Moving parents off welfare and into work

Under new measures announced in the 2011/2012 Budget, teenage parents and parents who are long term unemployed and receiving Centrelink payments will to be required to participate in training or studying.

Bankstown has been chosen as one of ten communities to receive these new measures to help parents move from welfare and into work.

Member for Blaxland, Jason Clare MP welcomed the initiatives to help parents on welfare get a job.

“A good education and is the key to finding work,” Mr Clare said.

“I want to make sure all young people in Bankstown get a good start in life. The best way to do that is to help parents break their dependency on welfare.

“These measures will help teenage parents finish high school. It will help parents who have been unemployed for a long time get the training they need to find a job.

“Bankstown has been chosen because unemployment in Bankstown is 8.4 per cent, almost double the national average of 4.9 per cent.

“We need this to change and these measures will help.”

Helping teenage parents

From 1 January 2012, teenage parents in Bankstown receiving Parenting Payment, with a child aged six months or older, will be required to attend compulsory interviews with Centrelink.

JASON_CLARE_SPEAKS_TO_YOUNG_MUM_AT_CENTRELINK_WEBISTE

Parents will work with Centrelink to develop a participation plan that includes compulsory activities to support them in their parenting role or help them gain a good education.

Teen parents will be required to undertake compulsory activities from when their child is one year old, to give teen parents time to settle into life with their new baby.

Teen parents will be given support to help them meet these responsibilities: They include:

• Funding for child care costs;

• Support through Youth Connections services to help individuals enrol and attend school, TAFE or other training;

• Support to help teen parents with their parenting skills through playgroups, parenting education classes, mentoring and support groups; and

• Training places through the National Partnership with states and territories.

The Government will invest $47 million over four years in ten communities to trial new measures to make sure teenage parents finish school and support their children.

If parents do not engage with Centrelink, without reasonable excuse, they will have their income support payment suspended until they re-engage.

Helping jobless families find work

Parents who have been on income support for more than two years, or who are under 23 years of age and are not currently working or studying full time will be required to attend compulsory interviews with Centrelink to plan for their return to work.

Centrelink staff will help parents get ready for work by connecting them with training opportunities, local jobs, child care and early intervention services.

To give parents greater access to affordable child care, assistance with child care costs will be extended from 26 weeks to 52 weeks.

If parents do not engage with Centrelink, without reasonable excuse, they will have their income support payment suspended until they re-engage.

This trial in ten communities will cost $71 million over two years.

Issued: 12 May 2011

Media contact: Chris Zogopoulos  02  9790 2466