Daily News - Tuesday 15 July 2014

Posted 15 July 2014 7:45am

Childcare experts slam plan to restrict funding for vulnerable children
Rachel Browne, The Age

A proposal to restrict childcare subsidies for stay-at-home mothers has been slammed by children's advocates who say it will penalise vulnerable youngsters.

The means-tested childcare benefit (CCB), which offers 24 hours a week of subsidised care regardless of whether a parent is working or studying, is being examined as part of the Productivity Commission's inquiry into creating a sustainable childcare system.


Every secondary school in Yarra Ranges to be contacted for youth homelessness study
Kimberly Seedy, Lilydale and Yarra Valley Leader

Welfare agencies in the outer-east are joining forces to tackle the growing crisis of youth homelessness.

Every secondary school in the Yarra Ranges will be contacted to take part in a study by Swinburne University of Technology, Anchor Inc, and Outer Eastern Local Learning and Employment Network, investigating early intervention measures to prevent young people from becoming homeless.


Ergas on reforming support for families
Henry Ergas, The Australian ($)

... it would make sense to view parental leave as merely one element in a redesigned package of support for families, simplifying a vast, poorly integrated set of payments. Moreover, that re-engineering should extend to family benefits, whose purpose of recognising the costs of having children has been damaged by endless tinkering. With the McClure report and the Productivity Commission’s review of childcare providing valuable inputs, the government has a chance to put these assistance measures on a fiscally responsible basis.

One option for advancing that process would be a reference to the Productivity Commission, giving it until the end of the year to report on a streamlined approach to family support. As well as mobilising intellectual grunt, that would provide a transparent forum in which arguments could be tested, and some of the more ludicrous claims put to bed.


US - When You're Poor, Money Is Expensive
Derek Thompson, The Atlantic

Alex was doing the thing he loved most, singing and playing his acoustic guitar onstage when, after one show, he met Melissa. “We kinda hit it off,” Melissa said. “No kinda about it.” Alex corrected. “We just hit it off.” He proposed ten weeks after their first date. They moved into a house in Scituate, Rhode Island, and had two kids, whom they raised comfortably on two incomes.

In a flash, their lives changed dramatically. Alex was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and had to quit his job. Now he walks with a cane. A few weeks later, their young son Jonah was diagnosed with severe autism. Their medical costs suddenly soared as their incomes dwindled.


UK - Tories discuss stripping benefits claimants who refuse treatment for depression
Tim Ross, The Telegraph

Hundreds of thousands of benefit claimants face being stripped of their state allowances if they refuse to undergo treatment for anxiety and depression, under radical plans being drawn up by ministers.

Existing welfare rules mean it is not possible to require claimants to have treatment, such as therapy or counselling, as a condition of receiving sickness benefits.

Senior ministers now believe the rules should be reviewed in order to reduce the “huge” numbers of people who are declared unfit for work due to mental health problems.


UK - Mental health and benefits: ministers get the wrong end of the stick
Isabel Hardman, The Spectator

If ministers don’t want quite so many people floating about on benefits who could, given the right support, return to work, or if they don’t want people who leave work because they have not been given the right support and their condition has deteriorated, might I humbly suggest that the thing to do is not to mandate access to that help, but ensure it is on offer in the first place?


Cultural healing for indigenous mental health
Kylie Bartholomew, ABC

The approach to mental illness in indigenous communities is very different to that of Western society, culture and science.

Feelings of shame and fear are exacerbated by a strong desire to not be seen as being "womba" or mentally ill.


Link indigenous housing to jobs, says Andrew Forrest
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian ($)

Aboriginies who leave remote communities to take up jobs should be handed “support packages” that include secure ­accommodation, rent advances and case management, under mining magnate Andrew Forrest’s recommended overhaul of the $7 billion indigenous social housing system.

The Australian has been briefed on recommendations the mining magnate has made to the Abbott government on how the system should be redesigned to ensure Aborigines take jobs.


US - Tackling Persistent Poverty in Distressed Urban Neighborhoods
Urban Institute

Despite significant civil rights advancements and enormous improvements in the US standard of living over the past half-century, public policies and private initiatives have largely failed to solve the problem of persistent, intergenerational poverty among families living in distressed communities. Persistent intergenerational poverty is a complex and daunting problem that requires action at multiple levels. No single strategy offers a “silver bullet,” but strategies that focus on the places poor families live have an important role to play. This paper summarizes lessons learned and evolving practice in the field of place-based interventions, and it offers a set of guiding principles for child-focused, place-conscious initiatives focused on persistent, intergenerational poverty.


Leyonhjelm to use leverage to get gay marriage conscience vote
Michelle Grattan, The Conversation

Liberal Democrats' senator David Leyonhjelm has threatened to trade his vote on temporary protection visas or other legislation to force the Liberals to allow a conscience vote on gay marriage.

In the latest headache for Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Leyonhjelm said he was “not going to be fobbed off” on the matter.


The new Senate looms as a disaster for tax reform
Jeff Borland, The Conversation

It’s unlikely “The Political Sayings of Malcolm Fraser” is a well-thumbed volume in Tony Abbott’s library. Yet this week, in the wake of the Senate throwing his government’s budget plans into disarray, as well as the repeal of the carbon tax and financial planning industry reforms, you’d have to think one of Malcolm Fraser’s sayings might have come to mind: “Life wasn’t meant to be easy.”


Strategies for securing US foundation grants in a post-recession era
Eelco Keij, Third Sector Australia

With diversity in funding becoming increasingly imperative in the not-for-profit sector, Eelco Keij outlines some strategies for organisations to consider when seeking cross-border grants.

“Excuse me, could you please help me get in touch with the Ford Foundation? We are sure they would be very interested in the work we do!”

It’s not rare for my office to receive a question like this from someone working for a not-for-profit (NFP) based outside of the United States (US). While I understand the interest in seeking funding from these private foundations, the example question above falls flat on two accounts.



Pope's estimate on paedophile priests only half of real number, Australian Catholic Church body says
Jason Om, ABC

A key Catholic Church body says 4 per cent of priests in Australia have been paedophiles, double the number estimated by the Pope.

... In Australia, the Truth, Justice and Healing Council is compiling statistics on abusers for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

"It's 4 per cent of men who have been a priest in the Catholic Church at some point in Australia have been sex abusers," Mr Sullivan said.

Audio: Francis Sullivan, interview Patrick Condren 4BC radio

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