Daily News - Monday 5 August 2013

Posted 5 August 2013 7:59am
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Rudd under pressure from single mums
Lisa Martin, AAP

The Rudd government is under pressure from single mums in marginal seats to reverse welfare changes that have left many households struggling on $35 a day.

More homeless six years after Rudd pledge
Ben Schneiders, The Age

Homelessness is fast becoming a major problem on Melbourne's urban fringe with a doubling in some parts of the city's west and sharp increases in the south-east and elsewhere.

Six years after Kevin Rudd, in one of his first acts as Prime Minister, put homelessness on the national agenda the problem has worsened across Australia, but even more so in Victoria. It is growing fastest in Labor seats.

Some wish for their own home, others for a roof
Michael Perusco, Brisbane Times

Recent public and political debate has highlighted the issue of housing affordability and the barriers that exist for even working Australians to achieve the ''great Australian dream'' of home ownership.

Spare a thought, then, for the more than 105,000 people experiencing homelessness in this country. For them, the dream of accessing even basic shelter seems out of reach let alone the thought of owning their own home.

Mission to end homelessness going places
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian

Ms Temple has been in her new home for four months after taking part in "Going Places", a homeless service in Queensland's far north. The program provided Ms Temple with counselling, women's group activities, budgeting and a parenting course.

Going Places has achieved ground-breaking results with local indigenous people and potentially saved the government and community millions, according to a report released by Mission Australia.

But despite its successes, the group says it fears that governments' failure to sign up to a long-term plan for homelessness services imperils their program.

Childcare use hits the million mark
Rachel Browne, The Age

The number of children in childcare has increased by one-third over the past eight years with the biggest boom in the long-day care sector even though families in Sydney and Melbourne are still struggling to find vacancies.

Childcare splits parents, experts
Justine Ferrari, The Australian

Parents see childcare centres as a babysitting service allowing them to work, with their main concern being the safety of their child rather than the quality of education provided in the most crucial years of development.

Research commissioned by the Centre for Community Child Health at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, highlights the chasm between early childhood experts and parents in their understanding of a child's development. The study by the non-profit US-based Frameworks Institute was based on in-depth interviews with experts and parents.

US - How to respond when reporters ask the 'wrong' questions
FrameWorks Institute ezine

Too often the reporter tosses you a question that repeats a stereotype, is sensationalist or uninformed. Use an innocuous phrase or throw away line to bridge away from the negative frame...That's a great question (pause). You've hit an important point. Here's what I think about early childhood education...

As reporters told FrameWorks representatives, don't expect us to do your reframing for you. It's day care as far as we're concerned. If you want to call it something else, it will have to come out of the mouths of advocates.

UK - Daniel Pelka death shows how hard child protection can be
David Hemmings, The Conversation

... in the late 1980s it was estimated that in a population of 10,000 families we would accurately identify 33 children as “high risk” but we would miss seven and, stunningly, identify 1195 children incorrectly as being high risk when they were not. (The seven and the 1195 could place workers in the spotlight, but they will rarely be complimented on the 33).

The same is true today because, although we have a few more forms and a growing library of risk assessment tools, sometimes professionals are “looking at the wrong things in the wrong place”.

Baby abandonments prompt focus on gaps in maternal care
Annie Guest, PM, ABC

The abandonment of two babies in Queensland this week has prompted authorities there to reassure mothers that confidential support is available to them when they're in hospital.

WA to sign up to DisabilityCare
Prime Minister, Transcript of doorstop interview

In long negotiations over the weekend we’ve concluded an agreement with Western Australia and I spoke to Premier Barnett last night and WA is now going to participate in the DisabilityCare Australia scheme.

We’re going to have two pilot projects in the west and I thank the WA Premier for getting on board with our national approach.

Gillard education, disability policy elements dumped in Rudd's deal blitz
Dennis Shanahan, The Australian

Mr Rudd has ... overturned a longstanding insistence from the Gillard Cabinet that Western Australia adopt the Commonwealth disability funding program and drop its own scheme.

The Commonwealth has now agreed to fund two pilot programs in WA for DisabilityCare, one using the Federal proposals and another using the WA scheme to determine which to use.

