This week we opened the call for abstracts for the FRSA National Conference 2024! We welcome abstracts that speak to the Conference theme – Family & Relationship Services – Valued now and into the future. There are six streams to align abstracts to – The first 1000 days, schooling years, children at the centre, relationship breakdown and re-partnering, family domestic violence and across the lifecourse. We are always impressed by the quality of work shared at conference and encourage members and stakeholders to get your abstracts in. Abstracts are due by 5pm, Monday 6 November.
We are excited to be hosting a webinar next week on the findings of an economic evaluation FRSA commissioned the Centre for International Economics (the CIE) to undertake. This work assesses the value that family and relationship services bring to clients and the broader community, including government funders, and reveals a significant return on investment, both socially and financially, from these services. For every dollar of government funding allocated to Family Law Services and family and relationship support services, there is a return on investment ranging from $7.85 to $8.67. Services lead to significant improvements in family functioning, mental health, well-being, personal and family safety, age-appropriate development, and community participation.
As well as the striking results of the analysis, which show the clear value of family and relationship services, we were excited that the CIE was able to access relevant DEX data to underpin the cost benefit analysis. We know that our Members, and the sector more broadly, commit considerable time reporting into the Government’s performance reporting system – the Data Exchange (DEX) and we were delighted to see a return on this investment! Being granted access to DEX data greatly enriched CIE’s analysis. We also see it as a step toward making a publicly owned dataset available to the broader research and policy community. This will, in turn, better serve the interests of Australian children, families and communities.
This webinar is open to all interested stakeholders – registration details are below.
Pre-polling has opened around the country for the referendum on an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice, and Australians will have their say on Saturday 14 October. FRSA supports a Voice to Parliament, which we see as integral to ensuring that the wisdom, views and experiences of First Nations peoples are truly heard and inform policy and legislative change on matters that affect them. We join with others in the community sector to accept the generous invitation from First Nations peoples and take the next step towards that better future.
In closing I note that 10 October is World Mental Health Day. It’s a reminder to “Look after your mental health, Australia”, this year the campaign is encouraging Australians to focus on “Awareness, Belonging, Connection”.