Ella struggled to make ends meet with the ParentsNext program.is now out of service

Key Point
  • Those involved in the ParentsNext Welfare Program will no longer be bound by mandatory obligations.
  • The government said parents described the program as punitive, unproductive and harmful.
  • Campaigners and advocates say the decision is a win for parents.
When Ella Buckland was living as a single parent on the ParentsNext program, she says it was “the most stressful time of her life.”
Under this controversial program, parents were sent to an employment provider and had to fulfill mutual obligations to receive financial assistance.
These compliance activities vary from person to person, but may include scheduling appointments, attending training, applying for jobs, and activities for children.
Payment may be put on hold if the recipient misses the appointment or fails to complete the activity.

Backlund had a young daughter at the time, moved to a rural area with no jobs, cared for her elderly mother, and was working through family court proceedings with her daughter’s father.

“While you are expected to work, look for work, and take your children to swim lessons and arbitrary activities, how should you handle your caring responsibilities?” she said. asked.
“When you’re a mother, you have the hardest job ever, and then the government comes along and says you’re not working.
“It was the most stressful time of my life.”
Buckland says the combination of caring responsibilities and strict compliance requirements puts her under chronic stress.
She says programs like ParentsNext put unnecessary pressure on parents, especially mothers, and underestimate the work they do at home.
“Parenting is really work and should be valued more and more,” she said.

“I think it’s a real shock for a lot of women. Not just the responsibility of caring, but the lack of work that they do at home (that is usually unpaid… I will solve it and the government will equivalent to $2.20 per hour.”

After reviewing ParentsNext’s policies and laws, Buckland began lobbying against the program.
She launched a campaign, Facebook page, petition, and contributed two inquiries to ParentsNext.
The Albanian government has now announced that the program will be discontinued from 1 July 2024.

In a joint statement, Women’s Minister Katie Gallagher and Employment Minister Tony Burke said the mandatory requirements for participants would be immediately suspended.

“Women across the country are telling us that the previous government’s ParentsNext program is punitive, counterproductive and harmful,” the statement said.
“In the election, we committed to listening to women’s experiences and making decisions that make their lives better and fairer.

“Therefore, we are retiring ParentsNext from 1 July 2024.”

What is the ParentsNext scheme and why is it deprecated?

The ParentsNext program sent new parents to employment providers and required parents to undergo training, education and parenting courses to maintain their welfare.
This is for parents with children between the ages of 9 months and 6 years who are under the age of 55 and have not worked in the last 6 months.

Parents who had not graduated from high school and had received income support for a period of time were also included.

Buckland is one of many parents who, along with advocacy groups, have campaigned against the program, which has attracted about 100,000 people to the system.
There have been Senate inquiries from participants, advocates, legal bodies and service providers, many of whom say the program should be made voluntary or eliminated.
In March, a special committee headed by Labor MP Julian Hill said the program was “trapped in a punitive framework and does too much harm for good”, ruling ParentsNext’s sweeping requested drastic changes.
Terese Edwards, Executive Officer of Single Mother Families Australia, said ParentsNext did not offer enough flexibility for situations such as illness or domestic violence.
“You have a lot going on in those households,” she said.

“And sometimes the letter arrives and you don’t realize the seriousness of the letter … A woman can be in breach from the start and suddenly stop paying.”

A Senate study found that since ParentsNext rolled out nationwide on July 1, 2018, 55,000 parents have received 159,000 suspensions, each lasting an average of five days.
Edwards, who is also a single mother, told SBS News that the show is also based on harmful assumptions about single and low-income parents.

“There was no belief that if you were raising a child on your own and you were facing difficulties … it created the assumption that you weren’t doing the best for your child,” she said. Told.

What do the changes mean?

Once mandatory requirements are suspended, participants will no longer be subject to payment suspension or penalties for their failure to engage in activities under ParentsNext, such as participation in bookings.
The government said those who continue to participate in ParentsNext will receive assistance in planning and preparing for employment, including financial support to conduct education and training.
In the coming weeks, the government will consider longer-term interim arrangements and develop voluntary alternative programs.
These arrangements will ensure parents and careers continue to have access to the support they need, including access to subsidized childcare, according to the government.
Mutual obligation requirements as part of Workforce Australia (an employment service established by the government and designed to support job seekers) continue to apply to all other participants.

Additional reporting by AAP

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/parentsnext-program-to-be-scrapped/msbvsawov Ella struggled to make ends meet with the ParentsNext program.is now out of service

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