Disabilitycare Australia off to shaky start with multi-million dollar cost blowout
Andrew Carswell, The Daily Telegraph

DisabilityCare Australia is staring down the barrel at its first major multi-million dollar cost blowout, despite its pilot programs only being in operation for a few weeks.

As WA yesterday became the final state to the sign up to the scheme, the controversially uncosted program - formerly known as the National Disability Insurance Scheme - has been forced to negotiate a new payment deal with disability service providers.

Disability hurts hiring prospects
Jade Kidd, goldcoast.com.au

Desipite having more than 30 years of retail experience, Gold Coast resident Nia Murphy cannot get a job and claims it is because of one word - disability.

The 43-year-old, who had worked in retail since she was 15, said finding work was proving to be impossible thanks to a limp she attributed to her cerebral palsy.

Could a scheme for licensing smokers work in Australia?
Roger S Magnusson and David C Currow, Medical Journal of Australia

In this article, we evaluate the possible advantages and disadvantages of a licensing scheme that would require adult smokers to verify their right to purchase tobacco products at point of sale using a smart-card licence.

Asylum seekers - Bringing the right stuff
Michael Short, The Age

Debate is raging between those who urge unfettered compassion - which does not mean simply throwing open our borders - and those who, like former prime minister John Howard, believe Australia should determine who comes here and under what circumstances.

Today's guest in The Zone is seeking to bring another perspective, one based on the mutual benefit of Australia and asylum seekers, to the discussion. Gavin Ackerly is a director of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, a Melbourne-based organisation that is currently supporting about 1300 arrivals each year.

Nauru: Asylum seekers won't be permanent
AAP

Nauru says asylum seekers sent there by Australia won't be settled on the island permanently, throwing doubt on a deal signed between the two countries on the weekend.

PNG - Asylum seekers: not only a financial matter!
Fr. Giorgio Licini, Catholic Church of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

The conflict over the Rudd-O’Neill deal on refugees escalated today as UPNG students burned copy of the agreement at the end of peaceful demonstration. The Prime Minister from Tabubil rebuked them for underestimating the financial benefits the arrangement brings to their own university.

It is probably time the government looks beyond the pure financial component of this issue. There are much more relevant implications: ethical, legal, cultural and religious. The government cannot just tell everybody to shut their mouth, get the money and help Australia after they have helped us so many times.

UK - No free lunch: What should we expect of social impact bonds?
Nigel Keohane, Third Sector Online

SIBs offer a partial solution to some of the perceived problems of large-scale payment-by-results schemes such as the Work Programme – but only to a degree. There has been widespread concern that under the prime contractor model used in the Work Programme, large private sector firms have shunted delivery risk down the supply chain to third sector subcontractors, leaving them with little certainty about the volume of clients, many of the most difficult cases and small numbers of jobseekers. All of these things mean that subcontractors in the scheme are generally getting a terrible deal.

By removing the prime contractor layer, SIBs arguably eliminate this potentially harmful dynamic. However, at scale, SIBs could come to resemble the prime contractor model much more closely than proponents hope. Commercial investors are unlikely to be content to allow delivery organisations complete operational independence and are likely to set delivery requirements of providers, for good or ill.

UK - Development Impact Bonds and Impact Investing – genuine Impact, or snake oil?
Duncan Green, Oxfam

The private finance people in development baffle me. They speak a different language; great swirling clouds of jargon, the fuzziest of fuzzwords, all laced with a level of macho market can-do talk that makes me deeply suspicious. Baffled but sceptical – not a good place to be.

US - How Non-Profits and Think Tanks Are Pushing Government to Better Leverage Data
John Kamensky, Government Executive

Non-profits, foundations, and universities are enthused by government’s growing interest in the use of evidence and evaluation. They are chiming in with either support for government initiatives or undertaking their own initiatives.

Some non-profits and foundations are advocates for the use of evidence-based decision-making in different policy arenas, while others advocate use of different tools or techniques for program evaluation. Interestingly, as government at all levels begins to adopt these approaches, the non-profit, foundation, and university communities are enthusiastically chipping in to help.

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