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SAP102 Welfare System and Services in Australia

Assessment 2A: Individual Written Essay

Word Count: 1200-1500

Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of sex, race, nationality, ethnicity , language, religion or any other status. For t his assessment task, you are required to write an essay(1200-1500 words) that is based on one of the following groups who, at various times and in various contexts, have not had their human rights protected or promoted:

  • Children
  • People with disabilities
  • Elderly people
  • Refugees

Solution

Welfare Systems and Services in Australia

Introduction

The purpose of the welfare system is to support individuals who are unable to sustain their own families. The welfare system provides them with a secure lifestyle and financial stability. For this assessment, the Australian Welfare system has been chosen and the particular group chosen for the study is children. The study aims to identify the welfare systems and services in Australia that are targeted toward children and provide an overview of the effectiveness of those systems and services. As to the reports published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2021), the number of people who are facing homelessness in 2021 is 122,494 and among them, 17.646 are children aged under 12 years. This implies 14.4% of the total homeless population comprises children under 12 years. Hence, it is crucial to provide them with the support they require. For underprivileged children, the government must provide them with basic healthcare facilities as well as primary and secondary education facilities. This is where the welfare system comes into play.

Identifying the welfare systems and services provided to the chosen group

Children

The State and the territory government in Australia are responsible for providing statutory child protection to vulnerable children and the community who are at risk of getting neglected, abused, and harmed. The Nation Centre of Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse addresses the issues with child sexual abuse and promotes help-seeking and good practice. As per the Department of Social Sciences reports published by the Australian Government (2023), the Australian Government has launched a joint initiative in collaboration with The Healing Foundation, Australian Childhood Foundation, and Blue Knot Foundation. The plan is to address the problem of child sexual abuse by raising awareness and reducing the stigma.  Since 2018, children have received a tonne of assistance from the “National Redress Scheme for persons who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse”. This scheme provides psychological assistance and counseling support to children who have experienced sexual abuse in the past. The Catholic Church, the Salvation Army, the YMCA and Scouts Australia, the Uniting Church, and many more churches and organizations have joined the program. 

The Enhanced Income Management program is active in only a few parts of Australia. The participants who have access to smartcards can avail of the service. The aim of this service is to provide support to the parents. The policies may vary from place to place. For instance, in Queensland, the Family Responsibilities Commission looks after the well-being of families and ensures a quality standard of living is maintained. The participants availing the services of the Enhanced Income Management program are not allowed to consume alcohol, pornography, tobacco products, or homebrew kits and along with that, there are a few other obligations that they have to stand by. The Government of Australia has introduced various Children and Community programs as well which ensures the economic engagement of the families. These programs include the Child and Family Intensive Support Services, from which children aged between 0 and 18 can benefit. However, in this context, it must be noted that the service of this particular program is limited to six communities in Australia. The “Home Interaction Program for Parenting and Youngsters” on the other hand is a program that helps the community in building skills for parenting. It also includes an early childhood program, where the children are prepared for school. For adults and new parents, it is two years long skill development program that teaches them parenting skills (Department of Social Services, 2023). 

The National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020 includes the “Towards Independence Adulthood Trial” as one of its initiatives. Australian children who are living outside their homes now have access to government-funded intensive services and internet resources. The Australian government has launched the First 1000 Days Plan in an effort to address the population’s parenting issues (Department of Social Services, 2020).

Identifying resources and support for the target group that can be accessed within the Australian Welfare system and services

Children

According to the Australian Network of Disability (2023), the most common form of disability in Australia is hearing loss and close to one out of six people in Australia are suffering from hearing loss, which takes a large percentage of the total disabled population. The Statistics show that one out of every thousand new-borns in Australia have been diagnosed with hearing impairment as of 2022. The Government of Australia also provides government-funded hearing services for children and adults aged under 26. This special service is also applicable to Indigenous adults over the age of 50 (Hearing Australia, 2023). According to the Deafness Forum of Australia (2023), children and adults under the age of 26 are eligible for the NDIS whereas only people with permanent hearing disabilities (pure tone average of 500Hz), and those aged above 26 are eligible for the NDIS in Australia. People aged under 26, and having speaking and listening disabilities also qualify for the NDIS services. In this context, it must be mentioned that the Deafness Forum of Australia provides special services to even those who do not fall under the above-mentioned categories. 

The “Towards Independence Adulthood Trial” targets eight life domains namely, education, training and employment, financial security, health services, security against legal matters, housing facilities, identity and culture, social relationship and support networks, and provision of other aftercare skills. The Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse inquiries the incidents of child abuse and provides special services to those children who have suffered from the trauma (Department of Social Services, 2023).

