Family Relationship Centres

Family Relationship Centres (FRCs), are government-funded services that seek to provide support to parents going through family difficulties – especially  those who have either separated from the other parent or who are contemplating separation. There are 65 centres all over the country. There are several in the major cities and they also operate in regional areas. Most of them can easily be reached by bus or train. There will probably be one within a short distance from your home. You can find the FRC nearest to you here.

Family Relationship Centres (FRCs) can help parents find the services they need to get through difficult times, and can also help work out sensible parenting arrangements after separation. They offer mediation of parenting disputes. Most services are free. It costs nothing just to walk in and ask how they might be able to help you in your situation. Mediation is almost free but the FRCs may charge a small amount per person after the first hour. The cost is means tested and there is no cost if a person cannot afford it.

The FRCs are there to help resolve disputes not only in the aftermath of separation, but also in relation to ongoing conflicts and difficulties as circumstances change. You can go back there again for help when you need it.

The FRCs serve not only parents, but grandparents as well.

There are variations in what each FRC offers. Some FRCs offer mediation in property disputes and may be able to offer or recommend other counselling and support services for people affected by separation and divorce.

The FRCs are fully funded by the Government and operate in accordance with guidelines set by the Government. However, they are run by non-government organisations with experience in counselling and mediation.

If you are considering separating from your partner, or have recently separated, FRCs are a really good place to start to get help. Sometimes there is a waiting period before they can see you, so the sooner you make contact with your local FRC, the better.