Below you will find stories in the media related to child, youth and family services. Links to this section of our website will be provided in our regular E-News, so to keep up-to-date with what's happening by subscribing to our E-News by clicking here.
Please note: These are direct links to the media outlet that ran the story and were current at the time of posting to this website. We cannot guarantee the length of time that the media outlet will hold the link, so please be aware that the follow links may not be current. If you are interested in a particular story you may have to use the title, author and date to search in other ways. Please also note this is not comprehensive coverage but more a snapshot of stories across the sector.
Don't forget the needy in the land of plenty
Opinion, The Age, May 23, 2013
In this curious political climate, when the major parties are transfixed by fiscal surpluses (or deficits, as it transpires), anyone who dares to put a hand out for government benefits risks being branded in the public debate as somehow unworthy.
Childcare, schools lead rise in cost of raising children
Stephanie Peatling, Sydney Morning Herald, May 23, 2013
The cost of raising children has risen 50 per cent in the past five years with a middle-income family now spending $812,000 on two children, new modelling shows.
Many families and individuals desperately trying to hold on
Chip Le Grand, The Australian, May 22, 2013
Families are living in a "virtual prison of poverty", unable to pay for dental treatment, prescription medication, school books, clothes and excursions, a national survey of Australia's poor has found.
Single parents struggle after shift to Newstart
Shane Green, Rachel Browne, Sydney Morning Herald, May 22, 2013
A bleak picture of disadvantage among single parents forced onto Newstart has emerged, with a new Salvation Army report finding the contentious policy has compounded levels of deprivation.
Ice and marijuana tying up ambulance services in southeast
Peter Strachan, The Leader South East, May 20, 2013
Casey and Greater Dandenong have hit new highs in drug-related ambulance callouts, a new report shows.
Government denies youth suicide 'stuff-up'
Henrietta Cook , The Age, May 16, 2013
The state government has backed away from plans to end a suicide prevention program for vulnerable students but almost half the staff who run the service have left, the state opposition says.
Welfare groups have mixed budget reaction
Sally Sara, ABC PM, May 15, 2013
The federal budget has received a mixed response from welfare and community groups after delivering the promise of life-changing funding for Australians with disabilities but cutting back on family payments.
Disability scheme to be bigger than first estimated
Dan Harrison, The Age, May 15, 2013
The number of people expected to be covered by DisabilityCare has been revised up by 50,000 because of population growth and a decision to allow those who enter the scheme before the age of 65 to remain in it after they turn 65.
Howard baby bonus out but $2.4b in savings is in
Matt Wade, The Age, May 14, 2013
The Gillard government has dumped the baby bonus, one of the Howard government's signature reforms, and replaced it with a less generous scheme.
Budget to ease strain on dole and sole parent wage earners
Tim Colebatch, David Wroe, Daniel Flitton, Sydney Morning Herald, May 13, 2013
About 150,000 Australians who are unemployed or sole parents are tipped to benefit when Tuesday's budget increases the amount they can earn without losing benefits.
Age of innocence lost forever as trust clouded by paranoia
Eamonn Duff, Sydney Morning Herald, May 12, 2013
Australia's first Children's Commissioner wants communities to talk and trust more before referring unfounded child abuse reports to authorities.
Welfare cuts spur women to political action
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, May 11, 2013
Stung by Labor's cuts to their welfare payments, single mothers have joined forces to form a political party to contest Senate places and influence preferences.
Rent program failing
Rachel Browne, The Age, May 11, 2013
An assistance program designed to help low-income earners afford housing is failing, with new research finding that 157,000 Australian households receiving rent assistance are paying more than 50 per cent of their income on accommodation.
Two in five on income support in 'housing stress'
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, May 10, 2013
The number of welfare recipients living in housing stress has surged by almost 10 per cent in two years.
Is there such a thing as the 'privileged poor'?
Rachel Hills (Opinion), Daily Life, May 9, 2013
Have you ever sheepishly backed out of a social engagement because you're "too poor"?
Beating the peak without punishing the poor
Gill Owen (Opinion), The Conversation, May 9, 2013
Australia's electricity prices are rising and not everyone is finding it easy to keep up.
ACOSS slams Labor's family benefits U-turn
Sid Maher, The Australian, May 8, 2013
WELFARE groups have attacked the Gillard government's decision not to proceed with $1.8 billion in additional support for families because the mining tax failed to meet revenue forecasts.
Low income households skip meals to pay rent
Staff Writer, ABC News, May 8, 2013
The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Peter Jensen says government funding is not the only answer to overcoming poverty in Australia.
Concerns over no rise in welfare payments
AAP Staff Writer, The Australian, May 8, 2013
WELFARE groups are angry over reports the federal government has ruled out an increase to unemployment benefits.
Mother wins High Court challenge against Centrelink welfare fraud conviction
Shannon Deery, Herald Sun, May 8, 2013
UP TO 15,000 welfare fraud prosecutions could be in jeopardy after a landmark High Court decision on social security laws.
Victoria passes controversial adoption bill
Staff Writer, ABC News, May 8, 2013
The Victorian Parliament has passed controversial adoption legislation which allows birth parents to determine the identity of their adult children.
Labor scrambles to help job seekers without feeding its growing deficit
Mark Kenny, Sydney Morning Herald, May 8, 2013
Job seekers would be allowed to earn more from casual or part-time work before losing Newstart benefits under budget changes designed to help lift them out of poverty without increasing the dole.
Tenancy reviews don't cut waiting list
Vince Chadwick, The Age, May 7, 2013
Making public housing residents requalify for their homes every few years will do little to combat long waiting lists for accommodation, a study has found.
Rent collection doubts
Henrietta Cook, The Age, May 7, 2013
A scheme to let public housing authorities deduct rent directly from tenants' welfare payments will shunt people into deeper poverty, lawyers and the tenants' union warn.
Recession to hit outer suburbs hardest
Rick Morton, The Australian, May 6, 2013
MILLIONS of Australians living on the fringes of the nation's largest cities will be the "most vulnerable of vulnerable" in any recession after 21 years of economic growth masked the increasing polarisation of urban centres.
Young criminals work at welfare facilities housing vulnerable girls
Aleks Devic, Herald Sun, May 3, 2013
JUVENILE criminals are doing working bees at properties housing the state's most vulnerable young girls.
Teachers, nurses, creche workers told to report fears sooner
Grant McArthur, Herald Sun, May 2, 2013
TEACHERS, creche workers and maternal health nurses are being urged to raise child abuse concerns sooner under a sweeping overhaul of Victoria's child protection system.
Critical shortage of welfare services for pre-teens
Melissa Brown, ABC News, April 30, 2013
A new report warns there is a critical lack of welfare services for troubled pre-teenage children in Victoria.
Youth detention gap widening
Rick Morton, The Australian, April 30, 2013
STATES and territories have not only failed to close the gap in the indigenous youth justice system, but have overseen a widening in the past four years despite efforts to stop young Aborigines being jailed more often than their peers.
Shortage of places for families who are homeless
Rachel Browne, Sydney Morning Herald, April 30, 2013
Families comprise an increasing proportion of the nation's homeless but there is a dire shortage of suitable accommodation for them, says a new report.
Study shows importance of early literacy to later performance
Sally Sara, ABC AM, April 29, 2013
TONY EASTLEY: As debate grows over how to fund the Federal Government's Gonski education reforms, early childhood specialists are warning that some children will suffer lifelong illiteracy without adequate early intervention.
What price justice?
Jane Lee, The Age, April 21, 2013
Cuts to legal aid funding have left the community's most vulnerable people exposed and the court system lurching towards crisis, writes Jane Lee.
Betrayed single parents will not surrender
Dianne Hiles (Opinion), The Age, April 15, 2013
As the single mother of a 16-year-old girl, I joined in solidarity with many single parents at the weekend at Penrith and all around the country.
Claims adoption apology is undermined by contact vetoes
Richard Willingham, The Age, April 15, 2013
The emotional apology to past adoption practices is being undermined by legislation to introduce contact vetoes and criminal penalties on natural parents contacting their adult children, and must be stopped, adoption support groups say.
Cuts bode ill for tenants
Vince Chadwick, The Age, April 15, 2013
Public housing tenants are more likely to become homeless as a second instalment of cuts to support services takes effect, community workers warn.
Government cracks down on welfare fraud
Aleks Devic, Sunday Herald Sun, April 13, 2013
AUSTRALIANS are wrongfully claiming more than $1.8 billion a year in welfare overpayments.
Vic sole parents decry welfare cuts
AAP Staff Writer, ninemsn.com.au, April 13, 2013
Dozens have gathered in Melbourne to call for the reversal of Commonwealth cuts to single parent benefits.
Local sports clubs battle to ward off potential abusers
Barney Zwartz, The Age, April 12, 2013
Sports clubs rely too much on working-with-children checks to protect children from sex abusers, according to vicsport chief executive Mark McAllion.
Officials 'hinder child protection services'
Pia Akerman, The Australian, April 12, 2013
BUREAUCRATIC division, not a lack of money or resources, is the greatest impediment child protection services face in helping troubled families.
Vulnerable children's needs not being addressed: commissioner
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, April 11, 2013
THE National Children's Commissioner will use her first major speech to warn that Australia has one of the highest proportions of children living in jobless families in OECD nations.
Parents 'will need to double working hours'
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, April 11, 2013
A NEW analysis of the payment reductions to single parents reveals that many will need to increase their hours of work if they want to save their families from sliding deeper into poverty.
Reports of child abuse fall short of reality
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, April 11, 2013
CHILD abuse is being vastly over-reported in Australia, with the head of the government's family research body identifying a wide gulf between notifications of alleged abuse and the claims being substantiated.
Hold grog industry to account for youth crime, charities say
Barney Zwartz, The Age, April 10, 2013
Young offenders excessively maligned, say welfare agencies and judges.
Legal aid cuts begin to bite
Staff Writer, ABC News, April 8, 2013
Changes to eligibility for assistance from Victoria Legal Aid come into effect today.
The welfare system in Australia is broken
Gemma Jones, News Ltd Network, April 8, 2013
THE social security system is itself a welfare case - with up to 400,000 people on the disability support pension (DSP) who could work with the right support.
