NACCHO Aboriginal health funding alert:Targeted Community Care (Mental Health) $61 million over the five years closes 4 April


Close The gap

Targeted Community Care (Mental Health) Program Family Mental Health Support Services (FMHSS)


About this funding

Community organisations across Australia can apply for Australian Government funding to establish new Family Mental Health Support Services (FMHSS) to provide early intervention and intensive support to vulnerable children and young people affected by mental illness and their families.

This round of funding will establish FMHSS in 20 additional locations across the nation.

The 2011–12 Budget allocated an additional $61 million over the five years from 2011–12 to 2015–16 for additional FMHSS to assist around 32,000 children and young people at risk of or affected by mental illness, and their families.

It is anticipated the roll-out of new services will occur in June 2013 and April/May 2014. New FMHSS will need to be fully operational six months after signing a Funding Agreement. Successful service providers will be required to work closely with FaHCSIA and participate in evaluation activities during the life of the Funding Agreement.

For instructions on how to apply for please see the information below.

  • How much?
    The Australian Government has committed $61 million over five years to 30 June 2016 to expand the FMHSS initiative.
    This round of funding will establish 20 additional FMHSS service across Australia
  • Apply when?
    Applications for new FMHSS sites close at 5:00pm (Eastern Daylight Time) on Thursday 4 April 2013.
  • Who to contact?

What is New FMHSS?

New FMHSS are Family Mental Health Support Services funded through the 2011–12 Budget, and established from 2012.

New FMHSS provide flexible and responsive services for children and young people up to the age of 18 who are at risk of, or affected by mental illness, and their families.

New FMHSS work with children, young people and families to identify risk factors or issues which may lead to poor mental health outcomes later in life and work with the child, or young person and their family to address these issues, and strengthen protective or positive factors.

New FMHSS operate in close cooperation with and with other family and children’s services and with the local network of “first to know” agencies such as schools, early childhood centres and child welfare agencies which are vital in identifying at-risk children or young people.

New FMHSS deliver a community-based support service, focused on early intervention to improve mental health outcomes for children and young people at risk or affected by mental illness and their carers and families.

Each New FMHSS service provides three levels of support to vulnerable children, young people and their families:

  • Intensive, long term, early interventions specifically for children and young people, and practical whole-of-family assistance to improve the long-term outcomes for vulnerable children and young people at risk of, or affected by, mental illness. This can include targeted therapeutic group work.
  • Information and referral for families requiring short-term immediate assistance, and
  • Community outreach, mental health promotion/education and community development activities to increase local capacity to understand and respond to children or young people and their families/carers.

As at January 2013 there were 52 FMHSS operating in geographically defined sites across Australia. Thirteen of the 40 New FMHSS announced in the 2011-12 Budget were funded from mid-2012, including two remote services. This round of funding will establish a further 20 New Family Mental Health Support Services.

Program Guidelines

These guidelines provide the framework for the implementation and administration of the Targeted Community Care (Mental Health) Program.

They provide the key starting point for parties considering whether to participate in the Program and form the basis for the business relationship between FaHCSIA and the funding recipient. Applicants are strongly advised to read the Program Guidelines prior to completing an Application. The Program Guidelines comprise the following documents:

New FMHSS identifies groups of children and young people that face additional disadvantage and risk factors for poor mental health outcomes as special needs groups.

Special needs groups for New FMHSS include but are not limited to:

• Indigenous Australians

• People from CALD backgrounds, including humanitarian entrants and recently arrived refugees and migrants

• Children in contact with the child protection system

• Young people leaving out-of-home care, and

Terms and Conditions

Applicants should also review the Terms and Conditions of the Standard Funding Agreement as these are the terms and conditions that will apply to the funding if the Applicant is successful. Applicants are required to indicate their agreement to these terms in their Application.

Application Form

Applicants for New FMHSS must complete the Application Form available on the FaHCSIA website electronically and email it to Organisations applying for more than one site must submit separate applications. Applications should be tailored to each site.

Word limits have been specified for each criterion. Information provided beyond the word limit will not be considered in assessment of the application. Applicants should only attach additional information where requested to do so.

Further Information

Further information on FMHSS is available in a Resource Kit.

If you have any questions, or experience technical problems when completing or submitting an application, please contact FaHCSIA for assistance at Please ensure you include contact details so that we can respond to your query directly.
The Department will post its answers to questions about this round of funding on this webpage by 5.00pm (Eastern Daylight Time) every Wednesday until the relevant Closing date. Please note that the Department will not respond to any questions received after 5:00pm (Eastern Daylight Time) on Tuesday 2 April 2013.

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