assistance through the FASS program, you can refer them to a FASS Information and Referral Agent at (03) 8373 7917.

More information

Read more on FASexternal link .

If you have any questions about the FASS program and the FASS Expansion Project, please email the Family Law Projects Team at [email protected].

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