Expand Vic children checks: commissioner
Genevieve Gannon, Herald Sun, April 7, 2013
PARENTS who volunteer with their own children and members of religious groups should no longer be exempt from working with children checks, Victoria's children's commissioner says.
New minister keen to fix cuts to mums
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, April 6, 2013
NEW Human Services Minister Jan McLucas is understood to be in favour of using the budget to address the cuts in payments to single mothers, as the push within Labor for welfare changes gathers momentum.
Church must end the silence on child abuse
Peter Rolfe, Herald Sun, April 5, 2013
CHILD safety commissioner Bernie Geary has called for changes to Victorian law to force priests to report sex offenders to police, even if they learn of crimes at confession.
Poor records hide truth from state wards
Genevieve Gannon, Sydney Morning Herald, April 5, 2013
A state ward trying to piece together their identity was told by the Victorian Department of Human Services their file had been found but there was nothing in it. Another ward of state was told by the Uniting Church there were too many files to sift through, a Victorian inquiry has heard.
Ignorance key to child abuse, expert says
AAP Staff Writer, The Australian, April 4, 2013
MORE education is needed to overcome ignorance about child sex abuse and how to handle it - or Victoria will be have to hold another inquiry in 10 years, a child protection expert has warned.
Call to lift families out of unemployment
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, April 4, 2013
THE nation's largest non-profit job agency has proposed extending job support to entire families to deal with intergenerational unemployment and welfare dependency.
Fair go when it comes to welfare
Kim Carr (Opinion), The Australian, April 4, 2013
LABOR needs to constantly modernise our social security system to build community support and ensure fairness is maintained.
Welfare reform needs a new approach
Kevin Andrews (Opinion), The Age, April 4, 2013
Labor's changes to single-parent payments are yet another example of how it is mishandling major policies.
Mistake to move single parents onto dole, says former minister
Jonathan Swan, The Age, April 4, 2013
The decision to move thousands of single mothers onto the Newstart allowance, reducing their incomes, was a mistake that compromised Labor values, according to Rudd supporter and Labor senator Kim Carr.
Free service to aid abuse commission
Barney Zwartz, The Age, April 3, 2013
Victims of clergy child-sex abuse and others will be given free legal advice so they can engage with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which holds its first hearing on Wednesday in Melbourne.
Healing broken souls
Barney Zwartz, The Age, April 3, 2013
The stakes, and the expectations, are high for the royal commission into child sexual abuse, which begins today.
New agency to help abused women of Africa, Middle East origins in Casey, Greater Dandenong
Rachel Flaherty, Dandenong Leader, March 31, 2013
FORCED child marriage, life-threatening domestic violence and dowry abuse are rife in Greater Dandenong and Casey, a welfare agency has warned.
Welfare advocates back budget super cuts
Anna Henderson, AM ABC News, March 30, 2013
Welfare advocates are encouraging the Government to target superannuation as a source of savings in the budget to avoid further cuts to social security benefits.
Disabled poverty figures 'shameful'
Biwa Kwan, SBS, March 28, 2013
Welfare advocates say Australia needs a nationwide strategy to address the growing numbers of people with a disability who are forced to live in poverty.
Indigenous kids removed from families 'in record numbers'
Geremy Geia, NITV ??? SBS, March 27, 2013
The Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care says says Australia is at risk of creating another stolen generation. Muriel Bamblett from the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency says Indigenous Australia is over-represented in child protection and under-represented in family services.
Bond plan to get funds for welfare programs
Rachel Browne, Sydney Morning Herald, March 27, 2013
Big businesses and wealthy individuals will be asked to invest in community welfare under a new plan to be launched by the state government on Wednesday.
Power or food: the bill shock dilemma
Rachel Wells, The Age, March 25, 2013
Some of Australia's poorest families are skipping meals and selling possessions to pay their power bills, a new report has found.
ACOSS urges increase in Newstart payments
AAP Staff Writer, The Age, March 25, 2013
The federal government has been urged to increase the single unemployment benefit by $50 a week in this year's budget to show it is serious about tackling poverty.
Senators push for Newstart increase
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, March 25, 2013
LEFT-WING Labor senator Doug Cameron will put pressure on Wayne Swan to help single mothers and the unemployed in the budget, in a speech calling for the party to deliver on its core values.
Kids' commissioner wants their needs heard
AAP Staff Writer, The Australian, March 25, 2013
NEW National Children's Commissioner Megan Mitchell says Australia has not done enough to protect the rights of children.
Poverty hits people with disabilities
Rachel Browne (Opinion), Sun-Herald, March 23, 2013
More than 600,000 Australians with disabilities are living below the poverty line, according to new figures from the Australian Council of Social Service.
Forced adoption victims 'disgusted' at Labor spill
Lucy Carter, ABC News, March 22, 2013
Victims of forced adoption say they are disgusted at the actions of Simon Crean after he triggered yesterday's Labor leadership spill.
Surge in child protection cases clogging court
Henrietta Cook, The Age, March 22, 2013
The Children's Court is grappling with a dramatic increase in child protection applications, with regional areas hit the hardest and struggling to keep up with demand.
Victims of forced adoption give Prime Minister Julia Gillard standing ovation for national apology speech
Jessica Marszalek, News Limited Network, March 22, 2013
MOTHERS, fathers, daughters and sons sat and sobbed yesterday as their plights as the victims of forced adoptions was revealed to Australia and they got their long-awaited apology.
Words can't undo damage of forced adoption
Lisa Martin, AAP, March 21, 2013
"YOU imagine in your memory a baby, and all of a sudden there's a 30-year-old in front of you."
Gillard delivers apology to victims of forced adoption
Staff Writer, ABC News, March 21, 2013
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has delivered a national apology to victims of forced adoption practices that were in place in Australia from the late 1950s to the 1970s.
Abbott heckled for 'offensive' terms at forced adoption apology
Milanda Rout, The Australian, March 21, 2013
TONY Abbott has been heckled at today's apology to victims of forced adoptions after he used the terms "birth parents" and "relinquished", which members of the audience considered offensive.
Children's Court workload up 13%: report
AAP Staff Writer, The Australian, March 21, 2013
THE Victorian children's court is struggling to cope with child protection applications, particularly in country areas.
Single-parent move a 'breach of human rights'
Bianca Hall, The Age, March 21, 2013
A Labor-dominated parliamentary committee has found that the federal government's move to force single parents off parenting payments, and onto the lower Newstart allowance, could be a breach of their human rights.
Families still struggling with cost
Rachel Browne, Daniella Miletic and Mark Kenny, The Age, March 20, 2013
More than one-third of families struggle to pay childcare fees despite increased federal government assistance over the past decade, according to a new report by public policy think tank The Australia Institute.
Doubts over Triple P, the parenting program of choice
Rachel Browne, The Age, March 20, 2013
It is used in 25 countries, has been translated into 17 languages and is ranked by the United Nations as the leading parenting program.
Discrimination reforms dumped
Patricia Karvelas and Milanda Rout, The Australian, March 20, 2013
JULIA Gillard and her new Attorney-General have dumped their anti-discrimination reforms, breaking an election promise, outraging many Labor MPs and further destabilising the Prime Minister's leadership.
Renegades force Wayne Swan rethink on welfare
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, March 20, 2013
A NEW ginger group of up to 10 Labor MPs will meet Wayne Swan ahead of the May budget to push for an overhaul of welfare policy, including an increase to Newstart and allowing single mothers to keep more of their welfare payments when they work.
Apologise but allow adoption
Jeremy Sammut (Opinion), The Australian, March 19, 2013
MANY Australians believe that the national apology for forced adoption, to be delivered on Thursday in the federal parliament, is overdue.
Jobless to get a third the rise of pensioners
Peter Martin, The Age, March 18, 2013
Pensioners are about to get a supersized pay rise while Australians living on Newstart get a comparative pittance.
Public sympathy grows for single parents' plight
Adele Horin (Opinion), ABC The Drum, March 18, 2013
The backlash to the Federal Government's single parent welfare cuts is a sign of the public's softening attitude towards sole parents, writes Adele Horin.
Teenager Wendy Broadbent's inside story on foster care
Sheradyn Holderhead, The Advertiser, March 18, 2013
WENDY Broadbent knows all too well the difficulties children in foster care face: being removed from their family and then being placed with another.
Julia Gillard told to act on baby bonus
Samantha Maiden, Sunday Herald Sun, March 17, 2013
THE heat is on Prime Minister Julia Gillard to dump the baby bonus and take the axe to middle-class welfare in the May Budget so more funding for struggling schools can be delivered.
Unattractive side to new portrait of young people
Rachel Browne, Sydney Morning Herald, March 15, 2013
A new portrait of young people shows they are better educated and smoking less but are increasingly overweight, using illicit drugs and drinking at risky levels.
Australia behind other developed economies on youth wellbeing
Rick Morton, The Australian, March 15, 2013
AUSTRALIA'S rank among other major economies is slipping or stable on some critical wellbeing indicators for children and youth in the past five years, according to a national report.
Young Australians are fat, oversexed and underemployed
Susie O'Brien, Herald Sun, March 14, 2013
YOUNG Aussies are over-eating, over-sexed and under-employed, a new national snapshot shows.
The other cafe society
Shane Green, The Age, March 13, 2013
Victoria has the second highest jobless rate in the country. Shane Green reports from where the lack of work hits hardest.
Who are the real bludgers?
John Watson, Sydney Morning Herald, March 13, 2013
Something's awry when the needy are dismissed as welfare spongers and the well-off crave handouts.
Cameron calls for new tax to boost dole
Samantha Hawley, ABC AM, March 13, 2013
TIM PALMER: Six months from the Federal Election a senior Labor MP has called for a new tax to raise money to boost welfare payments.
Tax loopholes hurt welfare - ACOSS
Staff Writer, Sky News, March 11, 2013
Tax loopholes should be closed and welfare increased regardless of whether a federal Labor or coalition government is elected this year, the community sector's peak body says.
Child abuse cases start to rise again
Rachel Browne, The Age, March 8, 2013
The number of child abuse and neglect victims rose 20 per cent last year, reversing a long-term decline.
