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Welcome

Happy New Year to Pathways members!

It looks like its going to be a huge year for the SA Family Law Pathways Network again, with many exciting projects happening for members of the family law sector in South Australia.

To give you a snapshot of whats in store:
 
  • On 25 February 2015, SA Pathways is ' on the road' for an Information Session & Meet and Greet with Judge Cole of the Federal Circuit Court at ac care in Mount Gambier;
  • On 8 March 2016, we are hosting the first in the series of " Walking in Their Shoes Tours" at the Family Law Courts for family law service providers;
  • On 15 and 16 April 2016, we are attending the national Pathways Conference in Melbourne;
  • On 6 May 2016, we are holding the annual SA Family Law Pathways Forum at the Adelaide Pavillion on South Terrace ( more details to come shortly!)
In addition to all of the above, we will continue to staff the Information and Referral Service the " Pathways Kiosk" at the Family Law Courts and bring you all of the other services you have come to expect from SA Pathways, including updating the Service Directory for Parenting and Childrens Courses across South Australia each school term and preparing quarterly newsletters with information about relevant issues across the entire family law sector.

To this end, in this issue, we provide information about some particularly important family law issues which have come to light over the last few months and in particular, showcasing a few new services, such as the 'Dads Moving Towards Responsibility' program in Christies Beach, which will be of great interest to those working in the sector. We have also provided details of a Webinar relating to Mental Illness and Children in Family Law, produced by the Victorian Pathways Network which generated great interest.

If you would like to showcase a service or know of one which would benefit from being placed in this Newsletter in the future, please contact the Coordinator of the SA Family Law Pathways Network, Rene Earles on r.earles@rasa.org.au.

In this issue:

Mental Illness and Children in Family Law

 
In December 2015, the Family Law Pathways Network in Greater Melbourne hosted its summer forum entitled “Mental Illness and Children in Family Law” . Please find below, the recording of the Fourm uploaded onto youtube,  featuring guest speakers Professor Louise Newman, Director of the Centre for Women’s Mental Health, Sergeant Natasha Powles of Victoria Police and Judge Ron Curtain of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. The video entitles you to CPD points but you may wish to grab a coffee or lunch- it takes around 2 hours to watch!

Click here to watch the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwyi3-CNgRY


 

The South Australian Family Law Pathways Network goes to the South East


The SA Family Law Pathways is pleased to be hosting an Information Session and Meet & Greet with Judge Peter Cole of the Adelaide Federal Circuit Court at accare in Mt Gambier, Thursday 25 February 2016, 5:30- 7pm.   This is the first event for the year for Pathways.

The event will also feature a short presentation about Child Support by Narelle Egan,  Senior Lawyer in the Child Support Program at the Legal Services Commission and a site visit at the Mount Gambier Childrens Contact Service. There will be an opportunity for a “Q & A” session with the Judge to ask him any questions you have (within reason!) about family law.

Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners, Child Consultants, counsellors, lawyers or any practitioner involved in or around the family law sector in the South East are welcome!
.
Please find a copy of the flyer here.

Please contact Rene Earles, Coordinator of the SA Family Law Pathways Network via email at r.earles@rasa.org.au or call 0407 317 376 to register your interest in attending.




  
 

Notice to the Profession- Subpoened Documents

 
RE:  Automatic Release of Subpoenaed Documents – implementation of new FCoA Rules

Division 15.3 of the Family Law Rules 2004 has been amended so it will be closely aligned to Division 15A of the Federal Circuit Court Rules 2001.
A key objective of this change is to harmonise the approach to the production of documents under subpoenas with the approach of the Federal Circuit Court Rules 2001 to streamline the procedure in family law matters. These changes come into effect as of 01 January 2016.
There are subtle differences between the FCC procedures and those prescribed in the Family Law Rules 2004.  The two key differences are as follows:
 
  1. Service
Rule 15.22 (1) requires service of a subpoena (including subpoena for the production of documents) by hand on the person named in the subpoena, ie the provider, whereas Rule 15.22 (2) requires copies only to be served on the other parties, and any interested person, by ordinary post.
 
