The Noarlunga Family Relationship Centre is managed by Uniting Communities. The main Christies Beach Office is in the south of Adelaide, close to public transport. We also have offices in Marion and Aldinga, as well as outreaches in Victor Harbor and Kangaroo Island. Noarlunga FRC is committed to providing an inclusive service for all families.
We acknowledge and respect the wide-ranging needs, backgrounds and diversity of families in our community. Anyone can contact the FRC for information, advice and referrals. We can offer family dispute resolution services to anyone involved in caring for a child, including grandparents, step-parents, same-sex and gender diverse parents, wider kinship groups and other significant people in a childs life. Staff are all trained and experienced in the use of interpreters with clients. All family dispute resolution sessions provided by the Centre are child focused. This means that the needs and best interests of the children are considered as the primary focus of the dispute resolution process.
We have a strong emphasis on child development within the context of separation. Family relationships play a very important part in a childs development and wellbeing but sometimes those relationships break down and that is when families need extra help and support from agencies such as ours, especially children, who can often be caught up in the centre of disputes.
We are focused on helping separating parents to reach parenting agreements without going to court, reducing parental acrimony and conflict, and assisting parents to focus on their children. Staff at Noarlunga FRC include; a Centre Manager, family dispute resolution practitioners, specialist child-inclusive practitioners and community liaison officers, from a range of backgrounds including Social Sciences, Psychology, Education, and Law.
We provide information, advice, referral services and family relationships services including family dispute resolution for families experiencing separation. All services are provided in a safe, secure and confidential environment. The Centre also provides access to a variety of resources, including books, brochures and information on a variety of topics and services. The Services accessible at our centre are:
- Intake and Assessment
- Child Focused Information Session
- Family Dispute Resolution (Mediation)
- Child Informed Mediation
Intake and Assessment
Our centres aim is to provide a service model that allows parents to reach easy, simple and efficient agreements which are in the best interests of children whilst at the same time protecting children and vulnerable adults from risk of harm.
When you call, or drop in, an appointment will be made with one of our Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners for an Intake and Assessment. The Practitioner will talk with you about the relationship matters that you wish to discuss. Once they understand your familys needs, they will work with you to plan the next step forward. Often this will involve inviting your spouse or partner (current or former) to attend a similar session, and by providing you with information and referrals. We do that by working in partnership with a range of community and government organisations and connecting people to the right services, support or personal education and skills training about any issue affecting their relationships. This includes mental health wellbeing, gambling, family and domestic violence, relationship problems, and parenting or grand-parenting issues.
At each stage of the process, an assessment will be made as to the suitability of Family Dispute Resolution.
Child Focused Information Session
For our clients entering into the Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) process, we require them to attend our Child Focused Information session. These are held regularly across all our sites, and are vaild for one year.
Each session runs for approximately two hours and includes a DVD which demonstrates the differences between Family Dispute Resolution and the Family Court process (each parent to attend a separate group session). The aim of the session is to help families prepare for FDR while focusing on the best interests of the child/ren and is divided into three sections:
- The Impact of Ongoing Conflict on Children
- Changes within the Family Law Act
- The FDR Process
Family Dispute Resolution (Mediation)
If you are separated or in the process of separating, our Family Dispute Resolution service can help you and your former partner come to an agreement on parenting issues. Family Dispute Resolution is now compulsory for separating parents before commencing legal proceedings about the care of their children, although there are some exceptions particularly where safety is an issue.
During the FDR process, practitioners work with parents separately and together to facilitate child focused discussion about ongoing family issues and disputes. For some families FDR will require two practitioners to ensure the best outcome is achieved for assisting parents to reach agreements on parenting arrangements that are best for their children.
Other forms FDR can take are both parties being in the same room, a shuttle arrangement where each party is in a separate room and the family dispute resolution practitioner moves between rooms, and telephone mediation options. Family dispute resolution practitioners manage the process from beginning to end and use their professional capacity to facilitate the most constructive environment.
If required, the Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner can issue 60I Certificates to confirm to the court that an attempt at a family dispute resolution has been made.
Child Informed Mediation
The Centre is also able to offer child informed mediation. Child informed mediation is where the family dispute resolution process includes an appropriately qualified practitioner spending time with the children to seek their experience of the situation and provide feedback to their parents/caregivers. It is only undertaken in appropriate circumstances (that is, when it is safe to do so; the child is at least five years of age; all parties, including the child, agree; and the practitioner/s believe that it will assist the process) and is not used to side with one or other of the participants.
Department of Social Services Disclaimer - the information on this page has been provided by this Family Relationship Centre.