Daily News - Thurdsday 29 August 2013

Posted 29 August 2013 8:16am

Federal election: homeless on the agenda
Eddie Morton, The Weekly Review

“Sometimes you can’t comprehend the depth of an issue until you have the data in front of you.”

That’s the message from Cathy Humphrey, chief executive of St Kilda’s Sacred Heart Mission. Ms Humphrey is calling on major political parties to address homelessness in the lead up to the federal election.

Marise Payne, Penrith City Star

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has stooped to a new low claiming that his Government has reduced homelessness by 40 per cent, when official numbers show homelessness has increased by 17 per cent under Labor – an astounding 57 per cent turnaround.

Event - Think Outside: How to design out homelessness?
Geraldine Chua, Architecture and Design

The State Library of Queensland (SLQ) is challenging designers to step out of their comfort zones, and apply existing ways of thinking to new contexts.

Queensland - Wards of state need more help: report

Wards of the state need support until they are at least 25 years old to prevent them from ending up on the streets, new Queensland research suggests.

It's estimated one third of young people in foster care become homeless when they attempt to make the transition into independent living.

Victoria - It’s only normal — kids and cuddles should go together
Clare Quirk, The Standard

Bernie Geary says all that children in foster care want is “more of the normal”.

Mr Geary, Victoria’s principal commissioner for children and young people, said foster carers throughout the south-west opened their homes to children who had been let down by those who should love them the most.

Victoria - Giving kids a second chance
Danny Lannen, Geelong Advertiser

MacKillop staff sat 2095 teddy bears on grass at their Rippleside headquarters yesterday to draw attention to the number of children and young people in foster care in Victoria, and the need for more carers.

Chief executive Micaela Cronin said MacKillop provides training, support and regular breaks for carers, who are entitled to financial reimbursements. Foster mother Jan Wilson has six children of her own and has fostered for 18 years.

NSW - Students cover child welfare work
Rachel Olding, Sydney Morning Herald

Unpaid university interns are doing the work of child protection caseworkers in the Family and Community Services department because of acute staff shortages and heavy workloads.

NSW - Risk of harm report for kids not followed

More than 20,000 reports of children at risk of serious harm were closed because there weren't enough caseworkers to check up on them, the NSW opposition claims.

Youth alcohol and drug good practice guide
Phil Crane, Cameron Francis and Jeff Buckley, Dovetail

"Practice Strategies and Interventions" deals with the nitty gritty of youth alcohol and drug practice: engagement approaches and outreach, assessment and intervention and information on AOD practice with specific populations. The guide contains a melding of evidence based practice with practice wisdom from those who work on the front line throughout Queensland.

Mental and substance use disorders collectively cause more disability internationally than other illnesses
Janelle Miles, The Courier Mail

Mental and substance use disorders are the leading cause of disability worldwide, a study led by Queensland researchers has found.

Psychiatrist Harvey Whiteford, of the University of Queensland, said conditions such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, eating disorders and alcohol abuse collectively caused more disability internationally than other illnesses, including cancer and heart disease.

Major parties fall short on work and family policy: experts
Patrick Hutchens and Sunandra Creagh, The Conversation

Australia is approaching a “care tsunami” in which more people will find themselves juggling work with care of children and the elderly but experts have warned that neither major party has proposed adequate policy to address the problem.

Will Disability Care work for regional Australia?
Alex Blucher, Tas Country Hour, ABC

Disability Care has been lauded as a revolutionary scheme that will change the lives of close to half a million Australians.

It is designed to put the power in the hands of the people who are living with permanent and significant disabilities.

But how will the scheme ensure people living with a disability in remote areas don't fall through the gaps?

NSW - O'Farrell upset over Labor's NDIS plan

Federal Labor has upset NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell for the second day in a row, this time over the rollout of the national disability insurance scheme in his state.

Disability does not end with DisabilityCare
Shawn Burns, Ramp Up, ABC

I fear full delivery of the NDS could be at risk if the wider community is allowed to believe the disability 'battle' has already been won through the implementation of DisabilityCare.

Launch of the Long Term Unemployment Conference 2014
National Forum Long-Term Unemployment Forum

This conference will address the causes of long term unemployment and what can be done for these at risk groups of disability, mature age, youth, indigenous and regional unemployed. The conference aims to focus on Building Capability to successfully tackle long-term unemployment and how to create employment for the future. The conference will feature keynotes and over 50 selected presentations on research, policy, programs and case studies on long-term unemployment risk groups.

