(20 September 2016) "The Priority Investment Approach to Welfare has the potential to make a huge difference to the lives of disadvantaged individuals. However the Government must fund programs that improve the overall well-being of people rather than programs that simply move people out of the welfare system," Marcelle Mogg, CEO of Catholic Social Services Australia, said.
"To be successful the Try, Test and Learn Fund must support programs that bring government, business and community sectors together to develop and implement tailor-made programs that improve individual capability, strengthen families and communities and create new opportunities in the labour market.
"Many long term welfare recipients live in communities with interconnected problems - disproportionately high levels of unemployment, low family income and education, housing stress, domestic violence and prison admissions.
"Therefore the Fund must support programs that concentrate on finding a holistic community solution," Ms Mogg said.
Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA) represents a national network of social service providers. Our members have worked in local communities for over 60 years and currently operate in 650 locations across Australia. We have deep expertise and examples of programs that work on the ground and stand ready to develop and evaluate transparent programs that support the most vulnerable people in our communities.
"We are very encouraged that Minister Porter will consult with the social services sector on how to roll out the Fund and we look forward to contributing in a positive way.
"While we welcome the Government's commitment to finding new programs to improve the outlook for some disadvantaged Australians, the Priority Investment Approach to Welfare only targets a very small proportion of the people who need assistance.
"While the new Try, Test and Learn Fund programs are being trialled and tested, the Australia Government must continue to provide people with enough income to fully support them to live with dignity. CSSA believes the current level of welfare payments to individuals and families is inadequate,” Ms Mogg said.
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