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In Touch reunites families.



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Hon. Larry Anthony, MP Minister for Community Services

20 February 2001

IN TOUCH REUNITES FAMILIES

"Centrelink's In Touch program last year received 1,650 requests to help 'missing' people get back in touch with their loved ones and friends," Minister for Community Services Larry Anthony, said today.

"In Touch helps members of the community wishing to find family or friends who have gone missing.

"In January alone Centrelink received 116 such requests.

"Upon receiving a request, Centrelink writes to the person being sought informing them of the request and providing the appropriate contact details, should the person wish to follow the request up.

"Requests often come from people such as the Salvation Army and Red Cross, as well as the police.

"Centrelink does not provide information on customers to anyone, unless the police are concerned for the persons safety and well being.

"In such an instance the Police are only informed of the customers address after the customer has been given fourteen days to contact the Police's Missing Persons Unit.

"As always, the customer's privacy is protected.

"This is an excellent program. It provides an avenue for families and friends to approach their loved ones, to let them know they care. Yet it also ensures that at all times, the individual's privacy is paramount.

"This Government is committed to assisting families to stay together and support each other. The Government has developed a number of programs and support payments to help families stay together and to get in touch," Minister Anthony said.

Contact: Brendan Cooper - Media Adviser 02 6277 7240 0409 397 349

Email: brendan.cooper@facs.gov.au Web site: www.facs.gov.au

For further information or feedback on this site email us at minister.anthony@facs.gov.au

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Minister for Family and Community Services Dept of Family and Community Services Centrelink