Welfare group calls for dole reform blueprint
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, March 8, 2013
WAYNE Swan should develop a "blueprint for the reform" of working age welfare payments taking into account "basic rates of payment, indexation arrangements and earnings" according to a budget submission by one of the nation's leading welfare groups.
Single parent payment review
Stephanie Peatling, Sydney Morning Herald, March 6, 2013
The federal government is considering relaxing rules that restrict how much money single parents can earn while receiving welfare payments.
Struggling to be heard: why foster care must change
Rebecca Barrett, ABC News, March 6, 2013
A survey of young people under government protection - the largest of its kind ever undertaken in Australia - shows most are still struggling to make their wishes heard. With rising numbers of children in state care, urgent change is needed, writes Rebecca Barrett.
Labor's advisers demand dole hike
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, March 6, 2013
JULIA Gillard's social inclusion board has told the government it must lift welfare payments and introduce a suite of new measures to attack poverty.
Won't someone please think of the grown-up children
Ged Kearney (Opinion), The Punch, March 5, 2013
Prins Ralston's piece yesterday on The Punch highlighted one of the forgotten issues in this election year - how do we get our young people into training and good jobs?
Single mothers of disabled kids hit by welfare reforms
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, March 5, 2013
AN analysis of government data reveals 60 per cent of single parents transferred from the Parenting Payment to the lower Newstart Allowance on January 1 were already working and 10 per cent of the single mothers were caring for a child or adult with a significant illness or disability.
Young, jobless, and in desperate need of a fair go
Prins Ralston (Opinion), The Punch, March 4, 2013
The ability to get a job is a critical part of our kids' future. If we can't get that right, then we've got a question mark over our entire society.
Single parent welfare cuts worry UN
AAP Staff Writer, Sydney Morning Herald, March 4, 2013
Monitors from the United Nations have expressed concerns to the federal government over welfare payment cuts to single parents.
UN monitors question single parent welfare cuts
Sally Sara, ABC News, March 4, 2013
United Nations human rights monitors have asked the Federal Government to justify its decision to cut welfare payments to single parents.
Gillard defends single parent welfare cuts
AAP Staff Writer, SBS News, March 4, 2013
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has given short shrift to UN human rights concerns over the government's single-parent welfare cuts, saying the people affected are being treated the same as other recipients.
At-risk kids in carer crisis as Department for Child Protection struggles to find accommodation
Katie Robertson, The Sunday Times, March 2, 2013
CHILD welfare workers are having to take vulnerable children home with them because of a severe shortage of foster families.
Youth crime changes urged
Jane Lee, The Age, February 28, 2013
THE age of criminal responsibility should be raised from 10 to 12 years to better fight youth crime, a study recommends.
Family violence drives crime-rate rise
Nino Bucci, The Age, February 28, 2013
The Victorian crime rate has increased again, with police saying that surging family violence offences are the reason for the rise.
Why are family courts out of step?
Charles Pragnell (Opinion), Online Opinion, 28 February, 2013
Every year in Australia, billions of dollars are spent by Federal and State governments on seeking to prevent child abuse and maltreatment and to protect children from harm and exploitation.
Elizabeth Broderick issues rallying call for overhaul of care
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, February 26, 2013
SEX Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick has called for a broad Productivity Commission inquiry into childcare and the care sector generally, to investigate a range of bold options to overhaul the system.
Custody elevates troubles for kids
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, February 26, 2013
CHILDREN aged under 13 who are placed in custody pending a court hearing will be remanded more than five times on average throughout their childhood, almost double the rate for kids who are older when they are first remanded.
National commissioner appointed
Judith Ireland, The Age, February 26, 2013
MEGAN Mitchell has been appointed as the first National Children's Commissioner. Ms Mitchell will be a dedicated advocate for children and young people. Her five-year term starts on March 25.
Dole is boosted for the unemployed - by a whole $4
Tory Shepherd, News Ltd, February 25, 2013
AUSTRALIA'S poorest people will get a whopping boost of $4 a week thanks to the "battlers' bonus" passed by Parliament yesterday.
Greens to push for single-parent payment boost
Staff Writer, ABC News, February 24, 2013
The Greens are proposing single parents receive a top-up to their welfare payments of up to $127 a week.
State failing children at risk Aleks Devic, Sunday Herald Sun, February 23, 2013
TWENTY-TWO toddlers and six school children have died from physical abuse despite being under state watch, which has the aim of protecting children from violent parents.
Push to full-time work punishes single mums
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, February 23, 2013
SINGLE mothers who have been forced on to Newstart and accept a full-time minimum wage job are losing so much money in government benefits they are effectively earning $7.42 an hour for the transitional hours to full-time work.
Quality costs force parents out
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, February 20, 2013
PARENTS have reduced and plan further cutbacks to the time their children attend long daycare centres because of fee rises flowing from federal government reforms.
Children missing out on disability services
Jewel Topsfield, The Age, February 19, 2013
MORE than 1000 Victorian preschool children have been on waiting lists for early intervention services such as speech and occupational therapy for longer than three months, with some missing out altogether before they start school.
Important issue falling between a major gap in disability and aged care reform
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, February 19, 2013
MORE than 80 per cent of Australians think the age ceiling of 65 to be covered by the national disability insurance scheme is unfair.
Police fear wave of child violence
Alex White, Herald Sun, February 18, 2013
CHILDREN are taking parents hostage with knives and assaulting siblings, according to a top Victorian cop who warned more was needed to deal with out-of-control kids.
Children under 10 could lose right to have a lawyer
Farrah Tomazin, The Age, February 17, 2013
THE Baillieu government has sought to restrict some children from having legal representation in court, prompting a backlash from lawyers, youth workers and human rights advocates
Single mother speaks about the impact of cuts to welfare payments
Bel Tromp, ABC Rural, 15 February 2013
Thousands of families around Australia are starting to feel the impact of Federal government cuts to welfare payments for single parents.
Sex abuse probe being given more powers
AAP Staff Writer, news.com.au, February 13, 2013
THE sex abuse royal commission is to be given more flexible powers so it can hear from more victims while remaining sympathetic to their trauma.
$10b price tag to service city's growth areas
Jason Dowling, The Age, February 13, 2013
MELBOURNE'S growth areas need $10 billion spent on new education, transport and health services in the next 15 years or the city risks dividing between those with good access to services and job opportunities, and the rest, a report to be released on Wednesday warns.
Greens' welfare hike to hit $13bn
David Crowe, The Australian, February 12, 2013
BUDGET outlays would swell by $13.1 billion over four years under a Greens plan to increase more than a dozen welfare programs, according to previously secret government costings released last night.
Homeless find a place to call home, on Twitter
Vince Chadwick, The Age, February 12, 2013
IT'S the home that Twitter built. Joe Brown, 29, and his partner Ben Stevens, 23, were homeless when they came to Melbourne in January from Castlemaine.
Prioritise welfare for singles: ACOSS
AAP Staff Writer, The Australian, February 12, 2013
THE federal government can afford to increase welfare payments to singles, the Australian Council of Social Services says.
Children in state care facing assaults and sex attacks
Andy Burns, Herald Sun, February 11, 2013
VULNERABLE children have revealed a secret life of prostitution, hard drugs including heroin and violence while living in residential care.
Facebook admits it pays monitors of online child safety
Ben Webster, The Australian, February 11, 2013
FACEBOOK has been accused of "cynical window dressing" after it emerged that it was making payments and "contributions" to charities that advised it on protecting children online.
Children trapped on the ground, longing to fly
Tony Wright (Opinion), The Age, February 9, 2013
MANY years ago I was acquainted with a young teacher at a primary school that drew many of its pupils from the flats in one of those soulless high-rise public housing towers tossed up in Melbourne's inner fringe in the 1960s. Some of these children were sullen and withdrawn, some were angry tear-aways and many had learning difficulties.
Outrage at 39 per cent jump in fixed power supply fees
Karen Collier, Herald Sun, February 7, 2013
HOUSEHOLDS are being stung with power supply price rises of up to 39 per cent before using any electricity.
Parents fear poverty after welfare cuts
AAP Staff Writer, The Australian, February 5, 2013
SOLE parents fear a generation of children will be entrenched in poverty if the federal government doesn't reverse cuts to single parent benefits.
Single parents rally against welfare cuts
Staff Writer, ABC News, February 5, 2013
Dozens of people have rallied in front of Parliament House in Canberra to oppose recent cuts to single parent payments.
Bernie Geary Vic children's commissioner
Joel Cresswell, Herald Sun, February 6, 2013
TROUBLED children in state care should be treated like returned soldiers and given a "gold card" for health and education, Victoria's new independent Commissioner for Children and Young People says.
New powers for boss of child protection agency
Staff Writer, ABC News, February 6, 2013
Victoria's new commissioner for children and young people will have much greater powers to investigate cases of abuse and neglect.
Dependence on dole rises 10pc in a year
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, February 7, 2013
THE number of people on the Newstart and Youth Allowance welfare payments has increased by almost 10 per cent over the past year.
Single mums want more work
Ben Pike, News Limited Network, January 27, 2013
CUTS to single-parent welfare have combined with the start of the school year to fuel a boom in applications for jobs in retail, hospitality, administration and health.
Jump in public housing waiting list
Henrietta Cook, The Age, January 25, 2013
HOUSING Minister Wendy Lovell has blamed an increase in the state's public housing waiting list on the Gillard government's changes to the single-parenting payment.
Mother-blaming is an outdated, simplistic view
Sandie de Wolf (Opinion), The Age, January 21, 2013
Accusing women on welfare of neglecting children ignores the role that men play in homes where violence is the norm.
Welfare, health cuts top priority: OECD
David Uren, The Australian, January 21, 2013
WELFARE cuts and savings on health and pension costs are the first line of attack for governments seeking to close their budget deficits.
Struggling to see the benefit in welfare shift
Stephanie Peatling, The Age, January 20, 2013
For Louise Piltz the choice was difficult but obvious. When her welfare payments were cut on January 1, the first item she identified as a belt-tightening measure was her son's swimming classes.
Justice fear as Legal Aid cuts bite
Henrietta Cook and Jane Lee, The Age, January 17, 2013
CHILDREN who are entitled to free representation in child protection cases are relying on the generosity of pro-bono lawyers because Victoria Legal Aid can no longer afford to help them, says the president of the Children's Court.
