Daily News - Wednesday 5 November 2014

Posted 5 November 2014 7:58am

What’s the secret of a long-lasting relationship? New research tells you how ...
Katrina Stokes, The Advertiser

Saying sorry, making sacrifices and asking your partner about their feelings are just some of the secrets to a long-lasting relationship, a study has found.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies reveals the secrets of couples who stay together for the long haul.

Researcher Joanne Commerford is in Adelaide today to speak at the Marriage and Relationship Educators Association of Australia national conference about the findings.

After compiling nine studies from across the world, Ms Commerford and her co-study author Robyn Parker, found early intervention was the key to break-up prevention.


Are we there yet? Mapping the future for vulnerable children
Natasha Mitchell, Life Matters, ABC (audio)

What does it take to build individual, family and community well-being in Australia?

The Family and Relationships Australia 2014 conference is underway, asking the question, "Are we there yet?"


Child ready, life ready: Kevin Andrews argues for early intervention
Judith Ireland, Brisbane Times

Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews is examining ways to make sure Australians are ready to move successfully through key "life points" – all the way from starting school to starting a relationship and retiring.

Mr Andrews has tasked his department with developing a framework to "embed" early intervention and prevention into Social Services' policies and program. He has also sought the advice of academics and other experts.

"I believe the most effective assistance for families – and individuals – is to focus interventions on key transition or readiness points across the whole of life," he told the Family and Relationship Services Australia conference on Tuesday.


Kevin Andrews is becoming the Minister for Readiness
Judith Ireland, Sydney Morning Herald

[Andrews] is fond of quoting US-based scholar Isabel Sawhill who argues that if people finish high school, work full-time and marry before they have children, poverty would drop from 15 per cent to 2 per cent. And he is much taken with welfare reforms in New Zealand where "support is invested where it can make the biggest difference".

The idea of intervening early is also not new within social policy circles. At the Family and Relationship Services Australia conference on Tuesday there was furious agreement from experts about the need for early intervention.


US - Poor kids who do everything right don’t do better than rich kids who do everything wrong
Matt O'Brien, The Washington Post

Even poor kids who do everything right don't do much better than rich kids who do everything wrong. Advantages and disadvantages, in other words, tend to perpetuate themselves. You can see that in the above chart, based on a new paper from Richard Reeves and Isabel Sawhill, presented at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's annual conference, which is underway.

Specifically, rich high school dropouts remain in the top about as much as poor college grads stay stuck in the bottom — 14 versus 16 percent, respectively. Not only that, but these low-income strivers are just as likely to end up in the bottom as these wealthy ne'er-do-wells. Some meritocracy.


Will the G20 address inequality?
Hugh Jorgensen, Lowy Interpreter

As my colleague Mike Callaghan noted in May, on top of comments from the US President, the Pope and the IMF Managing Director, inequality is well on its way to becoming a mainstream economic concern. This momentum was particularly boosted by the IMF’s publication of research by Ostry, Berg and Tsangarides (OBT), who found a robust relationship between inequality and persistently low and unsustainable growth. Since the release of OBT’s paper, the Chair of the US Federal Reserve has delivered a major speech on the topic, Rupert Murdoch has spoken about it in his own way and in a report jointly submitted by the OECD, ILO and World Bank Group to the G20 Employment Minister’s meeting mentioned above, it was noted ...


Tony Abbott ties reforms to G20 agenda
David Crowe and David Uren, The Australian ($)

Mr Abbott said yesterday that [reducing the gender gap in workforce participation] would be Australia’s main proposal to tackle labour market reform — one of the subjects in the G20 talks throughout this year — and that his paid parental leave scheme would be one of the ways to reach the target.

“When it comes to female participation we’ll be spruiking our fair-dinkum paid parental leave scheme and the need for a more flexible child care system which is perhaps not as institutionally oriented in the future as it has been in the past.” The Prime Minister said he wanted the government’s childcare reforms, which will respond to a Productivity Commission report handed to the government last week, to make it easier for childcare operators to reflect the “24/7” nature of the contemporary workplace.


Childcare reforms are failing to benefit children
Trisha Jha, The Australian ($)

The cost of childcare to Australian families and taxpayers has ballooned in recent years, largely because of changes to regulations and standards. Sadly, making childcare less affordable has effectively become a bipartisan project. A Labor government, in concert with the Council of Australian Governments, introduced the National Quality Agenda reforms but the costly policy has continued relatively unhindered under the Coalition.

This is because three key claims have been uncritically accepted: that stricter minimum standards for staff-to-child ratios and staff qualifications will improve the quality of childcare; that this supposedly better-quality care is beneficial for all children; and that these benefits justify the extra costs involved.