Evaluating the quality and effectiveness of the system and services provided to the chosen group

Children

An increase in the participation rate of the patients due to the availing of the NDIS services in the last 12 months has been reported. There was a 15% increase in the participation rate among people aged between 15 and 24 while for people above age 24, there was a 13% increase in the participation rate (NDIS,2021).

According to the reports published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2021), between 2020 and 2021, 178,800 children received child protection services from the Australian Government, which accounts for one out of 32 children. Section 343 of the Children and the Young People Act of 2008 has prevented various crimes and has kept abuse and harassment against children at a distance (Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2023). Additionally, most of the risk factors have been addressed and the welfare programs have been effective in enhancing the quality of lives and standard of living of most of the homeless children. 

Determining the sources of funding and taking into account how they can affect the level of service that is provided

The changes in government funding may have a negative impact on the quality of service delivered. For instance, in the 2022-23 budget, it was observed that over a period of 4 years, the Australian Government has invested over 12.5 million dollars in the Budget Based Funding (BBF) program. On the other hand, the Government has funded 160 million dollars to continue providing the Home Interaction Program for Parenting and Youngsters. In very few cases, non-government organizations are also responsible for funding. The funding might get affected due to various economic influences such as economic cycles, changes in the rate of inflation, an increase in the government burden (especially due to the ongoing wars and pandemic situations), competition among the local government, and changes in the interest rate. In addition to that, some of the changes in the legal structures such as budgetary balance and mandates may also affect the sources of the funding (Department of Social Services, 2023). .

Conclusion

The study aims to identify the welfare systems and services in Australia that are targeted toward children and provide an overview of the effectiveness of those systems and services. The purpose of the welfare system is to support individuals who are unable to sustain their own families.  For this assessment, the Australian Welfare system has been chosen and the particular group chosen for the study is children.  The Australian Government has launched a joint initiative in collaboration with The Healing Foundation, Australian Childhood Foundation, and Blue Knot Foundation. The plan is to address the problem of child sexual abuse by raising awareness and reducing the stigma.“National Redress Scheme for persons who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse”, on the other hand, provides psychological assistance and counseling support to the children who have experienced sexual abuse in the past. The Catholic Church, the Salvation Army, the YMCA and Scouts Australia, the Uniting Church, and many more churches and organizations have joined the program. The “Towards Independence Adulthood Trial” initiative, part of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020, focuses on eight life domains, including identity and culture, housing facilities, financial security, health services, security against legal matters, and provision of other aftercare skills. It also targets education, training, and employment as well as financial and health security. So far, it can be stated that welfare programs have been effective in enhancing the quality of life and standard of living of most homeless children as well as disabled citizens.

References

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2023, March 22). Estimating Homelessness: Census, 2021. https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/housing/estimating-homelessness-census/latestrelease#:~:text=Analysis%20for%20youth%20aged%20from,were%20aed%20under%2012%20years

Australian Institute of Family Studies. (2023). Australian legal definitions: When is a child in need of protection? https://aifs.gov.au/resources/resource-sheets/australian-legal-definitions-when-child-need-protection#:~:text=or%20young%20person.-,’,the%20child%20or%20young%20person.

Australian Network on Disability. (2023, April 13). Disability statistics – Australian Network on Disability. https://and.org.au/resources/disability-statistics/#:~:text=Types%20of%20Disability&text=1%20in%206%20Australians%20are,total%20hearing%20loss%20%5B2%5D.&text=Over%20three%2Dquarters%20(76.8%25),disorder%20as%20their%20main%20condition.

Department of Social Services (2023), Australian Government | National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse . https://www.dss.gov.au/families-and-children-programs-services-children/national-centre-for-action-on-child-sexual-abuse

Department of Social Services (2023)., Australian Government | Children and Parenting. https://www.dss.gov.au/families-and-children-programs-services-parenting-families-and-children-activity/children-and-parenting

Department of Social Services (2023), Australian Government. | Enhanced Income Management. https://www.dss.gov.au/families-and-children/programmes-services/welfare-conditionality/enhanced-income-management-overview

Department of Social Services(2023), Australian Government.. Childrenhttps://www.dss.gov.au/families-and-children/programs-services/children

Hearing Australia. (2023). Caring for all Australians for 75 years.https://www.hearing.com.au/About-Hearing-Australia/Who-we-care-for#:~:text=Hearing%20aids%20are%20free%20to,over%20the%20age%20of%2050.

NDIS(2021, December 9).  New survey results show how the NDIS is improving the lives of Australians https://www.ndis.gov.au/news/7231-new-survey-results-show-how-ndis-improving-lives-australians#:~:text=71%25%20of%20participants%20aged%2025,4%20years%20in%20the%20Scheme.\

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