Australian couples will soon be able to apply for a $200 ‘relationship voucher,’ which can be put towards counselling services aimed at strengthening their union.
The $20 million pilot program, which kicks off on July 1, will be trialled for 12 months, and will allow couples to use the voucher to access services such as conflict resolution, parenting skills and financial management, with the aim of improving stability within their relationships.
The scheme is the brainchild of Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews, whose spokesperson says the idea behind the subsidy is “help couples achieve a greater degree of happiness and stability and thereby a better environment for their children”.
It will be open to 10,000 couples “who are married, intending to marry or who are in a committed relationship…”
“The evidence shows that strong relationships between parents make a substantial difference to a child,” said Mr Andrews’ spokeswoman said.
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Despite the Abbott government’s opposition to same-sex marriages, gay couples can access the voucher program, as can couples living in de facto relationships.
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