Relationships Australia 2016 - 2017 Annual Report 1 - Page 51

POST SEPARATION SUPPORT SERVICE Post Separation Support Services include family dispute resolution, information and referral, parenting support, counselling, parenting education, counselling for children impacted by separation, and Children’s Contact Services. This year 6612 clients attended these services. It is well understood that family separation is a difficult experience. Intense grief and distress are common and therefore a range of different services are often required to help all family members come to terms with separation in the most positive way possible. The services offered by Relationships Australia SA support families to establish healthy post separation family arrangements. We use holistic universal screening processes to tailor our services to each member of the family, including children. Joined-up and integrated service delivery is an important feature of our post separation services. Child Contact Services We provide Children’s Contact Services (CCS) across four sites in the Adelaide metropolitan and Riverland areas. Over the past year the CCS have continued to provide a child-focused and safe environment, assisting children from separated families to maintain or develop a relationship with both parents where complex or difficult parenting circumstances exist. As well as assisting conflicted parents hand over children safely and respectfully, the CCS provides supervised child contact for estranged parents. Following supervised contact, children and parents are often invited to attend an interactive playgroup which assists them to build and maintain a relationship in a safe, fun and positive environment. The CCS also provides support for families so that over time they are able to move towards their own, independent contact arrangements. individual post separation counselling to each parent. Following this, Family Dispute Resolution was conducted to help the parents create contact arrangements that addressed the concerns held by their daughter and enabled the daughter to have safe and positive contact with her non-residential parent. Funding acknowledgement: Post Separation Support Services is funded by the Australian Government Attorney General’s Department and administered by the Department of Social Services under the Families and Children Programme. Case study A non-residential parent was given permission by the court to see their 11 year-old daughter through the CCS. When the girl arrived at the CCS she was distressed and was not willing to see her parent. The CCS cannot force children to see parents, and did not facilitate the contact on this occasion. This in turn left the non-residential parent distressed. Importantly, the CCS Coordinator was able to arrange a series of counselling and education services to support each member of the family. The service arranged a child consultation with the daughter to assist her to articulate her concerns about seeing her non-resident parent, and offered Success Indicator: Strategic service collaborations that enable joined up service delivery are strengthened. Individual, Family and Community Wellbeing | Relationships Australia SA Annual Report 2016 -2017 47