Daily News - Friday 21 June 2013

Posted 21 June 2013 7:44am

Fresh ideas on disability and jobs
Craig Wallace, Ramp Up, ABC

As Paralympic gold medallist Kurt Fearnley laid it out in his Australia Day speech earlier this year, 45 per cent of people with a disability live in or near poverty; more than double the OECD average of 22 per cent. We rank 21st out of 29 OECD countries in employment participation rates for those with a disability. We rank 27th out of 27 in terms of the correlation between disability and poverty.

Jenny Macklin vows study on income management for Ceduna
Verity Edwards, The Australian

Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin will today commit to a feasibility study of income management in Ceduna on South Australia's west coast, in a bid to cut itinerant alcoholics from drinking themselves to death.

Howard plan used to help homeless kids
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian

Labor is extending to children forced out of their homes by violence and drug abuse the income management provisions of the Howard government's emergency intervention in Northern Territory indigenous communities.

... St Vincent de Paul chief executive John Falzon was outraged over the expansion of the program to some of the most vulnerable young people in the country.

"The imposition of compulsory income management reveals a stunning inability by government to understand the causes of exclusion," he said. "Neither of these humiliating regimes will deliver fairness or inclusion. Neither will assist people on the path to employment."

Greens give idea of living in a box a serious facelift
Heath Aston, Sydney Morning Herald

Homeless people would be given factory-built apartments under a Greens policy that the party hopes will get the problem of rough sleepers on the election agenda.

... the party will advocate a more expensive program of intensive social services and rehabilitation in conjunction with mainly prefab housing to get the homeless back on their feet and into work.

Union, corporate leaders sleep on streets

Corporate and union leaders in NSW have put aside their differences, uniting to sleep on the streets of Sydney to raise money for the homeless.

Asylum seeker families moved off Manus Island detention centre

Several asylum seeker families have been moved off Manus Island in what the ABC understands signals the end of family groups being detained in temporary accommodation there.

Eight reasons offshore processing is a failure
Jane McAdam, Sydney Morning Herald

The Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights has found that Australia's regional processing legislation violates many of our human rights obligations.

At a time when the Coalition is advocating tougher border protection policies, this is a wakeup call that we have already gone far too far.

Do Children Make Us Happy?
Emily Esfahani Smith, Pacific Standard

Several months ago, the novelist Zadie Smith wrote an essay for the New York Review of Books on joy, a complicated emotion that lies at the heart of parenting she argued. In the essay, Smith captured the paradox of parenting: Children, so-called “bundles of joy,” can make parents profoundly unhappy.

US - Goldman Sachs to Finance Early Education Program
William Alden, New York Times

Goldman Sachs is making its second foray into an experimental method of financing social services, lending up to $4.6 million for a childhood education program in Salt Lake City.

This “social impact bond,” in which Goldman stands to make money if the program is successful but will lose its investment if it fails, will support a preschool program intended to reduce the need for special education and remedial services. The upshot, in theory, is that taxpayers will not have to bear the upfront cost of the program.

US - Social Impact Bonds: testimony from the Urban Institute
Kelly Walsh and John Roman, Urban Institute

Through our work funded by the US Department of Justice, we have identified nine steps to successfully implement a social impact bond. First, a state must identify the users of government services and drivers of cost. Second, identify the gaps that cause those people to need those services and associated spending. Third, find evidence--based solutions to those problems. Fourth, assess those programs to determine if a SIB is suitable. Fifth, price the transaction and set performance targets based on outcomes. Sixth, develop the deal between the government, the service provider and the private investor. Seventh, create the infrastructure necessary to implement new services. Eighth, deliver service with training and technical assistance to insure fidelity to evidence--based best practice. And finally, conduct an independent outside evaluation to determine if the performance goals were met and the investor will be repaid.

Abbott sees north as next frontier
Mark Kenny, Sydney Morning Herald

A future Coalition government could impose special tax brackets for both individuals and companies as part of Tony Abbott's radical plan to transform Australia's vast underpopulated north into a productive international food-bowl and a major tourism generator.

Economist Steven Levitt On Why Data Needs Stories
Anne Cassidy, Co.Create

Steven Levitt, an economist hailed as one of the finest minds of his generation, says he’s never been good at math and finds much of his life’s work “embarrassing.” The University of Chicago professor is not just being unfeasibly modest. He’s in the habit of confounding expectations.

Religion and sexuality shouldn't compete against each other
Senthorun Raj, The Guardian

Religious NGOs play a significant role in the provision of social services – and receive significant public funds to carry out this work. Many do so by embracing non-discrimination principles and the existence of exemptions offends the very work that they do.

Senior NSW police officer shredded documents from meetings with Catholic Church officials
Suzie Smith, ABC

New South Wales Police has admitted all records of a senior officer's involvement with a key Catholic Church body set up to deal with sexual abuse cases have been shredded.

Towards confrontation: future of Catholic abuse protocols in doubt
Matthew Knott, Crikey

Will the Catholic Church’s controversial protocols for dealing with sexual abuse claims survive a royal commission? The man in charge of the Church’s response says he expects a new, more independent system.

Pope Francis on the True Meaning of Poverty
Samuel Gregg, Acton Institute

“How I long for a poor Church for the poor!”

With these words spoken after being elected pope, Jorge Bergoglio underscored a theme that continues to be front-and-center of his papacy. Not surprisingly, many have concluded such statements demonstrate that Pope Francis wants Catholics to devote greater attention to poverty-alleviation. In one sense, this is true. Yet it’s also an interpretation that misses the deeper meaning Francis attaches to poverty.

US - How “Catholic McCarthyism” Hurts Effective Anti-Poverty Efforts
John Gehring, Faith in Public Life

A Faith in Public Life report released today documents how a network of conservative Catholic organizations is targeting effective social justice initiatives funded by the U.S. bishops’ national anti-poverty campaign and creating a toxic climate of fear around community organizing.

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