Welfare cuts to lone parents will not help them find work
Peter Whiteford (Opinion), The Age, January 17, 2013
Contra John Hirst, the indications are that most children who are abused do not live in lone-parent or step families.
Living on Newstart (if you can call it living)
Eliza Cussen (Opinion), ABC The Drum, January 16, 2013
We're all subject to the swings of fortune. We shouldn't have to debate whether we extend a hand of compassion or punish one another for bad luck, writes Eliza Cussen
A voice for our most vulnerable
Rosanne Barrett, The Australian, January 14, 2013
IT is the little girl's ninth birthday, and she is alone and crying. She has just endured a chaotic night of violence against her mother and little brother, but more confusion ensues when the police take her to her new emergency home.
Pressure to increase dole payments [Video]
Sarah Wiley, Seven News, January 14, 2013
Welfare system needs a new start
Toby Hall (Opinion), The Australian, January 14, 2013
IT is disappointing, if not tragic, that what passes for a debate on the nation's welfare system has boiled down to an argument over the need to boost the Newstart allowance above the present rate of $35 a day.
Single parent pension warning an 'error'
Daniel Hurst, The Age, January 14, 2013
Centrelink will contact tens of thousands of single parents who were wrongly told to destroy their concession cards after moving to Newstart dole payments.
Dole increase 'can't be ducked'
Pia Akerman, The Australian, January 14, 2013
SOCIAL welfare groups and Labor backbenchers have warned the Gillard government that a proposed $50-a-week boost to the Newstart allowance is "non-negotiable" and must not be ducked by adopting other measures to assist the unemployed.
Concerns at overcrowding at children's courts and contact with criminals
James Campbell, Sunday Herald Sun, January 13, 2013
CHILDREN'S courts are grossly overcrowded and vulnerable youngsters in regional Victoria can end up in contact with adult criminals at court, a new study has found.
Single parents to protest over Federal Government cuts to payments
AAP Staff Writer, Herald Sun, January 13, 2013
WELFARE advocates are planning to protest around Australia next month over the Federal Government's cuts to single parent benefits.
Bipartisan support needed to boost dole
AAP Staff Writer, The Australian, January 12, 2013
CONCERN from all sides of politics about the low dole allowance should spur action to increasing the entitlement payment, a key welfare lobby group says.
Too many blind to 'vile crime' of child sex abuse: PM
Judith Ireland and Bianca Hall, The Age, January 11, 2013
Prime Minister Julia Gillard said too many people have turned a blind eye to the shocking crime of child sexual abuse, as she announced the terms of reference for the royal commission in Sydney on Friday.
Macklin apologises for 'insensitive' Newstart comments
Jonathan Swan, The Age, January 11, 2013
Families Minister Jenny Macklin has apologised for her "insensitive" comments about the Newstart allowance, saying it was very hard to live on a low income.
Have a heart and boost dole: Rudd
Simon Cullen, ABC News, January 11, 2013
Former prime minister Kevin Rudd has urged the Government to show "a bit of a heart" and boost unemployment benefits, especially now that the budget surplus promise has been dumped.
Unit to target child sex abusers
Bianca Hall, The Age, January 11, 2013
AN INVESTIGATIVE unit designed to prosecute sex offenders will be established as part of the royal commission on the sexual abuse of children due to begin later this year.
Disabled at greater risk of sleeping rough
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, January 10, 2013
PEOPLE with a disability are at greater risk of homelessness than the general population, particularly those with a mental illness.
Funding crisis for juvenile justice
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, January 8, 2013
THE nation's children's court system is damaged, starved of resources and handing out sentences that vary widely depending on where children live.
Katter call to increase welfare for mothers
Patricia Karvelas and Pia Akerman, The Australian, January 7, 2013
MAVERICK federal MP Bob Katter says single mothers should receive an increase in their welfare payments, putting further pressure on the Gillard government to address calls for an improved support system.
GPs the front line in reporting domestic violence
Alison Caldwell, 'AM' ABC Radio, January 7, 2013
ASHLEY HALL: There are calls today for all new GPs to be trained to recognise the signs of domestic violence. They've been prompted by a recent survey in Victoria that found family violence is the leading cause of death and ill health in women of child bearing age.
Legal help slashed for those in most need
Remy van de Wiel, Herald Sun, January 7, 2013
Imagine if a relative or friend is accused of an offence.
Extreme weather a peril for vulnerable
Peter Hannam, Sydney Morning Herald, January 6, 2013
Australia's most vulnerable people are at greater risk of injury and death because community organisations cannot cope with extremes of weather, says the country's peak social services group.
For a real new start, stop miring people in poverty
Cassandra Goldie (Opinion), Sydney Morning Herald, January 5, 2013
While many of us celebrate the festive season, spare a thought for the thousands of single-parent families who have been served a cruel blow at what is supposed to be a happy time of year.
'Silent' victims must be heard
Milanda Rout, The Australian, January 5, 2013
THE testimony of the "silent" victims of child sexual abuse should be heard at Julia Gillard's royal commission, with family members given the right to speak on behalf of people who committed suicide, are homeless or in prison.
Plan to boost singles' dole payments by $50 a week under consideration by Gillard Government
Sue Dunlevy, News Limited Network, January 4, 2013
DOLE payments to single people would be boosted by $50 a week under a plan being considered by the Gillard Government.
Interstate pursuit of abuse set for boost
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, January 4, 2013
THE power to hand over personal details of families with children deemed at risk will be spread across more commonwealth agencies under a plan to prevent abuse and track down kids who are moved interstate to avoid state-based agencies.
Macklin's redemption must involve a caring safety net
Editorial, The Age, January 3, 2013
JENNY MACKLIN probably could live on $35 a day for a week with some harsh lifestyle changes and family support.
Welfare reform by accident
Editorial, The Australian, January 3, 2013
FAMILIES Minister Jenny Macklin says she would be able to live on a dole payment of $245, an income less than a 20th of her current wage. We have no doubt she would cope if she had to, although we expect she would soon try to supplement her income by finding employment.
Labor MPs agree it's tough to live on dole but dodge claims made by Jenny Macklin
AAP Staff Writer, Herald Sun, January 3, 2013
LABOR MPs have continued to distance themselves from comments by Families Minister Jenny Macklin, who caused a furore by claiming she could survive on the dole.
Welfare to work
7.30 Report, ABC News, January 2, 2013
Changes by the government to parenting payments will see many single parents forced back onto the dole and lose up to $130 a fortnight.
Find a job, Jenny Macklin tells single parents whose benefits are being slashed
Pia Akerman and Milanda Rout, The Australian, January 1, 2013
FAMILIES Minister Jenny Macklin has urged single parents whose benefits have been slashed from today to find a job and show their children a strong work ethic.
More than 1000 young Australians in detention each night, says Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report
AAP Staff Writer, Herald Sun, December 20, 2012
MORE than a thousand young Australians were in detention every night between April and June, new data shows.
Australia tops list of giving nations
Staff Writer, Sydney Morning Herald, December 20, 2012
AUSTRALIA is the most charitable nation in the world, a new study shows, with Greece being the meanest.
Home alone as mothers run out of options
Daniella Miletic, The Age, December 19, 2012
MORE than 40 per cent of Victorian mothers have left a child at home unsupervised and many feel like they would have no one to look after their children in the case of an emergency, a new report shows.
Nearly a quarter of a million Australians seek homeless service help
Lindy Kerin, ABC Radio 'AM', December 18, 2012
TONY EASTLEY: A new report has found nearly a quarter of a million Australians used a homeless service in the last year, and that 99,000 of those were children or young people under 24.
Centrelink saves $37m in overpayment crackdown
Lexi Metherell, ABC Radio The World Today, December 18, 2012
The Federal Government says Centrelink's early intervention approach designed to cut down on almost $2 billion worth of overpayments is working.
Welfare fraud becomes harder
Stephanie Peatling, The Age, December 18, 2012
SOPHISTICATED data-mining techniques combined with old-fashioned private detectives and dobbing in wrongdoers are resulting in fewer people being prosecuted for welfare fraud and allowing the federal government to claw back hundreds of millions of dollars.
Landmark homelessness report from Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Sue Dunlevy, Herald Sun, December 18, 2012
MORE than 230,000 Australians used a homeless service in 2011-12 and 99,000 were children or people aged up to 24.
Relationship stress soars as Christmas looms
Charlotte Hamlyn, ABC News, December 17, 2012
It's meant to be a time of celebration, joy, peace and giving but often it becomes more about coping with stress than spreading cheer.
Foodbank faces shortage ahead of festive season
Staff Writer, ABC News, December 17, 2012
Charity food distributor Foodbank Victoria is facing a shortage of staple foods ahead of Christmas.
Charities struggling in a tough season
Henrietta Cook, The Age, December 17, 2012
CHARITIES are facing the worst Christmas in recent memory, with food donations down by 50 per cent at one well-known welfare agency.
The poor get poorer while the rest get the handouts
Suzy Freeman-Greene (Opinion), Sydney Morning Herald, December 15, 2012
WHEN will Julia Gillard's government find the courage to raise the dole? Her party's website tells us it is working for a ''fairer Australia''. But while middle-class welfare endures, our poorest citizens are living far below the poverty line.
Adoptions fall to historic low
Rachel Browne and Vince Chadwick, The Age, December 14, 2012
THE number of children adopted by Australians has fallen to a historic low, with only 333 children adopted in 2011-12.
Big cost of urban sprawl in Melbourne
John Masanauskas, Herald Sun, December 12, 2012
THE lack of public transport and other services in Melbourne's growth suburbs could lead to increasing social unrest, a state parliamentary committee is believed to have found.
Needy left in the dark as power giants pull the plug
Karen Collier, Herald Sun, December 11, 2012
ELECTRICITY and gas companies are disconnecting tens of thousands of customers for unpaid bills, but placing fewer people in hardship programs.
Agencies Struggle with Christmas Food Shortages
Jackie Hanafie, Pro Bono News, December 11, 2012
Welfare agencies in Victoria say they are struggling to meet rising demand as donations plummet in the lead up to Christmas.
