Proposal to abolish ParentsNext a great relief for parents and a good policy outcome
BSL welcomes the Interim Report on ParentsNext by the Workforce Australia Employment Services Committee released yesterday.
In particular, we support the recommendation that ParentsNext be abolished and replaced with a supportive pre-vocational service for carers of young children. This aligns with BSL’s view that the current program is unnecessarily punitive and fails to meet the needs of many of the most vulnerable parents and their children.
The Committee’s insistence that the new service be developed through co-design with program participants is particularly welcomed. There has been substantial evidence about the poor outcomes and unreasonable compliance measures placed on parents under the current ParentsNext program due to the real life of experiences of participants being ignored in the program design.
We know that the early years are critical for both children and their parents and we warmly welcome the Committee’s deep appreciation of this fact.
BSL looks forward to working closely with the Government and with parents in our various programs to help design a much fairer, inclusive and person-centred program to support parents with young children to re-enter the workforce or access more financially secure employment.
The Brotherhood of St. Laurence (BSL) is a social justice organisation working to prevent and alleviate poverty across Australia.
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