Family Support Agency Act, 2001

Functions of Agency.

4.—(1) The functions of the Agency shall be—

(a) to provide a family mediation service,

(b) to provide, where the Agency considers it necessary or expedient—

(i) family mediation through such other persons as it considers appropriate,

(ii) training in family mediation, either by itself or such other persons as it considers appropriate,

(c) to support, promote and develop the provision of marriage and relationship counselling and family support services,

(d) to promote and disseminate information about issues in relation to marriage and relationships education, family mediation, parenting and family responsibilities and related matters and in this regard to co-operate with other public authorities in providing information to assist persons in balancing their work and family responsibilities,

(e) to support, promote and develop the Family and Community Services Resource Centre Programme of the Minister,

(f) to undertake or commission research into matters related to its functions or such other matters as the Minister may request,

(g) to provide at the request of the Minister or on its own initiative advice, information and assistance to the Minister in relation to the development of any aspect of its functions,

(h) to provide, subject to the consent of the Minister, and in accordance with criteria established under section 7 , financial assistance to voluntary bodies in respect of any matter related to the Agency's functions and for this purpose to administer—

(i) the scheme of the Minister known as the Scheme of Grants to Voluntary Organisations providing Marriage, Child and Bereavement Counselling Services,

(ii) the programme of the Minister known as the Family and Community Services Resource Centre Programme, and

(iii) such other schemes, grants and other facilities for financial assistance as may, from time to time, be authorised by the Minister after consultation with the Minister for Finance,

(i) to prepare strategic plans in accordance with section 9 ,

(j) to perform any additional functions assigned to the Agency under section 5 .

(2) The Agency in performing the functions conferred on it by or under this Act shall have regard to—

(a) the need to assist in particular, persons involved in the process of separation or divorce to reach agreement where possible, especially in disputes involving children,

(b) the need for co-operation with other relevant public authorities and voluntary bodies,

(c) Government policy in particular social inclusion policy.

(3) The Agency shall have all such powers as are necessary for or incidental to the performance of its functions under this Act.