Stronger families and communities strategy
- C1. Transition to independent living allowance
- C2. The mentor marketplace
- C3. Expanding the supply of healthy indigenous housing
- C4. Family homelessness and early intervention pilots
- C5. National research and education strategy to prevent problem gambling
C1. Transition to independent living allowance
1 March 2003
This measure provides a one-off payment of up to $1,000 for young people leaving state-supported care. The payment, called the Transition to Independent Living Allowance (TILA), will help defray some of the costs facing these young people when attempting to set themselves up in independent living. This is in recognition of the lack of family support and resources that ordinarily make such a transition difficult. TILA is not subject to repayment.
The Youth Pathways Action Plan Taskforce recommended the extension of existing one-off payments to help defray the costs of entry to study or work and rental bonds. This concept is supported by the interim Youth Allowance Evaluation. The Transition to Independent Living Allowance is a highly targeted measure that recognises that young people leaving State Care don't have the same level of family support as other young people. Other young people might have families that can provide them with some old furniture, or lend them the money to pay a bond on a flat. Young people leaving State Care need extra support because they don't have families that can give them this kind of support.
The payment will go a long way toward helping with the cost of a rental bond, getting electricity connected and other essential items. It is also about more than just money. Transition plans will mean that the young person is prepared to leave care and have thought about what they are going to do next, where they are going to live, and what they want for the future. They will also get the help to do these things and be linked into a mentor who can provide valuable support and advice.
The payment will be developed in consultation with State and Territory Governments.
Funding: $6.3 million over three years
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C2. The mentor marketplace
1 July 2002
The measure will assist young Australians to realise their full potential by:
- connecting them to the working world and the concept of lifelong learning;
- stimulating a mentoring culture in business, schools and communities;
- kick-starting mentoring projects in higher-risk schools and communities, and
- engaging them in skill-sharing and peer-mentoring opportunities.
The Mentor Marketplace consists of two elements, namely:
- a high profile national mentoring partnership which brings together and acknowledges existing mentoring projects; promotes good practice; facilitates an exchange of ideas, and funds research, workshops and conferences; and
- 'making mentoring happen', which involves kick-starting mentoring projects in communities and areas that do not currently have such projects operating for secondary students and early school-leavers and, in those communities that do have such projects, helping them grow.
Research commissioned for the Youth Pathways Action Plan Taskforce highlighted the success of mentoring and its potential to improve young people's transitions. In its Report, the Taskforce said "there is considerable value in encouraging mentoring programmes for young people". Based on the research it commissioned, the Taskforce set out a range of attributes of successful mentoring projects that will be used to inform the development of the Mentor Marketplace initiative.
Mentoring works. There is a range of initiatives already happening that have proven successful. Examples include the Launceston College in Tasmania, which focuses on young people facing some trauma or crisis, and the Plan-it Youth pilot on the NSW Central Coast which integrates mentoring with school-to-work planning. The Mentor Marketplace is an opportunity to bring knowledge together and to build on the success of existing programs.
The Mentor Marketplace is going to complement existing programs and develop good practice principles that enhance the effectiveness of programs and maximise the benefits for young participants. The Commonwealth will work with key non-government organisations to implement the program.
Funding: $4.8 million over three years
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C3. Expanding the supply of healthy indigenous housing
July 2001-June 2002 - The Commonwealth Government will negotiate with State and Territory Governments about the detail and implementation of the initiative.
July 2002-05 Funding allocated to States and Territories.
The quality of housing and related services, such as power and water supplies, will be improved in rural and remote indigenous communities.
This initiative will provide more Indigenous Australians with a secure, healthy and safe living environment. Better housing in rural and remote indigenous communities will improve the health and wellbeing of the whole community, allowing people to make the most of the opportunities for involvement in the community, in education and training, and in paid work where possible.
Funds will be used to repair existing houses and maintain them to a safe and healthy standard, build new houses to reduce overcrowding and help communities to better manage their housing and tenancy services. Funds will also be used for training of housing managers and workers in indigenous community housing organisations to improve management and maintenance of housing stock.
There will be funding to support the planned increase in housing, and to expand environmental health services (for example, water-quality testing and waste removal and management services) to communities not adequately covered under mainstream State or Local government services. Environmental health workers will work to improve management of these services.
The additional funds for housing will be allocated to the States and Territories through the Commonwealth Aboriginal Rental Housing Programme (ARHP). Additional housing-related infrastructure funds will be allocated under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission's Community Housing and Infrastructure Programme (CHIP).
There are not enough houses in some rural and remote indigenous communities. Existing houses in some communities are in poor condition. Low standards of housing contribute to problems of poor health, entrenched unemployment and poverty.
Quality housing is fundamental to people's ability to maintain health and well being, and to participate in the life of the community. With better housing and improved health, indigenous people will have more control over their living environments, gain greater self reliance, and have better opportunities for involvement in the community, in education and training, and paid work where possible.
Total Government Funding: $75 million over four years
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C4. Family homelessness and early intervention pilots
June 2002 to June 2004, with providers engaged from January 2002
The pilots will identify effective methods of recognising families at risk of homelessness and provide early assistance to prevent homelessness occurring.
Approximately 1,000 families in 9 locationally representative areas around Australia, will be assisted to regain stability in their housing and financial circumstances, and to access community services, labour market programmes and employment.
Research into homelessness indicates that, for many families who become homeless, there is a lead-up period in which they frequently move house, and experience financial crisis.
The pilots will identify families who are at risk of homelessness and intervene to prevent homelessness, unmanageable debt and other forms of crisis.
Families at risk will be identified using relevant Centrelink data including: changes of address, debt patterns, multiple breaches for parents on Newstart Allowance and Youth Allowance, and families frequently calling on emergency relief for advance payments.
The pilots will be evaluated in the second year (2003) to determine the most effective forms of intervention. In particular, the methods of identifying "at risk" families through Centrelink data will be examined to determine whether it can be used more broadly as part of the welfare reform approach to integrated service delivery.
Funding: $5.0 million over three years
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C5. National research and education strategy to prevent problem gambling
1 July 2001
National research and education will prevent and address problem gambling by:
- Developing and implementing a public education campaign that will provide information about the risks associated with gambling and information about support services; and
- Meeting a number of gaps in the research base on problem gambling and coordinating existing research.
The National research and education program aims to address existing gaps in the knowledge base, and in community awareness of problem gambling. It will take account of the initiatives being undertaken by States and Territory Governments and foster a national approach to the issue. It will also build on the Government's recent moratorium on interactive gambling by continuing to raise community awareness about the issues.
The research component will also play a key part in the new National Strategic Framework on Problem Gambling recently agreed to at the second Ministerial Council on Problem Gambling Meeting.
Funding: $8.4 million over 4 years