FAMILY & RELATIONSHIP SERVICES AUSTRALIA (FRSA) IS THE NATIONAL PEAK BODY FOR FAMILY RELATIONSHIP AND SUPPORT SERVICES.
This submission was presented by FRSA to the Australian Government’s Department of Social Services (DSS) Welfare Review Reference Group on 15th August 2015. It was presented in direct response to the questions posed in the Group’s interim paper.
FRSA supports the important role the Review plays in building a society where no person is worse off.
FRSA’s submission considers a wide range of issues surrounding the Australian Government’s welfare payment system including the need for a reduction of red tape, the over-representation of disadvantaged individuals in jobless statistics, and concerns surrounding the current income management system.
In consideration of the multitude of interconnected and intergenerational factors that can cause disadvantage, FRSA supports a welfare system in which empowerment and support for individuals, families and communities are held as central tenets.
Australia’s welfare system needs to be based on more than just short term solutions. FRSA supports a simplification of the Australian welfare system, the funding of early intervention and support programs at all stages of the relationship cycle and a flexible case managed approach for more complex, high needs clients.
This submission can be accessed online at: http://www.dss.gov.au/our-responsibilities/review-of-australia-s-welfare-system/public-submissions
The Australian Government has announced its committment to working more closely with Indigenous Australians on the priority areas of getting children to school, adults to work and making communities safer.
A new Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) began on 1 July 2014 and replaced more than 150 individual programmes and activities with five flexible, broad-based programmes.
The objective of the Strategy is to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians, with a particular focus on:
- Getting Indigenous Australians into work, fostering Indigenous business and ensuring Indigenous people receive economic and social benefits from the effective management of their land and native title rights;
- Ensuring children go to school, improving literacy and numeracy and supporting families to give children a good start in life;
- Increasing Year 12 attainment and pathways to further training and education;
- Making communities safer so that Indigenous people enjoy similar levels of physical, emotional and social wellbeing as that enjoyed by other Australians;
- Increasing participation and acceptance of Indigenous Australians in the economic and social life of the nation; and
- Addressing the disproportionate disadvantage in remote Australia.
PM&C has now posted the Indigenous Advancement Strategy program guidelines, draft funding application form and draft funding agreement here: http://www.dpmc.gov.au/indigenous_affairs/index.cfm#saftey_wellbeing
The website states the future funding rounds may be either direct, restricted or open tender and if open tender, the process will commence in September 2014. It might be worthwhile taking a look at the program guidelines in the interim to see what, if anything, has changed