Friday, 29 June 2018

Multi year funding to help families affected by international parental child abduction

Media release

Families and children affected by international parental child abduction will continue to receive support following a Turnbull Government decision to extend funding for critical support services.

The Attorney-General, Christian Porter, announced that International Social Services Australia (ISS) would receive $2.4 million over three years from July 2018 to provide legal, counselling and social support services to assist families following the abduction of a child.

"It would be hard to imagine a much more difficult time for a parent than to discover a child has been abducted and taken overseas by another parent," the Attorney-General said.

"Such circumstances can also have a major impact on siblings and wider families.

"It's important that families in this situation have access to the legal and other support services they need to get through the often arduous process of securing the return of children."

ISS has been providing social support services to families in this situation for the past 13 years and, for the past six years, has also been providing legal services.

ISS is available to assist parents' right across Australia as well as Australian parents overseas.

Last financial year, ISS provided legal support services to 452 clients and responded to 402 telephone enquiries about international child abduction. They also provided social support services, including assistance with family mediation, to 40 people.

The Attorney-General's department is responsible for administering the legal process for seeking the return of children unlawfully abducted overseas by a parent. Under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, the Attorney-General's department works with overseas authorities to seek the return of abducted children to their home country, and provides assistance to parents to obtain contact or access to children overseas.

ISS can be contacted on 1300 657 843 from anywhere in Australia.