Family relationship services are provided by a range of agencies, many of which operate in partnership with the Australian Government. The Australian Government funds and administers community-based agencies to provide support services to families through the Family Relationships Services Program (FRSP) but it does not operate directly on the front line. Governments and service providers rely on each other for different resources, particularly as policy making has become more complex and fragmented. First, a dependent partnership exists because service providers rely on the Government for funds and structural support. In exchange, governments rely on service providers to implement their policies. Second, a partnership exists among the service providers, independent of the Government. In order to provide services most effectively, we need to know how successfully the various players work to utilise available resources and to deliver services.
This article does three things.
* It outlines some of the challenges for governments and service providers in delivering marriage and relationship education (MRE).
* It provides a sketch of a proposed research project that would conduct interviews with people in the field to gather their views and comments about these issues.
* It invites feedback from the sector about how governments and agencies can address these challenges.