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Increasing the numbers of parents as voluntary participants in JSA Toni Wren, Employment and Social Policy Consultant Consultant to DEEWR on Family Centred.

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Presentation on theme: "Increasing the numbers of parents as voluntary participants in JSA Toni Wren, Employment and Social Policy Consultant Consultant to DEEWR on Family Centred."— Presentation transcript:

1 Increasing the numbers of parents as voluntary participants in JSA Toni Wren, Employment and Social Policy Consultant Consultant to DEEWR on Family Centred Employment Project 9 August 2011

2 Outline of presentation Why focus on jobless families? Who and where are they. Current interventions and emerging lessons Role of JSAs Q and A and Discussion What’s next: Budget Measures in 10 locations Q and A and Discussion

3 Australia has one of the highest proportions of children living in jobless families in the OECD. Unemployment is the greatest cause of child poverty in Australia. Jobless families are defined as families with dependent children under 16 with no reported income from employment in the last 12 months. Joblessness is not only associated with higher rates of poverty, but poorer health status and lower education attainment for parents and their children. Disadvantage is concentrated by location – Tony Vinson:1.7% postcodes account for >7x their share of major factors causing intergenerational poverty and disadvantage – large numbers are in urban areas but also occurs in rural and remote. Joblessness among families is a significant social and economic problem in Australia

4 Jobless families at February 2011 Jobless Families (>1 year, no earnings) 255,000 or 40% of 630,000 630,000 families dependent on income support About 50% have a youngest child aged under 6 and potential JSA volunteers 215,000 or 84% are single parents

5 Barriers to employment Related to the individual or internal factors: Health problems (mental and physical) Disability Poor education, literacy, numeracy skills Children with health or behavioural problems Domestic violence Housing instability/homelessness Structural or external factors: Tax and transfer system disincentive to employment Lack of affordable child care Lack of affordable transport to education or employment Work places not suitable for combining with child caring role Lack of internet/computer access

6 Emerging promising practice Local Connections to Work (Centrelink) – focus on disadvantaged unemployed – not necessarily parents – engagement and employment Communities for Children (FaHCSIA) – focus on parents of young children – engagement not employment Family Centred Employment Project (DEEWR) – focus on parents and children – engagement and employment

7 Local Connections to Work Early outcomes Higher attendance rate (66% versus 58% normal JSA interview attendance rate). Letter from Centrelink, not provider, main reason. 50% higher job placement rate than for similar clients who had not participated. First 8 months: >200 job placements Client feedback: 82% better than previous Centrelink interviews and service and 73% better than JSA interview and service. Provider feedback: Centrelink and employment service providers working well together; community partners building stronger links with each other, Centrelink office is convenient access point for service delivery to clients. See Report of Taskforce on Strengthening Government Service Delivery for Job Seekers, July 2011.

8 Communities for Children Service model Cooperation, collaboration and networking between different service providers at the local level. Led to increased referral between agencies & solved problems Client engagement and retention Welcoming, comfortable and safe environment Soft entry and non stigmatising venues and services: schools, child care centres, neighbourhood centres, health centres, toy libraries and parks, cafes and football clubs. Then link to more specialised services. Schools, health clinics and child care centres are key – schools can be venue and partner for training courses, playgroups, pre prep classes and family support services. For CALD and Indigenous - free child care services, assistance with transport, use of bilingual workers or interpreters, offering a meal as part of the program Non government regarded as less threatening than government for some. Build relationships based on trust and rapport between service staff and parents.

9 Family Centred Employment Project Demonstration project being administered by the DEEWR but run by contracted community based providers.. 3 projects from 1 July 2010-30 June 2013: –Broadmeadows (Victoria) – Goodna (Queensland) – Mansfield Park and Angle Park (South Australia) – started November 2010 Aims to holistically meet the needs of jobless families whose members are likely to have entrenched and multiple barriers to employment participation. Jobless families participation is voluntary.