Standard of living never better as battlers left behind
Matt Johnston and Karen Collier, Herald Sun, December 10, 2012
MILLIONS of families are much better off this Christmas, with recent interest rate cuts far outweighing skyrocketing utility bills.
Power struggle: homes cut off
Rachel Wells, The Age, December 10, 2012
VICTORIAN households struggling to pay soaring energy bills are having their electricity and gas disconnected at increasing rates, with gas disconnections up by 50 per cent.
Sex offender risk to children
Linda Cann, The Sunday Times, December 8, 2012
SEX offenders are allowed to live with children because of a loophole that keeps authorities in the dark about convicted criminals.
Grim view on housing costs
Daniella Miletic, The Age, December 5, 2012
AUSTRALIANS are increasingly experiencing mortgage and rental stress and more people are waiting for public housing, research shows.
What young people fear most - and it's not the environment
Rachel Browne, The Age, December 5, 2012
FORGET trees. The biggest concern for the next generation is finding a job to support their families.
Business, welfare groups and unions will convene their own jobs summit before Christmas
Phillip Hudson, Herald Sun, December 4, 2012
BUSINESS, welfare groups and unions have struck a rare alliance and will convene their own jobs summit before Christmas to tackle problems they say keep one in five unemployed people locked out of the job market.
Kids with disability abused more: study
AAP Staff Writer, Herald Sun, December 4, 2012
DISABLED children are more than three times as likely as able-bodied children to be abused or neglected, a new report says.
Cuts proposed for Vic legal aid
AAP Staff Writer, Herald Sun, December 3, 2012
THOUSANDS of Victorians will be disadvantaged by proposed cuts to the legal aid service, the Law Institute of Victoria says.
'Compelling' case for Newstart boost
Peter Martin, The Age, November 30, 2012
THERE is a "compelling" case for boosting the $245-a-week Newstart unemployment allowance, according to the man who chaired the Senate inquiry.
Push for rise after dole surge
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, November 29, 2012
THE number of people on the dole has grown at a staggering level over the past year, bolstering a push by welfare groups for a $50-a-week rise in Newstart on the eve of the release today of a Senate report into the allowance.
Vinnies say single mums need justice, not handouts
Tory Shepherd, news.com.au, November 27, 2012
VINNIES has slammed the Government and the Opposition for driving single mothers deeper into poverty.
Hard-up mothers told to try charities
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, November 27, 2012
CENTRELINK officers are advising single mothers who say they will not be able to cope when they lose welfare money under a budget savings initiative that begins in January to contact charities for help.
Welfare cycle broken as 6000 look to work
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, November 24, 2012
LABOR'S bold plan to tackle intergenerational welfare dependence has been hailed an early success, with almost 6000 jobless Australians in urban areas now fully participating in trials that force them to get ready for work or face welfare cuts.
Youth suicide help gets axe
Henrietta Cook, The Age, November 21, 2012
THE Baillieu government will axe an early intervention support program that helps thousands of vulnerable students at risk of suicide, self-harm, drug abuse and offending.
Single-parent families could lose all income in January
Stephanie Peatling, The Age, November 14, 2012
SINGLE parents affected by the federal government's changes to welfare payments face being left without any income on January 1 because many do not realise they will have to reapply for their new payments.
Lack of cheap housing frustrates welfare groups
Staff Writer, ABC News, November 13, 2012
A report has found Victoria's welfare agencies are being forced to make tough choices because of a lack of affordable housing.
Breaking point for relief agencies
Daniella Miletic, The Age, November 13, 2012
FAMILIES struggling with housing costs in Victoria's ''growth corridors'' are increasingly turning to welfare agencies for the first time for emergency food and financial relief.
Vicki, Vince and 105,235 homeless
Daniella Miletic, The Age, November 13, 2012
FEW people might have noticed Vicki, with her long black wavy hair, clutching a tattered copy of Fifty Shades of Grey, reading and chatting to her partner under a tree in a small park in Coburg. Here, she and Vince might have looked like anyone.
Homeless numbers surge despite pledge
Rachel Browne, The Age, November 13, 2012
AN AMBITIOUS pledge to halve homelessness by 2020, launched by the Rudd government, is failing to reach its target.
Homelessness should not be a first world problem
Michael Perusco (Opinion), The Punch, November 13, 2012
New figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show an 8 per cent increase in the homelessness rate on 2006 figures, a fact that should be a matter of concern for all Australians.
Department of Human Services cuts reporting as attacks on children and disabled in state care surge
Peter Mickelburough, Herald Sun, November 7, 2012
A SURGE in assaults and sex attacks on children and disabled people in state care to record levels has seen the Department of Human Services respond by slashing its reporting.
Insuring mentally ill benefits everyone
Doron Samuell (Opinion), The Age, November 5, 2012
If you have been to your GP this year, there is a two in five chance that you have been diagnosed with a mental illness. You may have been prescribed an antidepressant, sedative or tranquilliser.
Welfare worry over jobless families
Natasha Bita, Sunday Herald Sun, November 4, 2012
ONE in eight Victorian children lives in a family where no one works - and federal government agencies are blaming welfare largesse.
Downward spiral with no escape
Natasha Bita, The Sunday Telegraph, November 4, 2012
WENDY Tucker is trapped between welfare and work. The 46-year-old single mum juggles a part-time job with caring for her daughter Jessie, 9. She can't afford to work full-time or live on the dole.
What life looks like for 2.2 million Australians below the poverty line
Chris Paine, news.com.au, October 18, 2012
A REPORT released this week by the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) revealed 2.2 million Australians are living below the poverty line.
Rich excuses and poor outcomes on povertyMichael Perusco (Opinion), The Punch, October 18, 2012
This week marks the tenth anniversary of the establishment of Anti-Poverty Week. It is a timely opportunity to think about what experiencing poverty means in Australia in 2012 and more importantly, what can be done to address it.
Poverty, always the poor relation
Ross Gittins, Sydney Mornng Herald, October 17, 2012
It's remarkable that, despite all the effort and expense the government goes to in measuring gross domestic product, it doesn't run to the modest extra expense of measuring poverty. But this being so, it's hardly remarkable the media and the public pay far more attention to the gyrations of GDP than to the extent of poverty.
Thousands of Australians can't afford food
AAP, The Australian, October 16, 2012
THOUSANDS of Australians, including children, are regularly going without food because they can't afford it, a new report has found.
How Young People in Australia are Faring - Report
Staff Writer, Pro Bono News, October 16, 2012
While school retention rates have reached the highest level ever recorded in Australia, more needs to be done to help young people experiencing disadvantage and geographic isolation according to a new report.
Where's the Gender Equality for Sole Parents?
John Falzon (Opinion), Pro Bono News, October 16, 2012
Last week we witnessed one of the most powerful articulations of gender equality by any Prime Minister. It was heartening that so many women felt the Prime Minister was giving voice to their experience of gender-based oppression and discrimination. And it was significant that we have reached a stage in our evolution as a nation where feminist analysis is not marginalised even though the reality of sexism is still with us.
Lucky? Maybe for some
Paul McDonald (Opinion), The Age, October 16, 2012
Our nation might be rich but rampant consumerism is not making us any happier.
Without his special brew, Mervyn could be in the soup
Daniella Miletic, The Age, October 16, 2012
EVERY now and again Mervyn Frost will buy a soup pack from the supermarket with a bag of mixed bones. When he gets home, he removes the onion and then chops up the contents - a celery stick, a carrot, a turnip, a parsnip - and adds it to the bones with about 20 litres of water to create a huge, cheap meal.
A blow to single parents, on the eve of Anti-Poverty Week
Ged Kearney (Opinion), The Punch, October 15, 2012
When the Federal Government announced the mining tax, the mining industry employed an armada of lobbyists, produced reams of reports and flooded TV stations with advertising to get their point of view across.
Poverty a Persistent Problem in Australia - Report
Staff Writer, Pro Bono News, October 15, 2012
One in eight people are living in poverty in Australia according to a new report released by welfare peak body ACOSS to coincide with the start of Anti Poverty Week.
Over 11 per cent of Melburnians living in poverty
Staff Writer, ABC News, October 15, 2012
The Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) has raised concern about the number of people being forced to seek emergency relief to keep their heads above water.
Children harmed as abuse, injury cases soar
Aleks Devic, Herald Sun, October 15, 2012
RECORD numbers of Victorian children are being exposed to danger and violence as the number of cases requiring court-sanctioned intervention skyrockets.
'If you look at the cost of living, it's barely enough to get by'
David McCowen, Sydney Morning Herald, October 15, 2012
NICOLE is a single mother in her mid-40s who is trying to escape the poverty trap.
One in six children living in poverty
Jared Owens, The Australian, October 15, 2012
AUSTRALIA'S poverty rate has increased since 2003, with one in six children still living in desperate need, according to a University of NSW study.
1 in 8 Australians living in poverty: report
Staff Writer, ABC News, October 14, 2012
A report by welfare organisation The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) has found one in eight Australians is living in poverty.
No special deals for single mums
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, October 13, 2012
SINGLE mothers removed from their parenting payment and put on the dole next January will be offered no additional emergency assistance, despite the pleas of Labor MPs and welfare groups.
Crisis in DHS for abused children
Michelle Griffin, The Age, October 12, 2012
MORE than 8000 vulnerable children known to child protection authorities were not assigned a case worker in the last financial year.
Abuse, assault and neglect on the rise in disability housing, report shows
Henrietta Cook, The Age, 12 October, 2012
HUNDREDS of disabled Victorians have been assaulted and left languishing in hospitals, with many others suffering unexplained injuries that go unreported.
Julia Gillard 'lets women down on pay'
John Ferguson and Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, October 11, 2012
JULIA Gillard's claim to be the policy champion of equal rights for women was under fire last night after her home state accused her of reneging on a deal to fund higher wages for low-paid community sector workers, and welfare leaders said she was robbing the poorest single mothers in the country through welfare cuts.
Why we need an International Day of the Girl Child
Ian Wishart (Opinion), Sydney Morning Herald, October 11, 2012
ALL over the world today millions of people are celebrating the first International Day of the Girl Child. But many others will likely question why we need a day that focuses just on girls - don't we already have an International Women's Day, a strong feminist movement, and countless policies and programs designed to fight gender inequality?
