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Stay tuned for some changes including updated information on CCS services operating across the country.
LATEST CCS NEWS
exposure draft of the Family Law Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2023 – September 2023
The Attorney-General, the Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP, has issued a media release
“ACCSA FORUM 2023 – THE SECTOR GATHERS TOGETHER “
The ACCSA National Training and Networking Forum was conducted on Monday 27th March to Wednesday 29th March at the Adelaide Pavilion in the city centre’s Veale Gardens.
Attendees and presenters from around Australia and overseas convened to explore and share CCS specific practices that work well for separated families.
A thank you to outgoing ACCSA convenor Sue Thompson for the significant amount of work and expertise afforded to making this event a successful and productive experience for all present.
“NEWLY FUNDED CCSs ANNOUNCED”
In the May 2021 Budget, the Australian Government announced that it would be increasing funding for CCSs to $101.4 million over four years from 2021-22 to enhance existing and establish new services. This initiative includes ongoing funding of $27.5 million over three years from 2022-23 to establish 20 additional CCSs across Australia – find a listing of the 20 new CCSs at THIS LINK.
” NEW COURT DATA – WHY FAMILIES USING CCS REQUIRE SERVICES MEETING ACCREDITED STANDARDS”
New data emanating from a Federal Circuit and Family Court pilot project clearly illustrates the challenges and complexities encountered when working with many families needing to use a CCS. ACCSA continues to advocate that a robust national accreditation scheme is essential in providing safe service.
Read an overview of these findings at THIS LINK.
“FUNDING INCREASE FOR CCSs”
The federal government has announced that currently funded CCSs will benefit due to an increase of allocation from $18 per annum to $35 million per annum across the nation. This will enable the current 64 services to provide greater levels of service and assist in clearing protracted waiting times.
The government also announced that as many as 20 more funded services will be rolled out in coming years to provide additional support to those families needing the assistance of a CCS.
Notes on Covid19
ACCSA is not mandated to stipulate practice requirements for CCSs in Australia. The Association will be facilitating practice sharing and problem solving sessions for all affiliated services for the duration of the pandemic. All services are asked to seek the most recent and best advice available from state/territory and federal health departments when making decisions about service delivery status. It is also suggested that the CCS Guiding Principles Framework for Good Practice (2018) be referenced – particularly in regard to safety and safe environments. CCSs, referrers and family members may want to access This Guide from the Family Law Council for separated parents during Convid19.
CLICK HERE to download the CCS and Virtual Visits info sheet.
CLICK HERE to download Communicating With Children About Covid19
CLICK HERE to download Video Chat Activities With Children
CLICK HERE to download COVID-19 and Separated Families 2020
ACCSA is a non-profit Association that promotes the need for the compulsory accreditation of all Children’s Contact Services (CCS), delivers and supports sector specific training, fosters information sharing and networking and advocates for increased resourcing for CCSs.
The Association is voluntary and independent.
The Association’s current activities include lobbying for the regulation and accreditation of both funded, full fee paying and privately operated CCSs, development and provision of CCS specific training, the facilitation of national conferences and the upkeep of a comprehensive, information based website for members, subscribers, those who refer to a CCS and those needing to use a service.
As of March 2021 all funded, privately operated and full fee paying CCSs are eligible to become affiliates of ACCSA.
Affiliation means that the service supports and endorses ACCSA’s objectives – affiliation does not denote that the affiliated service maintains practice standards according to any codes, standards or frameworks that the association has previously developed (i.e. ACCSA does not accredit, regulate, monitor service delivery quality or process complaints).
ACCSA fully supports the establishment of a National CCS Accreditation system as per Recommendation 54 of the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Review of the Family Law System.
JOIN ACCSA NOW !
ACCSA Affiliated Services:
- Have the option to be listed on the ACCSA Online CCS Directory – now in the public domain on the ACCSA website
- Can participate in operational and practice based national teleconferences
- Receive ACCSA newsletters
- Have access to feedback and input from experienced CCS practitioners when requested
- Have access to resources and publications in the login area of the ACCSA website
- Receive discounted rates to ACCSA Forums
CLICK HERE – for funded, private and fee-paying CCSs to join as Full Affiliated Services in 2022. Please note that affiliation is per CCS and not per organisation (i.e. if an organisation operates more than one CCS a single affiliation covers the nominated service and not all of the services.)
CLICK HERE – for individuals to be a Website Subscriber in 2022
ACCSA’S REGULATION CAMPAIGN
The Australian Children’s Contact Services Association’s “CCS Regulation Campaign” sees the assurance of a better quality and more uniform practice being achieved through two major steps:
Step A – The development, implementation and maintenance of a CCS Accreditation System that is based upon the operational standards articulated in The Children’s Contact Services Guiding Principles Framework for Good Practice (2014)
Step B – The implementation of regulation that requires the Courts and others, such as Family Dispute Resolution practitioners, to only order or refer families to accredited CCSs
ACCSA has advocated the need for the regulation of all Children’s Contact Services since 2008 and it’s campaign has now been endorsed via Recommendation 54 of the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Review of the Family Law System and Recommendation 9 of the Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Family Law System, both of which calls for the establishment of a national accreditation system for CCSs and for it to be an offence to provide service without being accredited – this mirrors the submissions made to these reviews by ACCSA.
The following articles illustrate parts of the association’s campaign over the past 13 years :
Click here to access the Australian Family Law Commission’s Review of the Family Law System, which includes Recommendation 54 – that all CCSs be accredited under the Family Law Act
Click here to read the list of recommendations from the second interim report of the Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Family Law System (March 2021) – Recommendation 9 calls for the accreditation of all CCSs.
Click here to read the article “Children’s Contact Services: ACCSA Seeks Regulation”
Click here to read ABC News article circa April 2019.