Child maltreatment is a significant social welfare problem. This study examines the links between child maltreatment and adult socioeconomic outcomes, and uncovers the range of overlapping and compounding factors that influence outcomes in later life.
Concepts of community: Young people’s concerns, views and experiences
This report presents the findings from Mission Australia’s Youth Survey 2016 with respondents grouped according to whether they lived in low, moderate or high socio‐economic status (SES) areas across Australia. The report compares the views and experiences of young people from the three SES areas in relation to selected topics. The three most principal issues identified in the survey were alcohol and drugs (24.5%), equity and discrimination (23.2%), and mental health (17.6%). The findings of the survey can inform the development of policies and programs for young people, especially those from low SES areas.
A report by the London School of Economics provides an update to Does Money Affect Children’s Outcomes? A Systematic Review (2013). It provides further supporting evidence that money in itself is important for children’s cognitive development, physical health and educational achievement, distinct from other factors such as parental education. The authors found that poorer children have worse outcomes in part because they are poor and not only because of other factors that are associated with low income. The study found that reducing income poverty and inequality is likely to have a significant impact on children’s environment and on their development.
Economic Abuse between Intimate Partners in Australia: Prevalence, Health Status, Disability and Financial Stress
Economic abuse is a form of domestic violence that has a significant impact on the health and financial wellbeing of victims. However, economic abuse between intimate partners remains a largely under-researched topic in Australia. This study aims to provide a national picture of the prevalence of economic abuse within the general population by determining the prevalence by age and gender, and identifying associated risk factors. The study found financial stress and disability to be significant indicators of economic abuse in the home.
Generation stalled: Young, underemployed and living precariously in Australia
The Brotherhood of St Laurence has published an analysis of youth employment trends in Australia, which uncovers some concerning statistics. Youth underemployment is now the highest it has been since 1978 when the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) first started collecting the data, reaching 18 per cent in early 2017. The report shows that 650,000 young people in total were unemployed or underemployed in February 2017.
How do schools compensate for socio-economic disadvantage?
This summary report explores the ways in which we can improve the academic achievement of low performing schools with relatively disadvantaged students. It considers the particular challenges faced by disadvantaged schools and proposes recommendations such as effective learning practices in the classroom, training and professional development for teachers and provision of quality educational resources. Allocating resources more equitably across schools is a key first step to achieving this goal.
Implementation and Performance of the Cashless Debit Card Trial — Follow-on
The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has released its follow-on report on the implementation and performance of the Cashless Debit Card (CDC) Trial. There were many findings found through the audit and two recommendations were also made.
Measuring Australia’s Digital Divide: The Australian Digital Inclusion Index 2017
The Australian digital inclusion index (ADII) has been created to measure the level of digital inclusion across the Australian population, and monitor this level over time. Among its key findings, the report highlights that Australians with low levels of income, education, and employment are all significantly less digitally included.
Measuring what matters: Drawing on a participatory wellbeing framework and existing data to assess child wellbeing outcomes over time
This article from the Centre for Social Research and Methods illustrates the effect of applying a wellbeing participatory framework – focused on key areas that children indicate as having value to themselves – to an existing dataset on child wellbeing. Results showed some areas of concern for children and young people in Australia and details how policies should be changed as a result.
National Social Housing Survey: A summary of national results 2016
This report presents a national summary of the results of the 2016 National Social Housing Survey (NSHS). It reports findings from public housing, community housing and state-owned and -managed Indigenous housing tenants. The report shows that the majority of tenants are satisfied with the services provided to them, with community housing tenants the most satisfied. Tenants report a range of benefits from living in social housing and the majority believe that they are living in homes of an acceptable standard.
New minimum income for healthy living budget standards for low-paid and unemployed Australians
The UNSW Social Policy Research Centre has revealed how much Australians need to earn in order to enjoy a healthy standard of living. Among other findings, the report shows that The Newstart Allowance received by people looking for work falls below the minimum income required to achieve a basic standard of living. The largest single cost to families was identified as housing, which in all family types exceeded the 30 per cent benchmark that identifies families facing housing stress.
Religious visibility, disadvantage and bridging social capital: a comparative investigation of multicultural localities in Melbourne’s north
This RMIT research project explores how religious visibility impacts social cohesion in two ethnically diverse suburbs in Melbourne’s north; Fawkner and Broadmeadows. The project focused primarily on the visibility of Muslims in these areas. It proposes that people living in more diverse suburbs are less likely to express or experience Islamophobia. The report provides considerations for future policy and programs, with a strong focus on educating the community about different faiths, and encouraging understanding and social cohesion.
This eighth annual Rental Affordability Snapshot by Anglicare Australia highlights the lived experience of people and families on low incomes trying to find a home in the private rental market. The report surveyed over 67,000 properties across Australia in regional and metropolitan areas and found that only 239 homes were affordable for a single parent with one child on Newstart and eight were affordable for a single person in a property or share house on Youth Allowance.
Socioeconomic gaps in early childhood experiences: 1998 to 2010
Using two nationally representative data sets, this study compares the early life experiences of kindergarteners in 1998 and 2010 in the United States. The study finds that young children in the 2010 cohort were exposed to more books and reading in the home, have more access to educational games on computers, and engage more with their parents, both inside and outside of the home, than the 1990 cohort. This is true for both lower-income and higher-income families.
Starting unequal: How’s life for disadvantaged children?
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has released this paper examining how the wellbeing of children from disadvantaged backgrounds compares to their peers from more advantaged backgrounds, and relative to OECD countries. The study uses key comparative indicators to highlight how children from low SES backgrounds face poorer outcomes across many of the aspects of wellbeing. Outcomes are detailed in the report.
Uneven impacts of COVID-19 on the attendance rates of secondary school students from different socioeconomic backgrounds in Australia: A quasi-experimental analysis of administrative data
This article, published in the Australian Journal of Social Issues, draws on administrative data on school attendance collected in Tasmania in 2020 to show how the impacts of COVID-19 school shutdowns were unevenly experienced by those from a lower SES background. This study found many negative impacts, which are further discussed in the article.
Welfare-to-work interventions and their effects on the mental and physical health of lone parents and their children
A new Cochrane Review has been released, reviewing large welfare-to-work studies conducted in the US with the aim of uncovering their health effects. It examines a series of welfare-to-work studies, comparing the health outcomes for single parents who were in welfare-to-work interventions with single parents who were not. Although some policy makers have traditionally argued that welfare-to-work policies have positive health benefits, the findings of this review indicate that there is likely to be little to no effect on health.