Charities to be inundated at Xmas: Greens
AAP Staff Writer, The Australian, October 10, 2012
CHARITIES and emergency relief centres will be inundated with pleas for help from struggling single parents when parenting welfare cuts hit in January, the Australian Greens have warned.
Single parents fear Newstart will set them back
Daniella Miletic and Dan Harrison, The Age, October 10, 2012
AN EDUCATION and a car - two things most people would say are important when looking for a good job. For mother-of-one Nancy Sarpi, they are two things at risk under a government plan to get welfare recipients into work.
Julia Gillard fights off welfare revolt
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, October 10, 2012
JULIA Gillard survived a caucus revolt over cuts to welfare for single mothers yesterday, with at least 10 MPs trying to force a delay to the reform until a Senate inquiry is complete.
Parent welfare cuts pass parliament
Lisa Martin and Andrea Hayward, The Australian, October 10, 2012
SINGLE mothers are bracing for welfare cuts of up to $140 a week after Christmas, after legislation passed parliament shifting them onto the dole.
Senate passes single parent payment cut
Staff Writer, ABC News, October 9, 2012
The Senate has passed the Federal Government's contentious changes to the single parent payment.
Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu unveils plan to curb family violence
Anne Wright, Herald Sun, October 9, 2012
THE State Government today launched a $7.9 million "action plan" to combat family violence.
Bid to delay single parent payment cuts fails
Staff Writer, ABC News, October 9, 2012
A bid within the Federal Labor caucus to ask the Federal Government to delay changes to the single parent payment has failed.
Disadvantaged Reach Adulthood Earlier - Report
Staff Writer, Pro Bono News, October 9, 2012
Adulthood starts earlier for disadvantaged young people in Australia and the road is rockier, according to new Not for Profit research.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard's $60 hit to single parents
Susie O'Brien (Opinion), Herald Sun, October 8, 2012
OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott is not the only one with a "woman" problem. Prime Minister Julia Gillard has one, too.
Welfare cuts worry Labor backbenchers
Lisa Martin, Herald Sun, October 8, 2012
MANY Labor backbenchers are unimpressed the federal government is rushing ahead with plans to shift 100,000 single mums off parenting payments and onto the dole.
Backbenchers bid to halt 'crazy' welfare reforms
Anna Henderson, ABC PM, October 8, 2012
Labor backbenchers are preparing an eleventh-hour intervention in an effort to stop the Federal Government's plan to significantly curtail single parenting payments.
Designing better social programs to save families
Nicholas Gruen (Opinion), The Age, October 3, 2012
MASS production and professionalised services built modern prosperity. But in welfare their legacy provides one of the great challenges of our time.
Homeless 'die 30 Years Younger'
Ella Pickover, Yahoo7, October 3, 2012
Homeless people are likely to die 30 years younger than the national average, a study suggests.
Single mum refused disability pension after losing legs
Andy Burns, Herald Sun, October 2, 2012
A SINGLE mum who had both her legs amputated says she was placed on the dole and expected to look for work.
Children at disadvantaged schools are worried about getting a job
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, October 2, 2012
STUDENTS at disadvantaged schools are six times more likely than their counterparts in wealthy schools to rate getting a job as one of the things they value most.
Benefit shift hurts 'have nots'
Ewa Kretowicz, Canberra Times, September 23, 2012
THE federal government's Newstart program is actively discouraging welfare recipients from seeking work and creating a class of haves and have nots among those on benefits, according to one of Australia's top former bureaucrats.
Parent welfare delay urged
Dan Harrison, The Age, September 21, 2012
A PARLIAMENTARY committee has urged the Gillard government to delay plans to shift 100,000 single parents onto the lower Newstart allowance until a Senate committee reports on the adequacy of the allowance.
Community health workers help achieve millennium goals
Lynne Benson (Opinion), The Age, September 19, 2012
As world leaders prepare to vote on Australia's hotly contested pursuit of a seat on the UN Security Council, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has an opportunity this week in New York to show the world how Australians are helping to attain the millennium development goals.
Domestic violence shelters to keep track of domestic violence perpetrators
Brad Crouch, adelaidenow, September 18, 2012
DOMESTIC violence shelters will create and share a register of people who attack women and children to allow police to better target repeat offenders.
Parents' boozing putting kids at risk: Salvos
Staff Writer, ABC Online, 17 September 2012
The Salvation Army says it is shocked by new research which suggests millions of Australian children are at risk because of alcohol abuse in their families.
Youth histories 'shocking'
Farah Farouque, The Age, September 13, 2012
ABOUT half the young offenders detained in the youth justice system have had contact with child protection services.
Thousands going without power as electricity bill defaults skyrocket
David Nankervis, news.com.au, September 12, 2012
MORE than 10,000 households had their power disconnected after failing to pay their bills - the highest cut-off rate in almost a decade.
Glass ceiling shattered by community welfare boards
Ross Peake, The Age, September 12, 2012
The community welfare sector will today be hailed as a leader in promoting women to boards and senior management positions.
Children's deaths spark calls for communication
Adam Cooper, The Age, September 12, 2012
THE deaths of 32 of Victoria's most vulnerable children has prompted a call for greater communication among service providers to better handle the cases of those who need care most.
'Systemic failures' by welfare agencies in children's deaths
John Ferguson, The Australian, September 12, 2012
THE protection of 25 gravely at-risk children, who eventually died, was seriously undermined by a failure of agencies to co-ordinate their efforts and alert colleagues about their concerns.
Charges for family violence soar
Nicole Brady, The Age, September 9, 2012
POLICE dramatically upped the ante on family violence over the past year, charging record numbers of perpetrators with criminal offences.
Unfair power charges are hurting battlers
Rosemarie Lentini, The Daily Telegraph, September 7, 2012
STRUGGLING electricity customers are being crippled with late payment penalties of up to $14 and losing hundreds of dollars in discounts.
A Chance for New Directions in Child Abuse Prevention?
Dr Sarah Wise (Opinion), Pro Bono News, September 6, 2012
Child Protection Week is an occasion to shift our minds from the operational challenges of our child protection systems to the possibility of a society that is able to prevent child abuse and neglect from happening, according to Anglicare's, Dr Sarah Wise.
Childcare costs key for mums, research shows
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, September 6, 2012
MOTHERS rank affordability in childcare far more importantly than its accessibility and quality as the key policy to help them return to work after having a baby.
Fruitless search for jobless who can live on $35 a dayCassandra Goldie and Maree O'Halloran (Opinion), The Age, September 6, 2012
It's good that the debate over the Newstart unemployment allowance has moved on from whether it's enough to live on.
Hidden terror exposed in Victoria Police figures
Susie O'Brien, Herald Sun, September 4, 2012
WE should welcome the dramatic increase in the number of violent family crimes reported to Victoria Police.
Bravehearts ranks the states
Rosanne Barrett, The Australian, September 3, 2012
AN audit of national child safety services has found Tasmania and the ACT have the lowest results in overall protection in a new national report from Bravehearts.
Premier Ted Baillieu pledges an extra $16 million for counselling and support services
Wayne Flower, Herald Sun, September 3, 2012
UPDATE: EMERGENCY measures to better support victims of family violence have been rushed in by the Baillieu Government
'Severe financial hardship' hits thousands on welfare
Stephanie Peatling, Sydney Morning Herald, September 2, 2012
WELFARE recipients are accessing more than 1000 emergency payments every day to cope with extreme financial stress, government figures show.
Bryce calls on community to protect kids
AAP Staff Writer, ninemsn, September 2, 2012
All members of the community must act to protect children from abuse and neglect, says Governor-General Quentin Bryce.
Finding a way through the pain of separation
Rachel Wells, The Age, September 1, 2012
WHEN Tim's* marriage ended more than a decade ago, the Melbourne teacher who was living alone in his small workshop, thought about throwing himself under his power saw - more than once.
Churches want welfare decisions taken off government
Martin Cuddihy, PM ABC Radio, August 29, 2012
DAVID MARK: Australia's major Christian churches have joined together to lobby for an increase in unemployment benefits.
St Vincent de Paul's computer system crunches the numbers on electricity and gas
Miles Kemp, news.com.au, August 27, 2012
HOUSEHOLDERS will be able to save at least $365 off their annual electricity bill with the help of a St Vincent de Paul Society computer system.
Call for independent umpire to set dole
Lisa Martin, The Australian, August 27, 2012
THE federal government says it has no plans to increase unemployment benefits, but welfare and church groups say dole payments should be decided by an independent body using a more open process.
ACTU calls for $50 weekly dole boost AAP Staff Writer, The Australian, August 20, 2012
UNIONS are calling for dole payments to be increased by $50 a week, arguing the current benefit is barely enough to live on.
Average of four Victorian children a day are flagged at risk of abuse of neglect before born
Brigid O'Connell, Sunday Herald Sun, August 12, 2012
AN average of four Victorian children a day are flagged as at risk of abuse or neglect before they are even born.
Libs youth crime backdown
Farrah Tomazin, The Age, August 5, 2012
TEENAGE lawbreakers will get more chances to avoid jail as the Baillieu government softens its ''tough on crime'' approach towards youth offenders.
Solo mothers down to the wire
Adele Horin, Sydney Morning Herald, July 21, 2012
Surely the hardest working people in Australia are sole parents with young children and jobs. Other working parents juggle but these sole parents walk the high wire, their lives in perilous balance.
Single parents dole policy to hurt children, ACOSS warns
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, July 20, 2012
THE budget policy forcing 100,000 single mothers onto the dole next year is a cost-cutting measure, not a 'welfare to work' plan, and will hurt children in the nation's poorest households, a Senate inquiry has been told.
Violent trend a worry in Cardinia
Hayley Sultanie, Berwick Leader, 18 July, 2012
POLICE have raised concerns following a rise in family violence cases across Cardinia.
Making all the difference
Michael Short, The Age, July 17, 2012
We live in a wealthy society and yet too few of us who are well off willingly share our time and money. Nic Bolto hopes to persuade people that it's worth it.
Single parents deserve support, not scapegoating
Emma Davidson (Opinion), The Drum, 16 July, 2012
Opinion columnists and politicians often talk about the importance of contributing to society through paid work and taxes, and not expecting government support for every hardship life throws our way.
