Family Advocacy &
Support Service

Family Advocacy Support Service

The Family Advocacy and Support Service (FASS) supports men through the Family Court system in cases of domestic and family violence. Relationships Australia NSW delivers this service in partnership with Legal Aid NSW.

Who is it for?

Our service is for male victims and perpetrators of domestic or family violence who are preparing to go to Family Court, at Family Court, or have recently had a Family Court matter finalised.

We can also assist men who have a family law or Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVO) issue and require assistance. Whether you are legally represented (by Legal Aid or privately) or self-represented, our service is available to you.

Our service also extends to people indirectly affected by family violence, such as extended family, grandparents and new partners.

Relationships Australia NSW provides support for men, with a separate women’s service offered by Legal Aid.

What will it be like?

FASS is a non-judgemental and compassionate service. We will initially ask for some personal information as part of our intake process and will always maintain confidentiality and your privacy under our duty of care.

We’ll discuss your current circumstances, including where your court matter is at, and your next expected court appearances. We can also refer you to other services that can help meet your needs.

We can help with:

  • Assessing your social needs and making referrals to services that can assist – this could be counselling or family therapy, parenting courses, supervised contact services, housing, victims’ services, or Centrelink.
  • Providing information and court support to you during your Family Court process.
  • Speaking on your behalf with organisations such as the Police, Housing NSW and Victims Services, especially in relation to ADVOs.
  • Risk assessment and safety planning.
  • Assisting with Court Safety Plans.
  • Referrals to behaviour change programs and other assistance if appropriate.

Family violence is a painful and confusing time for all involved. But we believe that by offering support to both perpetrators and victims of family violence as well as their wider family we can help people rebuild their lives, move forward, and encourage long term positive behaviour change. Watch our short explainer video:

How can it help me?

FASS is delivered by a team of Relationships Australia NSW support workers and Legal Aid NSW lawyers. Our support workers assist men with their social welfare needs, while lawyers provide services to assist clients with their legal issues

 

If you do not already have legal representation, a FASS lawyer can help you with:

  • Sorting out arrangements for children.
  • Negotiating property settlement matters after separation.
  • Filing for a divorce.
  • Applying for an ADVO.
  • Sorting out difficulties with Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) child protection.
  • Applying for Victims Services under the government’s Victims Support Scheme.
  • Addressing other legal issues you may have as a result of your case.

These services will be provided as duty services at no cost to you. Duty services may also include legal advice, help with completing Court documents, or appearing in Court to represent you (depending on the circumstances). If necessary, we can also arrange an interpreter.

Booking this program

FASS is a drop-in service and no appointment is necessary. We are available Monday to Friday at the following NSW Family Law Courts – Sydney City, Parramatta, Newcastle and Wollongong.

We are also available via phone or you can email the location you are after:

fassnewcastle@ransw.org.au

fassparramatta@ransw.org.au

fasssydney@ransw.org.au

fasswollongong@ransw.org.au

If you need help with your non-legal issues and want to speak to a FASS social support worker, please call us:

FASS social support services for men: 1300 003 277

FASS social support services for women: 1800 113 277

If you are transgender or gender diverse, simply let us know which service you’d prefer to work with. If you are worried about your safety at court, please call our support service before your court date.

If you need help with your legal issues and want to speak to a duty lawyer, please call 1800 551 589.

Fees

We are a free service, funded by the Commonwealth Government.

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