Photo caption: Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton met with the staff from the Broken Hill branch of CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes earlier this year to discuss their plans for a Children’s Contact Service.
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton has welcomed a Federal Government investment which will provide local children of separated families with a safe place to stay connected to both parents.
CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes has been successful in receiving $2 million in funding over four years from the Australian Government to establish the very first Children’s Contact Service (CCS) in Broken Hill.
After advocating for the Far West to be added to the eligibility list for funding earlier this year, Mr Coulton said this is a great outcome for the region.
“I’m thrilled that CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes has received this funding to establish a much-needed Children’s Contact Service in Broken Hill,” Mr Coulton said.
“The Broken Hill community has been calling for this for some time, as currently families have to travel three hours each way to Mildura for a supervised visit.
“This is just unrealistic, especially for families that are experiencing conflict. Navigating relationship breakdown can be stressful enough for families, without the added stress of having to travel large distances for a visit with your child.
“The establishment of a Children’s Contact Service in Broken Hill will mean local families and those right across the Far West will have access to a safe and neutral environment for children to maintain a relationship with both of their parents during a supervised visit.
“This is a big win for the region.”
Children’s Contact Services provide a child-focused and safe environment for supervised contact and facilitated changeovers for families across Australia who are unable to safely manage contact arrangements for their children.
This provides children of separating or separated parents the chance to maintain or re-establish a relationship with both parents and other significant persons in their lives.
The Broken Hill CCS will be based at CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes’ Broken Hill branch in Argent Street.
The funding has been provided through the Australian Government’s Family Relationship Services Programme.