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Report released on the experience of single mothers on Welfare to Work

Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand’s latest research Outside Systems Control My Life: The experience of single mothers on Welfare to Work was released at the recent 2018 Australian Council Of Social Services National Conference. The report finds that the Welfare to Work policy is not only failing to help single mothers find employment, it is increasing their financial insecurity and eroding their attempts to find work and become self-reliant.

The Welfare to Work reforms were introduced in 2006 with the aim of increasing workforce participation and self-reliance among several groups of people on income support payments, including single parents in receipt of Parenting Payment Single.

As a form of welfare conditionality – the linking of the right to social security with particular obligations such as job search activities – the policy currently requires single parents to undertake mutual obligation activities once their youngest child turns six.

Single parents are moved onto the lower New start Allowance when their youngest
child turns eight. Since the majority of single parents are women, this project
aimed to investigate whether the policy has achieved its stated objectives of improving workforce participation, self-reliance and financial security for single mothers.

Additionally, this research examined the implementation of the policy by illuminating the
day-to-day experiences that single mothers have with jobactive providers and Centrelink.

Key findings

Full report

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