Daily News - Thursday 19 September 2013

Posted 19 September 2013 7:38am

Settlement services move to Department of Social Services
Lauren Wilson, The Australian

Settlement services for migrants and refugees will be moved out of the Immigration Department and into the Department of Social Services, which will also take on responsibility for a number of portfolio areas administered by Labor's Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

Social Services will take on responsibility for ageing and aged-care, disability services and the rollout of the bipartisan national disability insurance scheme, income support arrangements and pension payments.

How committed is Abbott to multiculturalism?
Michael Kenny, SBS Radio

Mr Abbott has appointed New South Wales Senator Concetta Fierravanti Wells as parliamentary secretary for social services with special responsibility for multicultural affairs and settlement services.

The outgoing Minister for Multicultural Affairs under the Rudd Government, Senator Kate Lundy, says she believes the coalition is neglecting an important portfolio area.

Poverty think tank scrapped
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian

The Coalition has scrapped Labor's Social Inclusion Board, but its chairwoman has warned that the new government must commit to helping the poorest Australians.

DOCS caseworkers slam staffing levels after 2yo Zoran Ivanovski's death
Tracey Bowden, 7.30, ABC

A two-year-old Wollongong boy could be alive today if the Department of Family and Community Services had been better resourced, caseworkers say.

Leaked emails heap more pressure on Community Services Minister Pru Goward over caseworker numbers

The New South Wales Family and Community Services Minister is facing fresh accusations that she misled Parliament over caseworker numbers after the Opposition obtained leaked departmental emails.

Christians fail on abuse checks
Dan Box, The Australian

Hundreds of Christian groups and organisations in NSW have not conducted background checks on church leaders working with children, despite legislation requiring them to do so being in place for 15 years.

Evidence tendered to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse shows almost half the 700 religious organisations surveyed were found not to have registered for the Working With Children Checks, as required by laws introduced in 1998.

Showcasing Innovattion: Case studies of recent homelessness initiatives
Charmaine Thredgold, Sandy Horne, Andrew Beer, Chris Paris and Selina Tually, University of Adelaide

This document sets out to highlight some of the innovative practices being developed across Australia in response to homelessness. The paper draws upon some of the new ways of thinking encountered by researchers at the Centre for Housing, Urban and Regional Planning in their work on homelessness.

Workforce training for the homelessness sector
Angela Spinney, Swinburne University

This research was carried out in three case-study states: Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. It confirms that specific training and development opportunities targeted at the homelessness sector are an important part of developing the homelessness sector.

Team-Based Addiction Care Not as Effective as Experts Hoped
Maia Szalavitz, Time

To treat chronic illnesses like diabetes and hypertension, the gold standard now involves a coordinated, team-based approach. So researchers hoped the same benefits would be help addiction patients.

Is it ethical to instil false hope in people with mental illness?
Christian Jarrett, BPS Research Digest

There's an ethical consensus in medicine that it's wrong to give patients with physical illness false hope. But what about patients with mental health problems? Might the provision of unrealistic optimism be a vital part of their treatment? Or might this serve only to prolong their suffering? Psychiatrist Justine Dembo at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre has explored these delicate issues in a thought-provoking essay.

Schizophrenia: 'I felt like I'd been given a life sentence'
Mary O'Hara, The Guardian (UK)

When Jonny Benjamin describes his experience of growing up with a serious mental illness during his teens and early 20s, it can make for harrowing listening. He talks of the loneliness he felt keeping his distress hidden from those closest to him; of depression, "total hopelessness", self-harm, suicide attempts and repeated struggles to find the right kind of support within the health system. But, for all of these challenges, the 26-year-old has recently emerged as something of an inadvertent champion of young people's mental health.

Jenny Macklin laments loss of focus on DisabilityCare
Rick Morton, The Australian

Former minister for disability reform Jenny Macklin has written to members of the sector lamenting the fall of the portfolio from the cabinet under the incoming Coalition government.

Offer single welfare benefits to all of working age: advocate
Tim Colbatch, The Age

A respected welfare advocate today will urge the Abbott government to implement a plan Tony Abbott proposed more than a decade ago, and introduce a single welfare benefit for people of working age, whether they are disabled, unemployed, or single parents.

Peter Davidson, senior adviser to the Australian Council of Social Service, says the present system in which disability benefits now pay almost 50 per cent more than unemployment benefits is unfair, bureacratically complex and a disincentive for people to look for work.

UK - Centralisation plus complexity: a fatal formula for welfare reform
Conservative Home

According to the National Audit Office, the Government’s flagship welfare reform policy – Universal Credit – is in trouble. The purpose of the new benefit is to combine six existing benefits into a single payment, with the aim of ensuring that work always pays more than life on the dole.

Right in principle, the problems with Universal Credit are all in the implementation, especially when it comes to IT.

More people renting for longer as hopes of ownership fade
Julie Power, Sydney Morning Herald

More than 1.8 million Australian households rent, and a third have done so for more than 10 years, says new research showing the dream of home ownership is slipping away for many.

Renting is no longer temporary but permanent for increasing numbers of people, who have been priced out of the housing market, finds the study commissioned by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI).

Tough call on 1200 jobs at Centrelink
Noel Towell, The Age

Up to a quarter of the nation's Centrelink call centre workers are set to lose their jobs before the end of the year.

Politics must be more inclusive
Wyatt Roy, The Australian

Voters utilising social and online media will expect a lot more from their politicians and demand even more diverse representation.

But we can't just wait for generational change.

We need to reshape the political narrative now, so more people are talking about how positive an influence politics can be and not how flawed it has become.

We need to hose down cynicism and to advance engagement and discourse by encouraging a political culture that is fundamentally complete.

Leadership speech lays the groundwork
Patricia Karvelas and Mark Coultan, The Australian

ALP left-wing leadership aspirant Anthony Albanese will outline today his vision for Australia by 2025, calling for Labor to design the policies now that will define the nation in a decade.

Maurice Glasman on the Labour Party's search for an ethical base
Andrew West, Relion and Ethics Report, ABC

In the ashes of the federal election, the Labor Party is seeking to rebuild after its lowest vote in more than a century. But where should it seek inspiration? While its acting leader, Chris Bowen, argues that it should become a party of individualism and enterprise, one of Britain's superstar intellectuals says Australian Labor and UK Labour need to go back to the ethical principle on which they were founded—the common good.

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