Skip to content

Regions to benefit from new family law support service

Legal Aid NSW 3 mins read

Families impacted by domestic violence and involved in family law proceedings in the regions will have improved access to support services as part of a major project expansion.

The Family Advocacy and Support Services (FASS) has expanded into 14 additional family law court circuit and registry locations across NSW following an $85 million nationwide funding boost from the Commonwealth Government.

The FASS is an integrated service that provides legal and non-legal wraparound supports to those impacted by family violence including duty lawyer services, as well as help with accommodation, safety planning, mental health, finance and drug and alcohol abuse.

Clients can access free legal help and help with their non-legal problems from dedicated social support workers for men and women.  Legal Aid NSW has partnered with local Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services (WDVCASs) and Relationships Australia to provide this on the ground social support.

FASS will also include a dedicated mental health support worker for the first time since launching in 2017.

The service has been successfully operating in the Sydney, Parramatta, Wollongong and Newcastle Family Court Registries since 2017, with services expanding state-wide in 2023.

Associate Director, Domestic Violence Unit, Legal Aid NSW, Anna Baltins said wraparound services focused on early intervention for both victims and perpetrators were essential to improve overall outcomes for families.

“This service fills a critical gap in frontline service provision to people experiencing family violence and with family law issues.  The service takes a holistic, wrap around approach and looks at both the legal and non-legal needs of clients to achieve long lasting positive outcomes for families,” she said.

“By providing clients with a one-stop shop for support, we aim to contribute to the prevention of the cycle of violence by offering support to engage in perpetrator programs while also ensuring victims have adequate social and psychological support and are able to plan for their safety.”

Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia  Mr David Pringle acknowledged the profound benefit that the expansion of the service will have for the many families that engage with the Courts, particularly in remote and regional locations.

“The service provided by FASS is integral in facilitating the safe resolution of family law disputes involving families and children that are, or have been, impacted by family violence. The Courts particularly welcome the expansion of the targeted support provided by FASS to several of the Courts’ regional registries and circuit locations, where historically, limited access to support services has presented a challenge for families in need,” he said.

The expansion of the FASS has been recommended by several inquiries as filling a critical gap in frontline service provision, most recently in the 2021 second interim report of the Joint Select Committee Inquiry into the Family Law System.

The service arose out of the Third Action Plan under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022, the Federal Government committed $18.5 million over three years (2016-2019).

You can contact a social support worker for women by calling 1800 11 FASS (1800 11 3277).

You can contact a social support worker for men by calling 1300 00 FASS (1300 00 3277).

You can contact a duty lawyer by calling 1800 551 589.

Clients can also be referred to the Family Violence Law Help website for FASS information and contact details across Australia.

The service has expanded into locations at Albury, Armidale, Broken Hill, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Lismore, Orange, Port Macquarie, Tamworth, Wagga Wagga, Wauchope, Gunnedah, Forster and Gosford.

Anna Baltins is available for interview.

Contact details:

Georgia Clark | 0438 606 092 or

More from this category

  • Government Federal, Legal
  • 28/05/2024
  • 19:01
Community Legal Centres Australia

Community legal sector welcomes NLAP Review and calls on governments to respond swiftly

Community Legal Centres Australia welcomes the independent review of the National Legal Assistance Partnership (NLAP) agreement and calls on federal, state, and territory governments to respond swiftly to its recommendations. Following the 2024 Federal Budget, the community legal sector is facing its worst level of funding insecurity in a decade. At the same time, increasing demand for assistance, chronic underfunding and a workforce crisis are forcing community legal centres to turn away a thousand people every day and contributing to high rates of vicarious trauma and burnout for workers. The Review finds that current funding levels are insufficient to meet…

  • Legal
  • 23/05/2024
  • 09:33
Parliament of Australia

Intelligence and Security Committee to hold hearing on ASIO’s questioning warrants

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) will hold a public hearing for its review into the operation, effectiveness and implications of Division 3 of Part III of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 on Thursday, 23 May 2024. The laws under review allow the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) to seek a warrant to compel an individual to attend questioning. These powers were originally introduced in 2003 as part of Australia’s counter-terrorism response and were significantly amended in 2020 following a review by the PJCIS. Further amendments have been proposed by ASIO ahead of the hearing,…

  • International News, Legal
  • 21/05/2024
  • 13:17
Monash University

Monash Expert: International Criminal Court seeking arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders, including Netanyahu

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has stated he is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in connection with their actions during the ongoing war in Gaza. A Monash expert is available to discuss the legal and practical aspects of how an arrest warrant would work and their implications. Dr Monique Cormier, Senior Lecturer, Monash University Law Contact: +61 3 9903 4840 or Read more of Dr Cormier’s work at Monash Lens The following can be attributable to Dr Cormier: “The ICC Prosecutor’s decision to seek arrest warrants…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.