Consultation period

27 November 2020 - 2:30 pm To 12 February 2021 - 11:59 pm

Supporting Improvements to the Families and Children Activity


Families and Children Services Consultation

This consultation is now closed.

The Department of Social Services has notified a number of Families and Children Activity providers of grant extensions to provide longer-term funding certainty for the following sub‑activities:

  • Five-year grant extensions to 30 June 2026 for Communities for Children Facilitating Partners (CfC FPs), Family and Relationship Services (FaRS), Family Mental Health Support Services (FMHSS) and five national Children and Parenting Support (CaPS) providers:
    • Playgroup Queensland
    • Parenting Research Centre
    • ReachOut Australia
    • Playgroup Australia
    • Raising Children Network
  • Two-year grant extensions to 30 June 2023 for other CaPS services and Budget Based Funded (BBF) services.

A report on the feedback received through the consultation process is available above. The insights and expertise shared during the consultation process are shaping the implementation of priority service improvements introduced from 1 July 2021. Further information on the consultations held between November 2020 and March 2021 is outlined below.

Your Feedback Matters

Thank you to the many organisations and individuals that have participated in the Department of Social Services’ Families and Children (FaC) Activity Service Improvement consultation.

Since the consultation launch in late November 2020, the department has heard insightful, varied and creative feedback about how we can continue to work together to improve services and achieve better outcomes for families and children. Your ideas and experiences have been captured through online provider forums, a series of advisory groups, one-to-one discussions and written submissions.

Family and Relationship Services Australia (FRSA) facilitated two online provider forums on 8 December 2020 and 21 January 2021. The forums provided an overview of the Discussion Paper and our consultation process, along with an opportunity to ask questions and engage in discussion with providers and the department.

The online provider forum presentation is available is available in PDF [123 kB] and PowerPoint [123 kB].

Pre-submitted online provider forum questions and answers to questions that were not able to be answered at the online provider forum can be located on the Frequently Asked Questions page.

‘What we have heard so far’ online provider forum: Sharing your feedback

FRSA facilitated a third online provider forum ‘What we have heard so far’ on 30 March, 2021. This forum provided an overview of what we heard from providers during the consultation to date, updates on new requirements under the new grant agreements, a summary of next steps, and an opportunity to ask questions and engage in discussion with providers and the department.

The online provider forum presentation is available is available in PDF [1.1MB] and PowerPoint [1.3MB].

Answers to questions from providers that were not answered at the online forum can be located on the Frequently Asked Questions page.

The department will continue to engage with providers as we move into the implementation phase of the service improvements over the course of the year.

Please go to the Families and Children Activity page on the DSS website for further updates on consultation outcomes.

For specific enquiries, please contact your Funding Arrangement Manager (FAM) or email

Previous Consultation

In 2018, the department contracted KPMG to hold consultations across Australia to test ideas and gather feedback about the future of families and children services. We would like to thank all those who participated, for your valuable insights and feedback. What we heard is that we all want to continue to ensure the department’s investment effectively and measurably contributes to improving outcomes for Australian families.

Current Consultation Process

In 2020, we are operating in a different and challenging environment. It is more important than ever that existing services are supported to continue to be effective and accessible for families and children. The department is now undertaking a new phase of consultation on Families and Children (FaC) Activity programs and services. Through this consultation, we are particularly focusing on a selection of families and children programs that have the common goal of stabilising and supporting families and children, including:

  • Communities for Children Facilitating Partner (CfC FP),
  • Children and Parenting Support (CaPS),
  • Family and Relationship Services (FaRS), including Specialised Family Violence Services,
  • Family Mental Health Support Services (FMHSS), and
  • Budget Based Funded services (BBF).

Discussion Themes

We want to understand how service delivery has adapted and how to continue to support families and children in this new environment.

Some broad ideas we want to discuss include:

  • Implementing a new outcomes framework for all families and children programs,
  • Participating in the Data Exchange Partnership Approach,
  • Developing program logics for each service,
  • Streamlining how some programs work, and

We also want to hear how the 2019-2020 bushfires, floods and Coronavirus pandemic have impacted family circumstances, service demand and service delivery.

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