Australian Government support

The Australian Government can help you with further information, support and counselling related to the adoption of a child from overseas, including assistance throughout the intercountry adoption process.  This includes access to payments, assistance for children and families living with disability or mental health issues, and family and relationship counselling. The Australian Government also funds a range of non-government organisations to provide support to families.

Department of Human Services (DHS)

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has a range of services and payments to help parents welcome a new child into the family. Further information on types of payments and Medicare services can be found on the Department of Human Services website.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

The NDIS supports people with a permanent and significant disability that affects their ability to take part in everyday activities. The NDIS is designed to enhance the quality of life and increase economic and social participation for people with disability. It is the new way of providing individualised support people with a disability, their families and carers. It focuses on early intervention where getting early supports can reduce the impact of disability on you or your child.

The NDIS will also provide information, referrals and linkages to ensure people with a disability, families and carers are able to access supports in the community to assist them.
For more information:

Visit: NDIS website
Email: enquiries@ndis.gov.au
Call: 1800 800 110*, 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday

For people with hearing or speech loss
TTY 1800 555 677*
Speak and listen 1800 555 727*

For people who need help with English
TIS 131 450

Follow us on Twitter @NDIS

*1800 calls from fixed lines are free. Calls from mobiles may be charged

Family and Relationship Services

Family and Relationship Services are funded under the Families and Communities Program by the Australian Government. Family and Relationship Services aim to strengthen family relationships, prevent breakdown and ensure the wellbeing and safety of children. This is done through the provision of broad-based counselling and education to families of different forms and sizes.  For more information, including the location of your nearest service, go to the Family Relationships Online website.

Family Relationship Advice Line

Free call: 1800 050 321

The Family Relationship Advice Line is a national telephone service offering:

  • anonymity and confidentiality
  • information and advice on family relationships
  • telephone and online dispute resolution, and
  • legal advice

The advice line provides:

  • information about services to help maintain healthy relationships
  • advice on family separation issues
  • guidance on developing workable parenting arrangements after family separation
  • advice about the impact of conflict on children
  • telephone and online family dispute resolution for people who need assistance
  • information about the family law system
  • simple legal advice and information for separating families with children, and
  • referral to a range of other services to help with family relationship and separation issues.

The Advice Line is available from 8:00am to 8:00pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time) Monday to Friday, and from 10:00am to 4:00pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time) on Saturdays (except national public holidays).

You can get further information on The Family Relationship Advice Line webpage.

Early intervention Services for Children with a Disability

The Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) and Better Start for Children with Disability (Better Start) programs provide assistance to eligible children to help them achieve their potential. This assistance can include up to AUD$12,000 in funding for early intervention services.  If your family is eligible, you may also be able to access a range of other supports including Early Days Workshops, Playconnect Playgroups, Playgroup Community Events and Medicare items.

Better Start – Registration and Information Service

For more information about Better Start please contact the Registration and Information Service on 1800 242 636.

HCWA – Autism advisors

For more information about HCWA please contact your state or territory Autism Advisor Service:

Australian Capital Territory
Association: Autism Aspergers ACT Inc
Phone: 02 6176 0515

New South Wales
Association: Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect)
Phone: 1300 978 611 or 02 8977 8345

Northern Territory
Association: Autism SA
Phone: 08 8947 4800

Queensland
Association: Autism Queensland Inc
Phone: 1800 428 847 or 07 3273 0000

South Australia
Association: Autism SA
Phone: 1300 288 476 or 08 8379 6976

Tasmania
Association: Autism Tasmania Inc
Phone: 1300 288 476 or 03 6278 9985

Victoria
Association: AMAZE (Autism Victoria Inc)
Phone: 1300 424 499 or 03 9657 1608

Western Australia
Association: Autism Association of Western Australia
Phone: 1800 636 427 or 08 9489 8900

Information about early intervention services for children with a disability can also be found on the Department of Social Services website at DSS – Early Intervention Services for Children with a Disability.

Family Mental Health Support Service (FMHSS)

FMHSS provides early intervention support to assist vulnerable families with children and young people who are at risk of, or affected by, mental illness.  These services support parents to reduce stress and enable young people to reach their potential. The services include practical assistance and home-based support, information and/or referrals, community outreach, mental health education and community development activities. You can get more information on FMHSS, including support services that may be near you, Family Mental Health Support Service (FMHSS).

Mental Health Respite: Carer Support (MHR:CS)

The Mental Health Respite: Carer Support (MHR:CS) provides a range of flexible respite and family support options for carers of people with severe mental illness and carers of people with an intellectual disability.  The aim of this service is to support carers to sustain their caring roles and maintain connections with their communities, by increasing access to carer support. You can get more information on MHR:CS, including support services that may be near you, at Mental Health Respite: Carer Support (MHR:CS)

Other Australian Government support services

Australia.gov.au connects you to information and services across Australia including information on starting a family.

eHealth.gov.au provides information on how to register your child for an eHealth record. An eHealth record allows you and your doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers to view and share health information and find the best possible care.

Family Relationships Online provides all families (whether together or separated) with access to information about family relationship issues, ranging from building better relationships to dispute resolution.

mychild.gov.au provides information about different types of child care and how to get assistance with the cost of child care.