Posts tagged Single mothers
Supercharging discrimination: The Targeted Compliance Framework and the impact of automated decision-making

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty is preparing a report on the human rights impact of the introduction of digital technologies in social security systems. The Human Rights Law Centre made a submission to the Special Rapporteur focusing on Australia’s social security system and how technology is increasingly being used to target and punish people, especially single mothers, through programs like ParentsNext. Monique Hurley (@monique_hurley) from the Human Rights Law Centre (@RightsAgenda) summarises their submission, focusing on the gendered impacts. The full submission is available here. More information about the Special Rapporteur’s report is available here.  

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Do the Hustle: How I make ends meet as a single parent

The Coalition’s stance on income support is “the best form of welfare is a job.” For many people on The Newstart Allowance, however, one job doesn’t cut it. In today’s analysis, the insightful Juanita McLaren (@defrostedlady) takes us through her tax return to demonstrate how Welfare to Work policies incentivise decisions around employment, education, income support and debt for single mothers.

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Thanks for asking… Mothers say ParentsNext puts parents last

With the outcome of the recent federal election, the Coalition’s ‘pre-employment’ program known as ParentsNext looks set to continue indefinitely. While a recent Senate Inquiry found the program to be deeply flawed and often harmful to participants, the program is not without its defenders. In today’s piece, Ella Buckland (@EllaNBuckland), who has become a strong advocate for women who are enrolled and is leading a petition to have the program made voluntary, writes about her own experiences and those of other mothers who are on the program in an effort to set the record straight on the program’s merits.

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Child support and the F word

Poverty in Australia appears to be entrenched for many marginalised groups, and this is a concern which is regularly raised in the lead-up to the Federal election – is Australia “fair”? However, one policy area on which there is resounding silence is child support. In today’s federal election series, Kris Natalier (@KrisNatalier) of Flinders University and Terese Edwards (@Terese_NCSMC) of the National Council for Single Mothers and their Children argue that child support reform is urgently needed to reduce poverty levels and improve financial and psychological wellbeing for some of Australia’s most disadvantaged families.

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“I should be able to provide that”: How Welfare-to-Work Affects Low-Income Single Mothers’ Food Provision

With the recent release of the jobactive inquiry report and the current inquiry into ParentsNext, today’s policy analysis could not be more timely. Natalie Jovanovski provides a summary[i] of research she conducted with Policy Whisperer Kay Cook into how current Welfare to Work policies inform single mothers’ food provisioning practices, and the consequent impacts on mental and physical health for both the mothers and their children.

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ParentsNext doesn’t get much right – but it could with some meaningful co-design

This week the Senate Inquiry into ParentsNext, including its trial and subsequent broader rollout published its first round of submissions. This follows months of public scrutiny after the program’s national rollout in July 2018. Sarah Squire (@SquireSarah) and Policy Whisperer Susan Maury (@SusanMaury) summarise Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand’s (@GoodAdvocacy)’ submission to the inquiry and suggest an alternative approach.

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Australia’s child support system facilitates economic abuse

We have previously posted analyses of how Australia’s child support system is detrimental to women’s financial security and wellbeing, and how the welfare system meets the definitional criteria for economic abuse. In today’s post, Kris Natalier (@KrisNatalier) shares findings from her recent research, which indicates that the Australian child support system perpetuates power inequalities and ongoing economic abuse.

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The same old story: How Newstart fails single mothers at every turn

Popular policy analyst Juanita McLaren (@DefrostedLady) shares her latest roundabout journey back to applying for the notoriously low Newstart Allowance and the attendant headaches that has involved. Juanita’s story is a case study of the myriad ways that the government’s policies fail to appreciate the complexities of everyday life and the difficulty of balancing viable employment with raising children as a sole parent.

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Snakes and ladders: The experience of single mothers on Welfare to Work

Single mother households are the most disadvantaged household type in Australia. The Welfare to Work policy is intended to help single mothers engage with employment, increase their self-reliance and improve their financial security. Today’s post summarises a new report by Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand that is being launched at the ACOSS National Conference. Authored by Juanita McLaren (@defrostedlady), Susan Maury (@SusanMaury) and Sarah Squire (@SquireSarah), it is titled “Outside systems control my life”: The experiences of single mothers on Welfare to Work, and draws on in-depth interviews.

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Women, welfare, and a policy of economic abuse

The increasingly punitive welfare policies of the Coalition government have been explored from a range of angles here, but today’s post provides a framework for understanding them. Policy Whisperer Susan Maury (@SusanMaury) of Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand suggests that government welfare policies fit the definition for economic abuse.

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By all means raise the rate, but while we’re at it…

With a majority of Australians supporting an increase to the Newstart allowance (current below the poverty line), the #RaisetheRate campaign has been taken up by many in the lead-up to Federal elections. In today’s blog, Sarah Squire (@SquireSarah) of Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand argues that, while raising the rate is the right thing to do, it’s also important to strengthen the other policies that govern differing aspects of financial security. This is particularly so for single mothers, who are often victims of both punitive government policies and post-separation economic abuse from former partners.

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Contracted employment services: obligations placed on single parents fails to help many

Since the early 2000s successive Australian governments have required single parents with school age children who are in receipt of income support payments to at a minimum engage in some form of planning to return to paid work or part-time paid work or education/training. Over time these “activation obligations” that have been placed on single parents have become more onerous. Currently the government requires parents in receipt of Parenting Payment Single to seek a minimum of 30 hours of paid work per fortnight once their youngest child turns six.

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No roses (or support) for the ‘undeserving’: Deconstructing how Australian policy punishes single mums

While planning their own Mothers’ Day celebrations in lieu of the absent fathers, Emily Wolfinger (@Ewolfi10) and Juanita McLaren (@defrostedlady) of Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand reflect on the devaluing of caring work in social policy and its implications for women parenting alone.

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