10 Key elements of the FCEP service model Provides family-centred, as opposed to individual, servicing. Takes a client focused and strengths based case management approach that brings together a range of supports that revolve around the needs of the individual and their family. Establishes local steering committees to coordinate service arrangements and guide the FCEP design and approach. Provides intensive support for jobless families with children aged 0-5 years to address their childcare and early education needs. Works with LECs and builds demand-led capacity of local employment service providers. Engages local employers to create a workforce environment that supports the employment of local jobless families.

11 FCEP emerging lessons High level of disadvantage for many families Local gaps in services Integrated model treated with some suspicion by providers (JSAs and social services Other government agencies cooperative and critical to success – Centrelink, State and Local Government Attracting volunteers is difficult

12 Key themes emerging Collaboration and partnerships with other service providers – government of all levels and NGOs – takes time to build trust between providers and between providers and clients but is a positive Integrating employment with support to overcome barriers to work (not either or, one before the other) Voluntary participation needs soft entry points.

13 Opportunities for employment service providers Strong labour market – employers more willing to engage Stability – rollover of ~80% of JSA contracts for 2012-15 Federal Budget 2011-12 measures – both universal and in select locations

14 Volunteer parents and JSAs Referred by Centrelink or other provider JSA provider Fully eligible job seeker JCSI & possible Employment Services Assessment Stream 2 Stream 4 Stream 1 Stream 3 EPF Partially Eligible job seeker Stream 1 services only Client chooses Parent can elect to exit or participate in JSA Services at anytime JSAs receive service and outcome payments as part of the normal JSA servicing arrangements.

15 Questions and Answers Discussion

16 Next Steps: Building Australia’s Workforce 2011-12 Budget Measures The Federal Government is trialling a new approach with teenage parents and jobless families in 10 locations of disadvantage. The two trials are both based on: more Centrelink engagement to connect parents to support and services a focus on children’s health, wellbeing and early childhood development plus Teenage parents –focus on completing Year 12 or equivalent Jobless families –focus on preparing parents to participate in work. 10 LGA locations: Playford (SA), Hume (Vic), Shepparton (Vic), Burnie (Tas), Bankstown (NSW), Wyong (NSW), Shellharbour (NSW), Rockhampton (Qld), Logan (Qld), and Kwinana (WA).

17 Support for Teenage Parents and their Children From 1 January 2012 at a cost of $47.1 million over four years 4000 teenage parents in total over the four years across 10 locations Who? Teenage parents living in the 10 locations who are on Parenting Payment and who do not have Year 12 or equivalent. What will they have to do? Attend six monthly support and engagement interviews with Centrelink Initial interview when their child turns six months old, focus on: parents’ plans for the future; information about the program; and services available for them and their children, such as playgroups, pre-schools, Youth Connections and Communities for Children.

18 Support for Jobless Families Starts 1 July 2012 at a cost of $71.1m over four years. 22 000 parents per year across 10 locations Who? Parents who have been on income support for more than two years and who are not working or studying, or who are under the age of 23 years and not working or studying. What will they have to do? Each child aged one and two - attend an annual interview with Centrelink Each child aged three and four - bi-annual interview with Centrelink Youngest child turning four and five - attend an annual workshop with Centrelink

19 Supports for Parents in the 10 locations Job Services Australia (on a voluntary basis) Youth Connections Communities for Children (including 3 new sites –Bankstown, Rockhampton and Shepparton) Jobs Education Training Child Care Fee Assistance Program (JETCCFA) (extended from 26 weeks to 52 weeks for employment activities in 10 locations) Other services already on the ground in the locations supplemented by Local Solutions Fund from July 2012

20 A broad engagement strategy to implement the Government’s Building Australia’s Workforce place-based is planned. First consultations with 6 State Governments conducted in July. Work on future community consultations are currently being developed by DHS. Consultations in 10 locations

21 Questions and Answers Discussion

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