Strengthening Family Safety by Enhancing Communication between Family Law Courts and States and Territories

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To better protect the lives of women and children at risk of family violence in Australia, the Morrison Government will place state and territory child protection and family safety officials in family law courts across Australia.

Funding of $11 million over three years was announced today by the Prime Minister, the Minister for Women and the Minister for Social Services as part of the Morrison Government’s $328 million funding package to support the Fourth Action Plan 2019-2022 of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.

“Many families and children have contact with multiple legal and support services and systems over a period of time” the Attorney-General said.

“Timely exchange of information between the family law courts and state or territory child welfare agencies is crucial to promoting the safety and welfare of women and children.”

This new measure complements work already being progressed through the Council of Attorneys-General to improve the interaction between the family law, family violence and child protection systems.

The placement of state officials in the family law courts will increase the timeliness and quality of information shared with the family law courts. It will foster and improve cooperation and understanding between the federal family law system, and state and territory and child protection and family violence regimes.

The Government will also be scoping a national technological solution to facilitate the prompt sharing of targeted information between these systems.

The placement of child protection and family safety officials in the family law courts has been recommended by the Family Law Council and suggested in preliminary proposals made by the Australian Law Review Commission (ALRC), as part of its comprehensive review of the family law system.​

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