Got a question?

1. What does CSMC do? How can I get in touch with you?
2. I can’t afford to purchase food and other essential items for my family. Where can I get help in my local area?
3. My local community organisation is unable to provide me with emergency relief. Where else can I get help?
4. I am in rental arrears. Where can I go for help?
5. I need to move out of my house and I can’t secure accommodation. Where can I get housing assistance?
6. My children and I have left a domestic violence situation. Where can I get help?
7. I have separated from my partner and he is threatening to apply for full custody. What can I do?
8. I am not receiving child support from my ex as he is working cash in hand. What should I do?
9. Are there any single mother support groups in my area?
10. Where can I access low cost counselling?

1. What does CSMC do? How can I get in touch with you?

CSMC provides telephone support for single mothers and their children and advocates for their rights. You can call our Support Line to talk to an experienced Contact Worker who is or has been a single mother, email us or contact our Facebook page.

Our Contact Workers will listen and support you with any issues you want to discuss and provide you with practical information and referrals. The issues women contact us with are solo parenting, housing and financial stress, family violence, employment and childcare, dealing with Centrelink, Human Services, Family Court and the Child Support Agency, family law, and anything else they want to talk about. We can refer you to local services and agencies that can assist you further.

To find out more, call us 03 9654 0622 between 9.30am-3.00pm Monday to Friday, or outside metro Melbourne call 1300 552 511 for the cost of a local call, or email csmc@csmc.org.au anytime.

Find out more about CSMC here.

2. I can’t afford to purchase food and other essential items for my family. Where can I get help in my local area?

There are community organisations in most regions that offer emergency relief in the form of pantry food, food vouchers, material aid or help with other essential items for people and families in crisis. To find your nearest service use the DSS Service Directory or call CSMC. You can reach us on 03 9654 0622 between 9.30am-3.00pm Monday to Friday, or outside metro Melbourne on 1300 552 511 for the cost of a local call, or you can email csmc@csmc.org.au anytime.

3. My local community organisation is unable to provide me with emergency relief. Where else can I get help?

CSMC provide limited emergency relief for single mother families living in Victoria, for basic necessities such as food, shelter and school costs.

Depending on your situation, there are other community organisations that can provide financial assistance to people in crisis.

For more information and to find out if you are eligible to apply, call 03 9654 0622 between 9.30am-3.00pm Monday to Friday, or 1300 552 511 outside metro Melbourne (for the cost of a local call from a landline), or email csmc@csmc.org.au anytime.

Service providers can call us on behalf of single mothers they are supporting or refer women to us to apply for themselves.

4. I am in rental arrears. Where can I go for help?

Some housing services and community organisations can provide financial help with rental arrears (and bond and rent in advance) for people in the private rental market through the Housing Establishment Fund (HEF).

You can view the list of HEF service providers from the Infoxchange website here.

To discuss your personal situation, call our Support Line on 03 9654 0622 between 9.30am-3.00pm Monday to Friday, or outside metro Melbourne call 1300 552 511 for the cost of a local call, or email csmc@csmc.org.au anytime.

5. I need to move out of my house and I can’t secure accommodation. Where can I get housing assistance?

If you are homeless, at risk of homelessness or escaping family violence, you can contact your nearest crisis support centre for assistance. Phone 1800 825 955 24 hours a day or visit the Victorian Government housing website for details of the options available. You will also find organisations listed that support women to find emergency, short-term and long-term housing.

We can refer you to a suitable service. Call us on 03 9654 0622 between 9.30am-3.00pm Monday to Friday (or outside metro Melbourne call 1300 552 511 for the cost of a local call, visit our housing page, or email csmc@csmc.org.au anytime.

There is undoubtedly a lack of affordable, appropriate and safe housing across Australia and single mother families are struggling to find and afford private rentals, maintain mortgages or secure public housing. There are some innovative solutions, such as teaming up with another single mother to share a house. We have a closed Facebook group called the Single Mother Share House Register, which you can find by searching for the name on Facebook and asking to join.

Call us to discuss the best solution for your situation.

6. My children and I have left a domestic violence situation. Where can I get help?

For crisis support in a domestic violence situation, call Safe Steps Family Violence Support on 1800 015 188, 24 hours a day or visit www.safesteps.org.au. They can provide confidential crisis support, information on staying safe and access to accommodation.

If you are homeless, at risk of homelessness or escaping family violence, you can contact your nearest crisis support centre for assistance. Phone 1800 825 955 24 hours a day or visit the Victorian Government housing website for details of the available options.

To discuss your situation with one of our experienced Contact Workers, call us on 03 9654 0622 between 9.30am-3.00pm Monday to Friday (or outside metro Melbourne call 1300 552 511 for the cost of a local call) or email csmc@csmc.org.au anytime.

For information other housing services, visit our housing page.

You can find more information on family violence here.

7. I have separated from my partner and he is threatening to apply for full custody. What can I do?

For free information and advice about parenting arrangements contact Victoria Legal Aid on 1300 792 387.

For information about a range of family relationship issues or to find a dispute resolution centre contact the Family Relationship Advice Line on 1800 050 321. This is a free government service.

Separation, divorce and custody issues are all regulated by the Family Law Act.

For more information on Family Law, see our page, call us on 03 9654 0622 between 9.30am-3.00pm Monday to Friday (or outside metro Melbourne call 1300 552 511 for the cost of a local call), or email csmc@csmc.org.au anytime.

8. I am not receiving child support from my ex as he is working cash in hand. What should I do?

If you believe a parent is making false or misleading statements, deliberately omitting or under declaring income or assets, you can contact the Child Support fraud tip off line on 131 524 or get more information and legal advice from Victorian Legal Aid Child Support by visiting their website or calling 1300 792 387.

If child support payments are not being paid you will need to inform Centrelink to ensure you are receiving the correct amount of Family Tax Benefit.

To discuss your situation, you can call our Contact Workers on 03 9654 0622 between 9.30am-3.00pm Monday to Friday (or outside metro Melbourne call 1300 552 511 for the cost of a local call), or email csmc@csmc.org.au anytime.

For more information visit our page on child support.

9. Are there any single mother support groups in my area?

There are a variety of ways to link up with other single mothers, including joining an existing group or starting your own. Groups emerge and change often. In the past, CSMC has run camps and lunchtime events and supported local groups. When we have funds we plan to create more of these opportunities. In the meantime, you can find some online options here or call us on 03 9654 0622 between 9.30am-3.00pm Monday to Friday (or outside metro Melbourne call 1300 552 511 for the cost of a local call), or email csmc@csmc.org.au anytime.

10. Where can I access low cost counselling?

Personal counselling is available at a reasonable cost from local community health centres. For relationship counselling and dispute resolution, a Family Relationship Centre can assist you. You can find a list here.

Call us to find out more options on 03 9654 0622 between 9.30am-3.00pm Monday to Friday (or outside metro Melbourne call 1300 552 511 for the cost of a local call), or email csmc@csmc.org.au anytime.