PM pledges extra $1 billion for low-paid workers
AAP Staff Writer, Sydney Morning Herald, July 15, 2012
The federal government will spend an extra $1 billion to fund a pay rise awarded to Australia's social and community sector workers.
Is this child abuse? The courts think so
Adrian Lowe, The Age, July 12, 2012
VICTORIAN welfare authorities have begun using extreme obesity as a reason to support children being separated from their parents - and experts predict more cases as the population gets fatter.
Don't separate obese kids from family - experts
Emily Bourke, PM ABC Radio, July 12, 2012
MARK COLVIN: Debate is raging after revelations of child protection workers separating obese children from their parents.
No state deal yet on welfare trial
Dan Harrison, The Age, July 9, 2012
THE Victorian government is yet to reach agreement with the Commonwealth about what part it will play in a welfare quarantining trial - originally introduced as part of the intervention in Northern Territory's remote indigenous communities - that has started in the town of Shepparton.
Huge rise in family violence cases
Kate Jones, Herald Sun, July 9, 2012
MELBOURNE'S top judge has called on the Baillieu Government to help the justice system cope with a ''relentless'' number of family violence cases.
Program extended to help troubled youth
Reid Saxton, The Age, July 9, 2012
VICTORIA'S most vulnerable children are suffering high rates of health problems, poor sleeping and low self-esteem, with the system designed to protect them largely failing.
Welfare clients in Centrelink phone hold hell
Wes Hosking, Herald Sun, 5 July, 2012
PHONE queues for Centrelink have reached "epidemic" levels, with clients forced to hold for up to 90 minutes.
Parents' impact less on pupils
Kim Arlington, The Age, July 5, 2012
PARENTAL occupation and education levels have less influence on whether students finish year 12 than factors such as being suspended, repeating a grade or risky behaviour, a new study has found.
Many mums with post-natal depression
Jacqueline Williams, The Age, July 4, 2012
About 20 per cent of mothers say they suffered from depression following the birth of a child, a new study shows.
Welfare control is good for our kids
Susie O'Brien, Herald Sun, June 26, 2012
SHOULD the Government tell people on Centrelink benefits what they can spend their welfare cheques on?
Sexting now targets kids young as 10
Katherine Danks, Herald Sun, June 25, 2012
Kids as young as 10 are experimenting with sexting
Almost 500 young people called Kids Helpline with concerns
1-in-3 counselling sessions with kids aged 10-14 years
Sorry for 30-year adoption policy
John Dagge, Sunday Herald Sun, June 23, 2012
THE Federal Government will formally apologise to families torn apart by forced adoptions.
Government reveals details of public-sector job cuts
Josh Gordon, The Age, June 22, 2012
The Baillieu government has been accused of displaying contempt for its workforce after using the cover of Friday evening to release key details of public-sector sackings.
Child Protection failed to save six lives
AAP Staff Writer, The Australian, June 21, 2012
SIX Victorian teenagers have died over the past five years despite their problems repeatedly being referred to Child Protection services, an investigation has revealed.
PM pushed to come to aid of single parents
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, June 20, 2012
JULIA Gillard has received a letter from the welfare lobby calling for new investment in programs targeted at single parents, including specific wage subsidies, with a strong warning that parents pushed on to the dole next year will struggle without the extra assistance.
Welfare changes will punish single parents who work
Stephanie Peatling, Sydney Morning Herald, June 17, 2012
SINGLE parents living in public housing face keeping only 10c in each dollar they receive under the federal government's tough new welfare changes, a leading advocate has warned.
Home visits urged for checks on kids
Jill Stark, Casey Weekly Berwick, 17 June, 2012
CHILD protection experts want the government's mental health screening program for three-year-olds to include home visits to check for family problems such as domestic violence, drug and alcohol problems and neglect.
Victoria's wild mums accused of putting partying ahead of welfare of their babies as 300 children seized
Aleks Devic, Herald Sun, June 11, 2012
MUMS who go partying while leaving their newborns home alone are having their babies seized over fears for the child's safety.
Cheaper to have kids on welfare: Abbott
Martin Zavan, ninemsn, June 9, 2012
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has told a business forum in Melbourne that women on welfare can afford to have more children than others.
Risk in child abuse cases in the family law system: What's the problem?
Elspeth McInnes (Opinion), Online Opinion, 8 June, 2012
The 7 June 2012 changes to the Family Law Act elevate the significance of protecting parties from exposure to violence or abuse.
Tackling poverty could cut $2.3bn off health bill
David Wroe, The Age, June 4, 2012
AUSTRALIA could save $2.3 billion a year on hospital costs and cut the number of chronic illness sufferers by up to 500,000 by tackling the social causes of poor health such as poverty, a study has found.
60,000 too many Australians in hospital because of poor education, employment and housing among low-income earners
Evelyn Yamine, The Daily Telegraph, June 4, 2012
ABOUT 60,000 too many Australians are admitted to hospital each year because of poor education, employment and housing among low-income earners, a study shows.
Budget crackdown will penalise single working mums
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, June 2, 2012
THE budget crackdown on the single-parent pension will penalise those women in work by up to $223 a fortnight, official figures reveal.
Teacher fears for children rise
Evonne Barry, Herald Sun, May 26, 2012
TEACHERS fearing for their students' welfare at home are making more than 45 reports to child protection authorities every school day.
Review mooted into children's lawyers
Nicola Berkovic, The Australian, May 25, 2012
A SHAKE-UP in the way independent lawyers represent children during difficult family law cases could be on the cards, with Attorney-General Nicola Roxon ordering new research into whether they do so effectively.
Threat to kill son finally stirs authorities to act
Rachel Wells, The Age, May 21, 2012
LAST June Lyn Bicknell went to her local police station and told officers that if they did not help her she would kill her intellectually disabled son.
Children pay cost of family alcohol abuse
Melissa Davey, The Age, May 14, 2012
CHILDREN are the victims of alcohol-related harm in more than one-fifth of Australian households, a study has found, adding weight to calls for the price of alcohol sold in bottle shops to be increased to discourage large quantities being consumed in homes.
Permanent home a priority for at-risk children
Farrah Tomazin, The Age, May 13, 2012
A NEW ''strike team'' of child protection workers will be set up to help reduce the number of children waiting at least five years before they are placed into permanent care after being removed from abusive homes.
Token annual supplements fall short of demands from welfare groups
Adele Horin, The Age, May 9, 2012
CALLS for a $50 a week increase to the Newstart Allowance for single unemployed people, now living below the poverty line, have gone unheeded but the budget delivers a token supplement to them and others on low welfare payments.
More money for child protection in budget
Staff Writer, ABC Online, May 1, 2012
The State Government says the budget will include $336 million to be spent on child protection over the next four years.
Child protection boosted
Josh Gordon, The Age, May 1, 2012
THE Baillieu government is set to unveil a $366 million budget plan to protect vulnerable children in Victoria with a new children's court, more child protection workers and tough new laws to tackle child abuse and predatory sexual behaviour.
Ted Baillieu's new deal for abused children
Grant McArthur, Herald Sun, May 1, 2012
A POWERFUL new watchdog to protect the state's most vulnerable children will be part of a $336 million package in today's State Budget.
Connecting with our town
Staff Writer, Pakenham Weekly, 1 May, 2012
TWO community organisations have opened new offices in Pakenham in response to growing demand for their services in the town. Connections UnitingCare officially opened its new Main Street centre today.
Michael Short, The Age, 30 April, 2012
Because young people are living at home for longer than ever before, they are less resilient and independent than they should be.
Children's rights pressure mounts
Farah Farouque, The Age, 30 April, 2012
A FEDERAL government move to establish a national children's commissioner has added pressure on the Baillieu government to beef up children's rights in a similar way at the state level.
Child Abduction Alert for Victoria
Anthony Gerace, ABC Radio, April 23, 2012
One of Australia's leading child protection advocates is calling on the Victorian Government to introduce a "Child Abduction Alert" system.
Charity for children
Fiona Baker, news.com.au, April 21, 2012
ENCOURAGING children to engage in philanthropy fosters an awareness of the welfare of others and helps instil a sense of compassion.
Child Protection Forum
Courtney Carthy, ABC 774, April 19, 2012
A special Conversation Hour looking at the Cummins Report and how Victoria takes care of its kids.
Housing stress hits young people hard
Chris Zappone, The Age, April 18, 2012
Young people are bearing the brunt of Australia's high real estate costs and are much more likely to encounter "housing stress", according to new research.
Victorian report calls for sharper focus on sex offender registration
Sophie Gosper, The Australian, April 18, 2012
VICTORIA'S sex offender registration needs to sharpen its focus on the protection of children from sexual abuse and high risk re-offenders, a report says.
Michael Short (Opinion), The Age, April 16, 2012
MARK Watt knows mentoring, support and targeted care can save the life of a disadvantaged young person. It saved his.
Pokies give peanuts to charity
Stephanie Peatling, The Age, April 15, 2012
Charitable and community contributions made by clubs are nothing more than a ''smokescreen'' to disguise profits from problem gambling, according to the first research to look at donations from the clubs industry.
Welfare staff facing rise in violence
Misha Schubert, The Age, April 8, 2012
THE front-line staff who deal with people receiving welfare payments say they are facing a rising tide of hostility and aggression from clients.
The latest media coverage of Ben Cousins has been uninformed, simplistic and unhelpful
Laurence Alvis (Opinion), CEO of UnitingCare Moreland Hall, Crikey, April 5, 2012
Media coverage of the latest developments in the life of Ben Cousins has done little to advance public debate on issues relating to alcohol and other drug dependence and recovery.
One in five homeless seeking help is a child under 10
Stephen Lunn, The Australian, April 4, 2012
HALF of all people seeking help with homelessness are under 25, and nearly one in five is under 10, according to new research by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
Legalising drugs not the answer, says UnitingCare CEO
Jennifer Greive, Ballarat Courier, April 4, 2012
UNITINGCare Ballarat CEO Cliff Barclay has welcomed the release of a report calling for national drug law reform, saying it is time governments made a ???mature assessment????? of the dangers of illicit drugs.
$51m pay deal for child safety workers
Pia Akerman, The Australian, March 30, 2012
VICTORIAN child-protection workers have won a pay rise, with the prospect of more to come, after making a deal with the Baillieu government to increase wages while restructuring the system.
