Daily News - Monday 18 August 2014

Posted 18 August 2014 8:01am

Child welfare ‘stuck in the 1960s’
Verity Edwards, The Australian ($)

Child protection agency Families SA is operating on a 1960s model and is a decade behind other states, which have switched to an early-intervention focus, says Australian Centre Child Protection deputy director Leah Bromfield.

The Flinders University ­associate professor said she was disappointed the South Australian government did not heed the centre’s advice to include preventative services in the terms of reference of the royal commission it called on Friday.

Professor Bromfield, who also has been seconded to lead research into the federal Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, said a variety of government and non-government agencies needed to meaningfully intervene with vulnerable families earlier rather than stepping in once they reached a crisis point.


Childhood Stress Decreases Size of Brain Regions
Christie Nicholson, Scientific American

Children who experience neglect, abuse and poverty have a tougher time as adults than do well-cared-for kids. Now there’s evidence that such stress can actually change the size of brain structures responsible for learning, memory and processing emotion.


Suicide and silence: why depressed men are dying for somebody to talk to
Owen Jones, The Guardian

Nine months ago, Jake Mills texted his girlfriend one final time to tell her he loved her – and then he tried to kill himself. "I genuinely felt that I was a burden to a lot of people's lives," the 25-year-old Liverpool comedian says. "A lot of people say suicide is a selfish act but, in that frame of mind, if you're about to kill yourself, you just don't see anything better."

Although Jake had been visiting a counsellor, he was just telling her what he thought she wanted to hear. "She discharged me and told me that I was healthy and better. But actually I wasn't better, I was just better at lying."


Depression is a disease of loneliness
Andrew Solomon, The Guardian

“Naked and alone we came into exile,” wrote the American novelist Thomas Wolfe in his 1929 novel Look Homeward, Angel. “In her dark womb we did not know our mother’s face; from the prison of her flesh we come into the unspeakable and incommunicable prison of this earth … Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone?”

A study published by the relationship charity Relate would suggest that Wolfe was on to something. One in 10 people in the UK said they had no friends and one in five reported feeling unloved in the fortnight preceding the survey.


Committed nurses cope with stress by dehumanising themselves and their patients - Italian study
Christian Jarrett, BPS Research Digest

Nursing must be one of the most stressful professions. Not only are the hours long and the work challenging, many nurses are exposed routinely to patient suffering and death. A new study conducted in Italy finds that nurses appear to cope by seeing themselves and their patients as less than fully human.


Staying financially sound after divorce
David & Libby Koch, news.com.au

Older Australians are divorcing more than ever before, with many struggling to get back on their feet financially after a split.
Grey divorce rates in particular are soaring, with big jumps in the number of men and women divorcing aged 50 and above.
Apart from coming to terms with the emotional pain, one of the biggest problems for older people after a divorce is figuring out how to rebuild their finances.


Disabled call in lawyers to access NDIS
Jared Owens, The Australian ($)

Australians with disabilities have begun suing the government to break into the National Disability Insurance Scheme, forcing courts and tribunals to navigate the scheme’s early flaws.

Administrative Appeals Tribunal hearings have so far revealed confusion about the NDIS legislation and heard participants were given incorrect information about their entitlements.


Queensland - Drought help missing the mark
Sally Cripps, Queensland Country Life

Much of the money governments are throwing towards drought relief is missing its mark, according to the Royal Flying Doctor Service’s program coordinator for mental health in far north Queensland.

Dr Shaun Sellwood has worked for RFDS for seven years, a number of them in the lower Gulf, and has been helping people manage the effects of both severe flooding and extreme drought.

He believes a lack of on-ground consultation is largely to blame for misdirected services, along with a reliance on bureaucratic processes.


Group to tackle begging
Liam Croy, The West Australian

Begging could be made illegal as part of a joint bid by the State Government and City of Perth to tackle the antisocial behaviour marring the central business district.

A committee will be established to review legislative, policing and surveillance solutions to the problems detailed in The West Australian in the past month.


What prospects do Burnie’s young unemployed really have?
Greg Bearup, The Australian ($)

Josh Smith has one of those old Australian drawls you don’t hear much these days. He reminds me of the spud diggers and shed hands from my youth.

