Support For Australia's Many Stepfamilies

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21st July 2010, 04:10pm - Views: 754





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Media Release


21 July 2010


SUPPORT FOR AUSTRALIA’S MANY STEPFAMILIES


National Stepfamily Awareness Day (Sunday 25 July) is a chance for step and blended families to

celebrate their success in creating, sustaining and nurturing their families. 


Child Support Agency (CSA) Director of Parent Support Services, Toni Brown, said the CSA works with

organisations such as Stepfamilies Australia to help support families affected by separation.


“Many CSA customers live in step or blended families. The CSA has a variety of resources as well as

links to organisations such as Stepfamilies Australia to support separated parents who repartner,” Ms.

Brown said.


Stepfamilies Australia Executive Officer Steve Martin said, with one in five families in Australia either a

step or blended family, there is a need for more support services for families repartnering after separation.

The recent launch of the National Stepfamilies Australia Network ensures that repartnered families have

increased access to information, resources, counselling and education.


“Step and blended families face a range of unique and complex challenges, from dealing with the

breakdown of the original family to developing relationships with new partners and siblings as well as

their extended families,” Mr Martin said.


“More than half of parents who separate, re-partner. Yet the dynamics and complexity of the new family

relationships mean step or blended families are at a higher risk of separation than so called ‘intact’

families. 


“Biological families may have family trees but stepfamilies have family forests! It is important they are

aware there are variety of support services to help them through the more challenging times.


“The Stepfamilies Australia website www.stepfamily.org.au has a range of resources for step and blended

families.  These include practical tips and information on the latest Family Relationship Centre courses

and workshops to help make stepfamilies work,” Mr Martin said.


Toni Brown said the Child Support Agency has a range of support products and services for separated

parents. 


“CSA publications such as the Me and My Changing Family booklet www.csa.gov.au are designed to help

stepfamilies build healthy relationships and deal effectively with the tensions and challenges of new

family arrangements,” she said. 


“Although stepchildren are not included in child support assessments, I encourage parents to contact the

CSA on 131 272 to update their contact details and advise of any change in circumstances (such as the

birth of a new child) to ensure their child support assessment is accurate.”


Parents can visit www.csa.gov.au or call 131 272 to find out more about support services in their local

area.


Media Enquiries: Declan McGrath 0434664802







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