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HomeAustraliaControversial ParentsNext program to be scrapped next year

Controversial ParentsNext program to be scrapped next year


The unpopular ParentsNext program will be scrapped by the Albanian government as of 1 July next year.

In the meantime, mandatory requirements for program participants introduced by the coalition government are being discontinued.

The abolition of ParentsNext was recommended by the government Advisory Committee on Economic Integration And his Women’s Economic Equality Task Force.

Women’s Secretary Katy Gallagher and Employment Secretary Tony Burke said women across the country had told the government the program is “punitive, counterproductive and harmful”.

Originally conceived as an effort to help very young and vulnerable single mothers, the program required participants to attend appointments, negotiate participation plans and report on agreed activities. If they do not do what is necessary, they can have their benefits suspended.

The program was rolled out to women with children under six, with the coalition government saying it would benefit those at risk of long-term social dependence. The plan was to help these parents prepare for a job by the time their children started school.

The welfare sector and a recent parliamentary inquiry have criticized the programme. The inquiry said it was “locked into a penal framework and doing too much harm for the good it does”.

The investigation, which was set up by Burke, found the program to be “polarizing”.

“Many parents we met explained that ParentsNext helped them build self-confidence, connect with employers and find paid employment. But many others think it is something close to evil and should be scrapped, describing the compliance process as re-traumatizing and akin to coercive control,” said the committee’s chairman Julian Hill of Labour. said in his forward to the report of the investigation. “ParentsNext is not as bad as many say, but not as great as others claim.”

The study recommended scrapping the program and replacing it with “a supporting pre-vocational service developed through a co-design process”. It said that in the meantime the incriminating elements should be removed from the current program.

Gallagher and Burke said in a statement that in the election Labor had “committed to listening to women’s experiences and making decisions that make their lives better and fairer”.

The women’s task force said ParentsNext should be replaced with “a new evidence-based program designed in partnership with young parents and based on principles of encouragement, support, flexibility and meeting their needs.”

Another measure for women is that next week’s budget will be introduced to liberalize the right to single parent benefits. Now a single mother loses this when her youngest child turns eight. She then has to go to JobSeeker, which is paid at a much lower rate. The new cut-off point could be when the youngest child turns 13 or 14.

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