It’s an accent that actors have never properly mastered. If Josh said something good was grouse, well, he wouldn’t sound like a tosser. His delivery is not exactly ocker, but comes out in a slow, deliberate manner as though he’s telling you something complex. And today he is — it’s the story of his short but troubled life.


Michaelia Cash says if jobseekers miss a job appointment, they face a dole cut

Welfare recipients who miss an appointment with a job provider could have benefits cut unless they have a good excuse.

The assistant immigration minister, Michaelia Cash, said the government believed in mutual obligation – if you get something from the government, the government expects something in return.


Tough new job interview rules for unemployed
Patricia Karvelas, the Australian ($)

Unemployed people who miss an appointment with their job provider without an “extreme” excuse will be docked welfare payments until they attend a new appointment, under a dramatic strengthening of dole requirements.

The Weekend Australian has obtained a letter sent from the Employment Department’s deputy secretary Jennifer Taylor to job providers which outlines how the tough new rules will work, including the possibility that those who miss an appointment may not have their payments backpaid when they start attending appointments again.


Experience: I can't wake up in the morning
Johanna Hall, The Guardian

Ever since I was seven years old, my body clock has been set to "nocturnal". I'm happiest if I go to bed at 3am and wake up naturally at 12.30pm. If I try to go to sleep any earlier, I just lie awake, not remotely sleepy and only drop off when I reach my natural bedtime in the small hours. If I try to get up any earlier, it's not a matter of being "a bit tired"; I am barely able to function. I feel groggy, find it hard to concentrate and develop flu-like symptoms of aching joints and a pounding head. Having a nap brings temporary relief, but I'm back to square one the next night.


Northern Tasmania set to work for dole
Georgie Burgess, The Examiner

The next stage of the Work for the Dole program has been rolled out, with a Northern work co-ordinator announced yesterday.

Northern Tasmania was one of 18 areas selected for the first phase of the federal government's Work for the Dole program that came out of the May budget.

Launceston employment agency Max Employment has been appointed as the co-ordinator, and will be the first point of contact for organisations that wish to participate in the program.


Long term welfare recipient a day is moving to find a job
Lauren Wilson, Perth Now

Long term welfare recipients are proving they are willing to pack their bags and move for a job opportunity.

The federal government has already handed out more than $220,000 in cash bonuses to Australians who have been on the dole for more than 12 months and are now moving to big cities or regional areas to take up jobs.


Demand for welfare guarantees
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian

The government must give jobseekers a participation supplement to help with the costs of looking for jobs and introduce a comprehensive means test for income-support payments, a leading welfare organisation has told a welfare review.

The pillars of “fairness” and “adequacy” are critical to genuine reform, the National Welfare Rights Network says in is submission to the McClure review on overhauling the welfare system.

It urges the government to consider “visionary, bold and radical approaches” to address long-term unemployment, such as replacing schemes like Work for the Dole with a “jobs guarantee” for everyone out of work for two years. The group also called for the single rate of Newstart and related allowances to be raised $50.


Joe Hockey that’s a bit rich given that around 70 per cent of taxpayers earn less than the average wage
Karen Brooks, The Courier-Mail

A great deal has been said about Treasurer Joe Hockey’s imprudent comments regarding Australia’s “poor” and cars, and many arguments have centred on how far people drive, what type of cars they own or don’t, public transport infrastructure and urban versus regional issues.

What’s most revealing about Hockey’s defence of the fuel excise (and, indeed, entire Budget) is his use of the term “poor” when referring to those clearly not of his social or financial standing, and his unbelievable assumptions about them.


Tax overhaul could be ticket to success
Mike Steketee, The Drum

The Abbott Government risks going into the next election with a reputation for unfairness entrenched - or it can do something about it.

Joe Hockey's arguments about the end of the age of entitlement have validity: too many Australians are receiving government benefits to which they believe they have a right, although they could be better allocated to those with greater needs.

But the same, in spades, applies to the taxation side of the budget, where the overwhelming proportion of concessions and exemptions go to higher income earners.

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