Monday, 23 March 2009

CSA making child support easier for multicultural families on Harmony Day 2009

Harmony Day, celebrated on 21 March this year, is a timely reminder that parents' understanding of child support differs between cultures. General Manager Matt Miller said the Child Support Agency (CSA) has taken a culturally sensitive approach to educating the diverse Australian community about their child support responsibilities.

"Different cultures have different cultural norms when parents separate," Mr Miller said. "In some cultures when families break up they usually make their own private arrangements and don't understand why an agency like CSA would get involved".

Mr Miller said some translations, and in particular the use of the term "support" when translated, can also lead people from diverse backgrounds to believe that CSA is promoting or "supporting" family breakdown.

"We often test our parent support publications with parents from different cultures before translation to try to ensure terms such as "support", "calculate", "collect" and "transfer" make sense for different cultures," Mr Miller said.

"We're here to support separated parents to transfer payments for the benefit of their children, so we want non-English speaking parents to get the same access to this support as all Australian parents."CSA's translated versions of its popular Me and My series can also help separated parents deal with some of the more difficult aspects of breaking up, such as money management, your health, getting on with your ex, parenting from a distance and forming a new partnership.

The free booklets are available in Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese. The booklets are titled:
· Me and My Money
· What About Me
· Me, My Kids and My Ex
· Me and My Kids
· Me and My Changing Family

To order translated publications, call 1800 040 972 or visit from culturally diverse backgrounds can also access child support information via CSA's translation and information service.Customers with questions about their child support can contact the CSA via the telephone interpreter service by calling 131 450 between 8.30am and 4.45pm. Customers need to have their customer ID ready and ask the operator to put them through to the CSA on 131272.

Source: Child Support Agency Media Release

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