National Welfare Rights Network calls for wage subsidy for the young
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian

The predicted increase in unemployment and the corresponding jump in the number of people living in poverty are two great challenges for the next government that must be dealt with by an extensive wage subsidy scheme for young people, according to the National Welfare Rights Network.

National Welfare Rights - Federal Election Checklist for Social Security and Welfare Policies
Media Release, National Welfare Rights Network

“The expected increase in the level of unemployment and the corresponding increase in the numbers of people living in poverty are two great challenges for the next government,” said the National Welfare Rights Network (NWRN) in its Federal Election Checklist for Social Security and Welfare Policies. The NWRN is the peak community organisation in the area of social security law and public policy development.

ACOSS outlines reform principles for a fairer and more efficient tax system
Media release, Australian Council of Social Service

The Australian Council of Social Service today [Tuesday 27 August] released a set of principles to serve as a starting point for reform of Australia's tax system.

"Too often, would-be tax reformers start with their preferred solutions and work backwards to identify the problems. We think it's important to take some time to identify and discuss the problems first, to build community support for change," said ACOSS Senior Policy Officer, Peter Davidson.

WA - Social services group to try new approach to solve big problems
Andrew O'Connor, ABC

Western Australia's key social service organisations are meeting in Perth today [Tuesday 27 August] to explore a new approach to solving some of the state's toughest social problems such as homelessness and domestic violence.

Known as "collective impact", the approach aims to focus the efforts of a range of individual organisations in a way that creates a clear and measurable improvement.

Collective Impact: The theory in practice (pfd)
Benevolent Society (May 2013)

Collective Impact is a coordinated approach that brings organisations together from across government, community and the business sector to solve difficult social issues and achieve important social change.

The underlying premise of Collective Impact is that no single organisation can create large-scale, lasting social change alone.

US - When Good Is Not Good Enough
Bill Shore, Darell Hammond, & Amy Celep, Stanford Social Innovation Review

The foundation on which many nonprofits are built is flawed and simplistic, focused on a symptom rather than the underlying set of problems, developed in isolation rather than as part of an integrated system, and organized to administer a narrowly tailored program or benefit rather than generate sustained, significant change for a person or community. As a result, change is incremental, not big or bold enough to make a lasting and transformative impact.

Limits to agency
Chris Dillow, Stumbling and Mumbling

Do the poor lack free will? I ask because of a Twitter argument I've had with Peter Risdon. I said that in criticizing the poor for their junk food diet, Jamie Oliver was blaming the victim. Peter replied: "You think that being poor removes from individuals the ability to decide how to act, albeit within limits affected by poverty?"

Social Media a Tough Internal Sell for NFPs
Pro Bono News

While social media is now seen as a necessary communication tool, many Not for Profits struggle to get senior management and the board on-side to understand the importance of the real time aspect of social media, according to new research.

Industry electioneering .?.?. get it right or get out of the sandpit
Mark Textor, Australian Financial Review

There is only one thing more inevitable than the dominance of political advertising during election campaigns, and that is the attempt by industry and other groups to play in the same electoral sandpit.

... a lot of what you’ll see from businesses and interest groups is too little, too late. But the public relations and advertising agencies will never tell their clients that. They are too keen to play in the sandpit with the big boys.

A Vote for Social Justice
Media Release, Australian Catholic Social Justice Council

Christopher Saunders, the Bishop of Broome and Chairman of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, has called on all eligible voters to remain attentive to issues of justice at the next Federal Election.

... “On some important issues,” the Bishop said, “too many politicians have scrambled to occupy what can only be described as the lowest moral baseline.

“Asylum seekers and refugees have been treated badly, socially debased by the ambitions of political expediency."

The Church should work with unions, say US Catholic Bishops
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Catholic teaching has consistently affirmed the right of workers to choose to form a union. The rise in income inequality has mirrored a decline in union membership. Unions, like all human institutions, are imperfect, and they must continue to reform themselves so they stay focused on the important issues of living wages and appropriate benefits, raising the minimum wage, stopping wage theft, standing up for safe and healthy working conditions, and other issues that promote the common good. The Church, in accord with her principles on the life and dignity of the human person, wishes to collaborate with unions in securing the rights and dignity of workers.

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