Over the next two years, the Australian Government will undertake a major reform of the Child Support Scheme in order to deliver a system that acts in the best interests of children. As part of the reforms Government will provide additional funding for the new national network of Family Relationships Centres and other related services being established under the Government's new Family Law system. This funding will enable these supporting services to help parents reach agreement on child support arrangements.
Through the Family Relationship Centres parents will also be able to access information, professional advice and support through services including the Family Relationship Advice Line and other expanded services. The additional funding will enable these centres to assist child support parents in settling their parenting arrangements and adjusting to the new Scheme.
The reforms of the Child Support Scheme are extensive and will be implemented in three stages over a two year period. Stage 1, commencing in July 2006, includes a number of changes such as increasing the minimum payment. Stage 2 (January 2007) includes the introduction of an independent administrative review of Child Support Agency decisions and the major formula changes will occur in Stage 3, July 2008.
This measure is ongoing and will be implemented on 1 July 2006 as part of Stage 1 of reforms to the Child Support Scheme.
Total Government Funding
The Government will provide $48.4 million over five years.