  1. Affidavit of Service
Rule 15.30 (e)(ii) requires the issuing party to file an Affidavit of Service with or prior to the filing of  the Notice of Request to Inspect.
The new Rules provide that:
 
  • Subpoenaed material is to be released to all parties for inspection and copying other than child welfare records, criminal records, police records and medical records, which are to be released for inspection only.
  • Requests to copy child welfare records, criminal records, police records and medical records, will require a listing before a Registrar, and
  • The named person, a party, independent children’s lawyer or interested person may object to the inspection/copying of subpoenaed documents.
  • In respect of medical records a person who wishes to inspect their own medical records to decide whether to object to the inspection or copying of records will need to advise the Registry Manager in writing before the production day.  This process is the same as the FCC process.  If the potential objector gives notice prior to the production day a further 7 days must lapse during which time the potential objector can inspect their medical records and decide whether to lodge an objection.
If there is any aspect of issuing a subpoena, or administratively providing the subpoenaed material, which is contentious, the matter is referred to a Registrar for consideration of a listing or for determination. 
NOTE: In relation to child welfare records, the new Rules are not intended to override any restrictions from protocols in force between the relevant welfare department and the Court(s).

The new “Information for named person or other person (served with a subpoena) or a copy of a subpoena (Prescribed Brochure)” can be found at: http://www.familycourt.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/fcoaweb/reports-and-publications/publications/subpoenas/subpoena-information-for-named-person-%28prescribed-brochure%29

No grace period has been allowed

Family Court Newsletter


Issue 17 of the Family Court Bulletin is now available for viewing.

http://www.familycourt.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/fcoaweb/reports-and-publications/bulletin/bulletin-dec15

 

Federal Inquiry into Domestic Violence and Gender Inequality

 
 
The Federal Australian Government is holding an inquiry into the link between domestic violence and gender inequality.
 
The Office for Women encourages community organisations to make their own submissions as this is an excellent chance to provide information and recommendations to the Federal Government on an important and wide-reaching issue.
 
To see the terms of reference please visit the official inquiry webpage.

Submissions close 31 March 2016.
 
 

New Resourse to help combat forced marriage


By The Hon Michael Keenan MP
Minister for Justice
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Counter Terrorism

MEDIA RELEASE
 
"Today I am marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women with the launch of My Blue Sky, a comprehensive online resource aimed at preventing and addressing forced marriage in Australia.

My Blue Sky is an easy to use, accessible website, which will empower vulnerable people to protect themselves by providing information, resources, and links to support services.

Forced marriage is an insidious and hidden crime. It is a slavery-like practice, an abuse of fundamental human rights and there is no place for it in Australia.

This month, the Parliament passed new laws introduced by the Coalition Government that not only clarify what constitutes forced marriage but also increases the penalties. The definition of forced marriage has been amended to include circumstances in which a person does not consent because he or she is incapable of understanding the nature and effect of a marriage ceremony, for reasons such as age or mental capacity. A child under the age of 16 is presumed to be incapable of understanding the nature and effect of a marriage ceremony, and therefore incapable of consenting to a marriage.

As a consequence of these changes, it will be clear that any person who engages in conduct that causes a person who does not understand the nature and effect of the marriage ceremony, to enter a marriage – such as through organising or officiating the marriage of a child – could be committing an offence.

In addition, these changes increase the penalty for engaging in conduct to cause another person to enter into a forced marriage, or being a party to – but not a victim of, forced marriage. The penalty for an aggravated forced marriage offence has increased from a maximum of seven years’ imprisonment to a maximum of nine years’ imprisonment.

The forced marriage offences are aggravated if the victim is under 18; if the offender subjects the victim to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; or engages in conduct reckless to the danger of death or serious harm to the victim or another person.

We have also increased the maximum penalty for non-aggravated forced marriage offences from the existing four years’ to seven years’ imprisonment.

The My Blue Sky website will also include a free legal advice service offered primarily by text message and email. Resources will include the Forced Marriage Community Pack, developed by the Australian Government in partnership with the National Roundtable on Human Trafficking and Slavery Communications and Awareness Working Group and launched in December 2014.

In addition to a strong suite of criminal offences, the Coalition Government is committed to working with the community to prevent forced marriage, and assist and protect those affected.
Anti-Slavery Australia developed the My Blue Sky website with the support of more than $350,000 in funding from the Commonwealth.

Extensive community consultation was undertaken in developing the website, including through Anti-Slavery Australia’s participation in a series of forced marriage workshops for frontline officers and civil society. The workshops, hosted by the Attorney-General’s Department, were delivered across Australia throughout 2015 in partnership with Anti-Slavery Australia and the Australian Federal Police. 

Anti-Slavery Australia will deliver the My Blue Sky legal advice service and a forced marriage helpline to provide free confidential advice to any person who has experienced, or is at risk of being coerced, threatened or deceived into marriage.