No increase to dole payments - Government
AAP Staff Writer, The Australian, March 30, 2012
THE Federal Government has ruled out increasing unemployment payments in the May Budget.
Child protection workers get new pay deal
Staff Writer, ABC News, March 29, 2012
Victoria's 1,5000 child protection workers have won a significant pay rise in a deal struck with the State Government.
Low dole a blight on welfare system
Peter Martin, Sydney Morning Herald, March 29, 2012
A report on inequality to be delivered to Treasurer Wayne Swan this morning will label Australia's welfare system one of the best in the developed world with the exception of unemployment benefits, which are the worst relative to community standards and shrinking.
Vic indigenous child protection rates up
Staff Writer, ninemsn, March 29, 2012
Victoria's indigenous children require child protection at a rate more than nine times that of non-indigenous children, a report says.
Low benefits' curse is a long legacy of poverty
Editorial (Opinion), The Age, March 28, 2012
There is no fair go for today's jobless and the next generation.
Minimum wage means job-seekers wasting time
Ross Cameron (Opinion), The Age, March 24, 2012
Of the many dumb ideas of the left, the minimum wage is one of the dumbest.
No future on a stingy welfare scheme
Grant Millard (Opinion), ABC The Drum, March 8, 2012
At the same time that Wayne Swan told the National Press Club this week that Australians needed to keep fighting for a fair go, the Federal Government quietly announced a pitiful gesture to help the most vulnerable in our society.
Need for better outcomes for vulnerable children
Angela Forbes (Opinion), Online Opinion, March 6, 2012
Every week, in Victoria nearly 60 children and young people are removed from their parents by the State and placed in the care of another person or organisation because there are sound reasons to believe they are at risk of significant harm. What is that saying about the state of our system at the moment?
Assaults on kids by parents are on the rise
Elissa Doherty, Herald Sun, March 5, 2012
DISTURBING reports of parents assaulting their children have soared by nearly a third in just a year.
Michelle Griffin, The Age, 1 March, 2012
In 1990, there were 12,000 notifications of suspected child abuse in Victoria. Today, there are 55,000. What's going on and how can it be fixed?
Abused, neglected and feeling trapped in the system
Farah Farouque, The Age, March 1, 2012
''IF YOU don't have pain in your life, you haven't lived. Pain is the only thing that will let you know that you are still alive.''
Report demands state action on child safety
Editorial (Opinion), The Age, March 1, 2012
Ending the systemic crisis must become a political priority.
Vulnerable need same life chances
Paul McDonald (Opinion), The Age, March 1, 2012
Improvements to child protection will not come cheaply but must be made.
Crossroads for children
Josh Gordon (Opinion), The Age, March 1, 2012
Will Spring Street finally take action to properly protect those at risk?
Overhaul to protect Victorian children at risk
John Ferguson, The Australian, February 29, 2012
A LOST generation of vulnerable Victorian children has been failed by governments and the legal system, but those responsible for overseeing the systemic departmental chaos will not be pursued by the Baillieu government.
Our most vulnerable kids need help
Sandie de Wolf (Opinion), Herald Sun, February 29, 2012
MOST of my working life has been dedicated to the care and protection of vulnerable children.
Child protection inquiry scathing of government services
Alison Savage, ABC News, February 29, 2012
A wide-ranging inquiry into Victoria's child protection system has criticised Government services for at-risk children.
Apology won't heal adoption wounds
Emma Macdonald, The Age, February 29, 2012
Women whose babies were taken from them moments after birth through forced adoptions do not believe a formal apology from the federal government will put back the pieces of their lives.
Church adoption apology
Alana Rosenbaum, The Age, February 28, 2012
THE Uniting Church has apologised for its involvement in the forced adoption of babies born to unmarried mothers last century, as the Senate prepares to hand down the results of an inquiry into the practice.
Uniting Church says sorry over forced adoptions
Staff Writer, ABC News, February 28, 2012
The Uniting Church in Victoria and Tasmania has apologised to families that were separated through forced adoptions which lasted until the 1970s.
Call for child media law
Clare Kermond, The Age, February 17, 2012
THE best protection for children against harmful media would be a children's consumer law, backed up by a powerful regulator, a prominent researcher says.
Protecting our children: positive discipline, not smacking
Karen Flanagan (Opinion), ABC The Drum, February 7, 2012
Last week a leading Australian paediatrician called for changes in the laws that deal with assault on children. He pointed out that Australian laws now lag behind those of many other countries.
$16m to keep 'resi kids' in education
Michelle Griffin, The Age, February 2, 2012
LIKE many of Victoria's 460 or so ''resi kids'' - the state wards raised in group homes - Pip Wright did not finish high school. When she moved into a unit of hard-drinking teens at the start of year 10, none of the workers bothered enrolling her locally.
Historic day as gender pay gap narrows
Ben Schneiders and Michelle Griffin, The Age, February 2, 2012
BIG pay rises for more than 150,000 community sector workers will help narrow the large pay gap between men and women in Australia after a historic equal pay decision by the workplace tribunal.
Women rejoice over equal pay
Stephen Drill, Herald Sun, February 2, 2012
WOMEN have won historic wage rises of up to 45 per cent in a major step forward in the fight for equal pay.
Equal pay push lands workers big rise
Ben Schneiders, The Age, February 1, 2012
More than 150,000 community sector workers can expect significant pay rises over the next eight years after a historic equal pay decision today by Fair Work Australia.
Fair Work orders pay rise for community sector
Staff Writer, ABC News, February 1, 2012
Fair Work Australia has ordered the wages of a large number of community sector workers should increase by between 19 and 41 per cent.
Kids in court
Farah Farouque, The Age, January 24, 2012
Is the Children's Court the best place to resolve complex family issues such as protection and custody? Many welfare groups say definitely not and change is needed.
Fear for state's most vulnerable kids in Human Services staff ban
Peter Rolfe, Sunday Herald Sun, January 22, 2012
A COST-cutting staff freeze and recruitment ban has been slapped on the Department of Human Services, raising fresh concerns for the safety of the state's most vulnerable children.
Power costs force families to choose between essentials
Stephen Drill, Herald Sun, January 21, 2012
VICTORIAN families are being forced to send their children to school without new books and uniforms because of skyrocketing power bills, a leading charity says.
Child abuse figures still climbing in Victoria
Jessica Marszalek, Herald Sun, January 21, 2012
CHILD abuse appears to have reached alarming new levels in Victoria. In 2010-11, 1000 more children were identified as victims than in the previous year.
Pollies have 'no clue' how tough life on welfare is
Misha Schubert, The Age, January 15, 2012
FOR most of a lifetime devoted to raising kids, working part-time jobs, running a household and volunteering, Patricia Davidson never thought she would end up on welfare.
Welfare that encourages Australians back to work
Editorial, The Australian, January 12, 2012
FOR the unemployed and many with disabilities, the welfare system must be geared towards helping them back into work.
Running on empty on $566 a fortnight in a costly city
Mitchell Nadin, The Australian, January 12, 2012
LIVING in Australia's most expensive city can be tough. But with a budget of just over $566 a fortnight, surviving in Sydney is near impossible for 25-year-old welfare recipient Nathan McKenzie, who has a disposable income of about $30 a week once bills are paid.
Shorten rejects jobless benefit boost call
AAP Staff Writer, Herald Sun, January 11, 2012
EMPLOYMENT Minister Bill Shorten has rejected a call from business, welfare groups and unions to raise the level of unemployment benefits.
Government doles out tough love for teenage parents
Matt Johnston, Herald Sun, January 9, 2012
COOKING classes will be among the life skills programs offered to teen parents in the Federal Government's tough-love welfare trial.
93 forgotten kids lose lives
Carly Crawford, Herald Sun, January 4, 2012
THEY are Victoria's forgotten children - the 93 infants, toddlers and teens who died when State Government carers closed their cases.
Vulnerable children's needs not being addressed: commissioner Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, April 11, 2013 THE National Children's Commissioner will use her first major speech to warn that Australia has one of the highest proportions of children living in jobless families in OECD nations. Parents 'will need to double working hours' Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, April 11, 2013 A NEW analysis of the payment reductions to single parents reveals that many will need to increase their hours of work if they want to save their families from sliding deeper into poverty. Reports of child abuse fall short of reality Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, April 11, 2013 CHILD abuse is being vastly over-reported in Australia, with the head of the government's family research body identifying a wide gulf between notifications of alleged abuse and the claims being substantiated. Hold grog industry to account for youth crime, charities say Barney Zwartz, The Age, April 10, 2013 Young offenders excessively maligned, say welfare agencies and judges. Legal aid cuts begin to bite Staff Writer, ABC News, April 8, 2013 Changes to eligibility for assistance from Victoria Legal Aid come into effect today. The welfare system in Australia is broken Gemma Jones, News Ltd Network, April 8, 2013 THE social security system is itself a welfare case - with up to 400,000 people on the disability support pension (DSP) who could work with the right support. Expand Vic children checks: commissioner Genevieve Gannon, Herald Sun, April 7, 2013 PARENTS who volunteer with their own children and members of religious groups should no longer be exempt from working with children checks, Victoria's children's commissioner says. New minister keen to fix cuts to mums Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, April 6, 2013 NEW Human Services Minister Jan McLucas is understood to be in favour of using the budget to address the cuts in payments to single mothers, as the push within Labor for welfare changes gathers momentum. Church must end the silence on child abuse Peter Rolfe, Herald Sun, April 5, 2013 CHILD safety commissioner Bernie Geary has called for changes to Victorian law to force priests to report sex offenders to police, even if they learn of crimes at confession. Poor records hide truth from state wards Genevieve Gannon, Sydney Morning Herald, April 5, 2013 A state ward trying to piece together their identity was told by the Victorian Department of Human Services their file had been found but there was nothing in it. Another ward of state was told by the Uniting Church there were too many files to sift through, a Victorian inquiry has heard. Ignorance key to child abuse, expert says AAP Staff Writer, The Australian, April 4, 2013 MORE education is needed to overcome ignorance about child sex abuse and how to handle it - or Victoria will be have to hold another inquiry in 10 years, a child protection expert has warned.