The first bureau for Marriage Counseling in South Africa was established in 1948 in Johannesburg. It became an organization to which people with marriage problems could turn to for help.
A National Family and Welfare Conference, with family problems and disintegration as the main theme, was held in Johannesburg in 1954. Dr. Mace and his wife Vera were invited to this occasion. After this conference the South African National Council for Marriage Guidance and Counseling was established on the 6th of October 1954.
Over the years the South African National Council for Marriage Guidance and Counseling changed their name to The Family and Marriage Society of South Africa and is now known as Families South Africa (FAMSA)
FAMSA is a non-profit Organization and depends on donations from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, the Department of Social Development, the business sector and public.
The developmental social welfare services are presently rendered by 28 FAMSA societies situated countrywide who are affiliated to FAMSA National Directorate.
Service programmes address the following.
- Family preservation
- Management of H.I.V. / A.I.D.S.
- Conflict management
- Eradication of violence
- Poverty relief
FAMSA services greatly focus on capacity building and empowerment of un-serviced and under-serviced communities.
FAMSA’s objectives are:
- To empower people to build, restore and maintain sound relationships in marriage, in the family and in communities.
- To promote and to provide preventive, reconstructive and developmental services in the field of family preservation and interpersonal relationships that are accessible and equitable.
- To impart information, knowledge and skills about the enrichment of marriage, family life, youth, parenting, marriage preparation, personal development and management, and other interpersonal relationships
- To provide specific counseling and remedial services to individuals, couples, parents, families and groups regarding the challenges and problems they are facing in their personal and interpersonal functioning
- To identify, train, supervise and give professional support to suitable persons as counselors, group workers and community development workers.