Nation has little to show for Labor’s childcare reforms, says expert
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian ($)

[Jha] said many of the claims that had been made about the long-term benefits of childcare were based on an “optimistic understanding of the evidence”, including extrapolating the effects of programs for disadvantaged children and claiming they apply equally to average children.

Report: Regulating for Quality in Childcare: The Evidence Base.


Childcare quality does not drive up costs: study
Judith Ireland, Sydney Morning Herald

Factors like rent are having at least as much, if not more influence on childcare fees than quality standards, a new analysis has shown.

A report by the peak children's body Early Childhood Australia has found that high-quality childcare services are charging as little as $40 a day while low-quality ones are charging up to $140.

The analysis compared the assessment ratings of more than 2200 long-day care services around Australia for children between three and four, to their daily fees published on the federal government's MyChild website. It showed that there was a wide variation in fees across all the ratings under the national quality standards, which rate services in four levels from "exceeding" the standard to "significant improvement required".


CentaCare to address homelessness in Forbes
Sophie Harris, Forbes Advocate

CentaCare Wilcannia-Forbes will be leading the charge to try to address homelessness in Forbes as part of the NSW government’s new homeless reforms which came into effect yesterday.

The Going Home Staying Home reforms were implemented state-wide on Monday as part of the NSW government’s new approach to the delivery of specialist homelessness services (SHS).

CentaCare Wilcannia-Forbes was the successful tenderer of the delivery of the SHS and the new housing team were inducted yesterday.


Cashless quest
Colin Kruger, Sydney Morning Herald

If you're a bit over Movember, billionaire philanthropist Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest has a new, and much easier, cause for you to support this month.

To aid his quest to have "vulnerable Australian welfare recipients" receive payments through a debit card that cannot be used to purchase alcohol, drugs, or, gambling services, Twiggy has launched No Cash November.

Twiggy, his CEO at Fortescue, Nev Power, and the head of his GenerationOne initiative, musician Jeremy Donovan, have pledged to go cash free for the entire month and Twiggy is exhorting his fellow Australians to "take up the challenge" in order to demonstrate that a cash-free welfare system is possible.


No-cash welfare card finds support
Paige Taylor, The Australian ($)

Mr Forrest is pushing hard for support for the most contentious aspect of his Creating Parity ­review — a recommendation that vulnerable welfare recipients be denied benefits being paid in cash via the use of a so-called healthy welfare card. It is a proposal that is being given qualified support from the Wunan Foundation in Kununurra, which believes welfare — and available cash for alcohol and drugs — is central to the problems being experienced by Aboriginal people in the Kimberley.

It is, the foundation believes, the opposite of personal responsibility.

“They might say they want to work but many of them just aren’t ready,” said Wunan Foundation executive director Ian Trust yesterday.

Mr Trust believes a healthy welfare card could not work in isolation. He says it must, as the review comments, be accompanied by other measures including greater investment in the health and welfare of children in the first three years of their lives.


US - Turning lives around with hope
Stacy Lu, American Psychological Association

Some 16 million American children — 22 percent — live in poverty, a factor that increases their chances of academic struggles, social and behavioral problems, and depression.

Yet not all poor children are doomed to bad outcomes. Some survive and flourish despite hardships. Why? As a researcher who worked at the Yale Child Study Center from 1992 to 2005, Valerie Maholmes, PhD, suggests that poor children who succeed have a factor in common: hope.


Why Australia needs to rethink the debate on charities
David Gilchrist, The Mandarin

For the first time in Australian history we have a picture of the size, complexity and contribution of the charitable sector. It shows clearly that it is time to rethink the national discussion regarding this incredibly important sector.

Curtin University’s report — Australian Charities 2013 — published in last month is based on our analysis of the Annual Information Statement data provided by charities to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission for the 2013 financial year. It also includes analysis of Australian Taxation Office data from charity Business Activity Statements lodged during the same period. As such, it is the first comprehensive view of the sector.


Does Pope Francis have an enemies list?
John L Allen, Crux

In the dying days of the Nixon administration, the discovery that the White House maintained an enemies list was, for many Americans, the last straw. It seemed to reveal an administration using power not to advance policy or defend the nation, but to settle political scores.

Although any comparison between Nixon and Pope Francis is obviously an apples-and-oranges exercise, nonetheless many Catholic conservatives and traditionalists these days are asking if the pontiff has an enemies list of his own.


Holy See Statement at 69th UN General Assembly on the Eradication of Poverty
Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Zenit

... my delegation believes that our fight to eradicate extreme poverty should be inspired and guided by ground-based policies rather than ideology, by inclusion rather than exclusion, by solidarity rather than survival of the fittest. We have to question economic models that heighten exclusion and inequality, in particular those that cause an exponentially growing gap between the haves and the have-nots, those that exclude and marginalize masses of people without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape from poverty (cf. Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium n.53).

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