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The financial safety net for South African children is better than in most countries. But other vulnerabilities aren’t taken care of adequately. Reuters

South Africa does child support grants well, but not other welfare services

The lack of service integration and the paucity of welfare services make poor people's task of caring for their familes much harder. A small monthly cash transfer can’t solve all their challenges.
Joe Hockey’s approach to reform would be to treat voters as consumers, with promises of lower taxes and more wealth. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Social stability is the missing link underpinning economic growth

Good societies with secure public systems will increase investment much faster than company or personal tax cuts.
Since the NT Intervention a large body of evidence has built up showing that income management does not achieve its stated goals. So why does it continue? AAP/Dean Lewins

A $147m budget saving missed: income management has failed

Various studies, culminating in the final evaluation report of income management in the Northern Territory, have found such programs don't achieve the claimed benefits. Why did the budget extend them?
Rising imprisonment rates are the result of political responses to media and public agitation for tougher sentences. AAP/David Crosling

The evidence is in: you can’t link imprisonment to crime rates

Some claim rising crime rates justify jailing more people, others that such policies cut crime. Evidence from around the world shows those claims are wrong and that we should be looking at inequality.
Social workers can successfully work with most families that find themselves in trouble without taking their children away. Nadezhda1906/Flickr

Child protection: how to keep vulnerable kids with their families

After a long period of expansion in the number of children living in out-of-home care, most modern child protection systems around the world have been labouring to prevent such placements. Instead, they’re…
Many Indigenous families fear the welfare system. AAP Image/Neda Vanovac

Empowering Indigenous communities to prevent child abuse and neglect

In some jurisdictions of Australia, the rate of Indigenous children in foster, kinship and residential care on any one night has reached almost one in ten. This rate is almost ten times higher than non-Aboriginal…
Foster parents often receive inadequate emotional and financial support. prudkov/Shutterstock

Foster parents need more support to care for vulnerable children

When children are deemed at risk of abuse or neglect and are removed from the family home, they are placed in out-of-home care, either with foster parents, relatives or in residential facilities. The latter…
Tensions are running high in Rotherham. Lynne Cameron/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Cultures of all kinds let children down in Rotherham

The revelations from a year-long inquiry into the sexual exploitation of children in Rotherham serve to highlight issues that are both distressing and important. At the same time, they also emphasise the…
The ideology of the market struggles with the society-focused work of community volunteers. AAP/Julian Smith

As our voluntary sector vanishes, we mustn’t just wave it goodbye

Some community welfare sector commentators point to a new order for welfare where the private sector practises social responsibility, states seek to be more entrepreneurial and voluntary community organisations…
Buying power doesn’t always stack up as the best measurement for who we are and how far we’ve come. Shutterstock/ MaleWitch

More pie in the sky - economic progress no slice of life

In the verbal volley between Gillard and Abbott, Swan and Hockey, there is a conversation that we are not hearing. It bubbles below the consciousness of mainstream Australia, a conversation that is old…

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