My Blue Sky can be accessed at www.mybluesky.org.au, and the forced marriage helpline is (02) 9514 8115. Further information regarding the Government’s efforts to eradicate forced marriage can be found at www.ag.gov.au/forcedmarriage.

Media contact: Emily Broadbent 0400 390 008//Shannen Wilkinson 0476 820 816"
 
 
 



Dads Moving Towards Responsibility

 
Anglicare SA in collaboration with Relationships Australia and the Southern Community Justice Centre have recently created new group program for men who reside in the Southern area of metropolitan Adelaide to allow men who have perpertated violence to explore the issues surrounding their violent behaviour.

The aim of the group is to respectfully challenge men to face up and take responsibilty for unacceptable behaviour and attitudes. Signficant time is given to the development of skills to stop the abuse and violence towards their women partners and/or ex partners and their children. Men will be given the opportunity to learn respectful ways to relate avoiding violence and examine their attitudes towards others, exploring patterns and tactics to using violence and abuse and learning betters ways to relate to their partners and children respctfully rather than resorting to tactics of power and control.

Relationships SA  works with women and children as part of the program, to create a safe environment for them to learn about unacceptable behaviours.

There is an Intake and Assessment process for the men who wish to particpate in the group. Men generally must be prepared to engage in the process to enable them to join the program. The men also generally must have a female particpant to enable them to particpate in the program.

The group occurs on Thursday evenings 6:00-  8:30pm at 111 Beach Road, Chrisites Beach. It is provided free for the men and women who become involved.

For further information, to make a referral or assesment appointment, pleace Contact George Garcia or Shirley Callaghan from Anglicare SA on 8186 8900.


 

In It Together

 
For several years now Relationships Australia has provided a Children’s Counselling Service for those who are experiencing parental separation. In addition to this the regional office at Berri has provided a Post Separation Cooperative Parenting program to support parents who are experiencing separation and assisting them in some of the challenges that they experience.
 
Both of these services are aimed at improving an individuals understanding of their experience of separation and the many diverse emotions that they go through. One is aimed at supporting the children and the other at supporting the parent.
 
It was only the start of last year, 2014 when practitioners in both of these services started to notice the possibility of collaboration. They identified that there was an opportunity to assist parents with one of their major concerns post separation, are the kids going to be okay?
 
In previous years, parents would present for a parent intake at our Berri office and complete an intake for their child to participate in counselling. Fitting within the criteria,  the child would then commence counselling and the parent would wait in the waiting area. We seen this as an opportunity to utilise this time better (with the parents consent) and take the opportunity to provide the parent some additional resources, information and support.
 
We acknowledged that for a parent, we can provide them with some guidance as to what their children may be experiencing, to understand some of the behaviours better and give some tools to have conversations with their children. We saw the opportunity to develop a shared language between parent and child about their experiences.  This is where In It Together was born, through research and understanding of the needs of both parties.
 
After 12 months of participation we had completed a pre and post evaluation of the program and found the results to clearly indicate that parent understanding of issues children experience post separation had increased, along with their confidence in supporting their children. A number of other key indicators also showed that parents themselves felt more confident and capable following completion of this program.
 
Initially In it Together ran over 6 weeks and we have now reduced that to 4 weeks as we found that there was a drop off in participation after 4-5 weeks. The content remains the same, just condensed for convenience.
 
Following In it Togther parents and children are free to continue their individual support with our practitioners if they would like to.
 
In it Together is a four week program where children and parent see individual practitioners concurrently. The information they discuss is mirrored in each session so that parent and child have a shared language which promotes dialogue long after leaving the therapy room.  Material used in the program has been sourced from research and other therapeutic parenting courses.
 
Access to the program is by self referral, by contacting the BERRI office on 85 824 122, making an appointment for a “parent intake” and an assessment is done at an initial meeting.  The service is cost free and additional session are an option.


 
 

SA Family Law Pathways Network Term 1 2016 Directory


The SA Family Law Pathways Network has recently released its Term 1 2016 Courses Directory.

The Directory documents the programs, courses and events for parents and children being held by many organisations and Childrens Centres in the various areas of metropolitian Adelaide and regional areas. The courses being held include Circle of Security, Bringing Up Great Kids, Dad Factor and other programs for parents living with mental liness or substance abuse issues. 

The Directory is circulated at the begiining of each school term to Pathways Members or otherwise can be found on the SA Family Law Pathways website: http://www.pathwaysnetworksa.com.au/courses-events/.


Copyright © 2016 Relationships Australia (SA), All rights reserved.


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