Family Relationship Centres

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How can a Family Relationship Centre help?

A Family Relationship Centre can help you by providing information about family relationships at all stages – forming new relationships, overcoming relationship difficulties or dealing with separation.

If you are going through separation, staff will talk with you to help you focus on your children’s needs and help you decide what to do next.

Family Relationship Centres specialise in providing joint Family Dispute Resolution mediation sessions with the other parent or family members to help you agree on parenting arrangements. 

Centre staff can also refer you to other specialist services that can help, such as family law counselling or programs about parenting after separation.

Centres also offer a range of other services and programs such as information sessions and seminars. 

Are the services free?

Family Relationship Centres provide information, referral and individual sessions free of charge.

Centres also provide up to one hour of joint Family Dispute Resolution sessions free of charge.

Family Relationship Centres will charge clients earning $50,000 or more gross annual income $30 per hour for the second and third hours of Family Dispute Resolution. 

Do I need a booking?

You don’t need a booking to get information about programs and services available in your local area that can help strengthen family relationships.

If you are separating, you can make an appointment for a private interview. Please phone or drop into the Family Relationship Centre to make a time for an appointment.

Who can come with me?

If it is appropriate, you can bring family members or a support person with you, including your lawyer. However, attendance of lawyers at Centres is at the discretion of the service provider. If you are planning to bring your lawyer with you, you should discuss this with the Centre as early as possible. 

What if I need an interpreter?

The Centre will arrange an interpreter if needed. Contact the Centre in advance to discuss your needs.

Will my details be kept private?

You will be asked for some personal details, along with general demographic information upon attendance. Your privacy is important to us and will be protected. Centres will only disclose personal information if you give permission or if required or authorised to by law, for example, to protect someone from harm.

Safety

Centres are committed to providing a safe environment and can put into place arrangements to assist with your safety or the safety of your children. You should let Centre staff know if you have any concerns as soon as possible.

Where can I find more information?

The Family Relationship Advice Line 1800 050 321 can provide information about Family Relationship Centres and about the location of your nearest Centre. If there are no Centres available in your location, the Advice Line can provide information and advice and can refer you to other services that can help.

You can call the Family Relationship Advice Line on 1800 050 321 between 8am to 8pm AEST Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm AEST Saturday. The Advice Line uses interpreters if needed.

You can also find the details of a Family Relationship Centre near you on the Find local help page.

Case Study 1

Helen and Christo were married for 13 years, and have two children, Andreas aged 10 and Sofia aged 12. Christo left the marriage over two years ago, and only saw the children sometimes on the occasional weekend. He now would like to see them more often, but Helen doesn’t want this.

Christo calls the Family Relationship Advice Line, and they refer him to the local Family Relationship Centre, so that he and Helen can mediate parenting arrangements and parenting time with the help of an accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (specialist family mediator).  

Case Study 2

Charlie and Aiden have been in a relationship for 10 years, and have shared the upbringing of their twin boys together, born via a surrogate, who are now aged 6. The relationship has been in conflict for a while.  Aiden has decided they need to separate, but he doesn’t want to lose his relationship with the boys, he is worried about this as he is not their biological father.

Aiden searches the internet and finds a Family Relationship Centre near him. He calls and makes an appointment to come in and talk to them about conflict resolution, parenting after separation, and a parenting plan. 

Related links

Other Help Lines

Family Relationship Advice Line

Family mediation and dispute resolution

Next steps

Use Find Local Help to find a Family Relationship Centre.

Call the Family Relationship Advice Line 1800 050 321.