Authors: Family Court of Australia
Event: 2008 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: SA
Award level: Finalist
Award category: Mental Health Promotion or Mental Illness Prevention Program or Project
Abstract: Having identified the link between family breakdown and mental health problems, the Family Law Courts (FLC) acknowledged that they have a facilitating role in ensuring, where possible, that clients are able to access mental health services within the community. In 2004 the FLC piloted a newly developed Mental Health Support Program that better equipped staff to be able to: ? identify clients requiring assistance ? make clients aware of mental health support services available and ? appropriately refer clients to these services through a warm link or by providing information in other formats. The success of the 2004 pilot led to the development of a national integrated skilling package that encompassed client service skills, family violence and addressed the needs of client groups such as men, women, Indigenous and the culturally diverse. The rollout of this program to all FLC staff commenced in April 2007 and will be completed in April 2008. Description of Facility/Organisation: The Family Law Courts comprise the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia. Both courts have jurisdiction in family law matters in all states and territories except Western Australia, which has its own Family Court. While the Courts remain independent, they work together and share resources to provide streamlined access for clients and stakeholders and the wider family law community in Australia. There are 20 principle filing registries located throughout the country and a number of circuit locations in regional areas. Between the two jurisdictions, there is approximately 913 staff (including judicial officers). During 2006/07 126,807 matters were filed in the Family Law Courts and approximately 25,000 new clients utilised the court’s services.