Daily News - Monday 29 July 2013

Posted 29 July 2013 10:33am

ALP eyes youth dole boot camps
Chris Johnson, Sydney Morning Herald

Young job seekers would be forced into tough army-style boot camps in order to qualify for the dole, under an election policy being considered by the Rudd government.

In a leaked submission put to the Labor government's powerful Expenditure Review Committee by ministers Bill Shorten and Kate Ellis in May, a Youth Start Boot Camp was tabled as a future election policy.


Shorten confirms 'boot camp' proposal

Mr Shorten said on Sunday that the Youth Start proposal "was raised as part of the government's ongoing policy development process".

"I passionately believe that every young Australian who is unemployed deserves the opportunity to realise their full potential and fulfil their dreams," he said in a statement.

"The Youth Start proposal would provide motivation, focus and employment skills for young job seekers."

He said the government was "committed to consulting with experts on any such proposals"


Income management evidence disputed
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian

A major new study by Monash University disputes the "evidence" the federal government is relying on to defend its income management scheme, arguing a more robust review must take place before the scheme is expanded.


Falling through the cracks
Rick Morton, The Australian

When Tim Carmody QC articulated the problems with Queensland's child protection system in his 733-page report last month he could have been speaking for the whole nation.

... The [Acacia Ridge Early Years Centre] used the ARACY-developed common approach in a trial evaluated by the University of NSW Social Policy Research Centre last November.

The centre's report made the blunt observation that not all professionals wanted to take on the broad responsibilities of child protection.

"More work needs to be done to transform the organisational and professional culture of practitioners, services and sectors who do not view child protection as their concern," it says.


Price sought on failing our children
Rick Morton, The Australian

The Productivity Commission should be directed to launch an inquiry into the nation's child-protection systems to shed light on the true cost of failing to prevent abuse, says the head of Australia's peak child-welfare body.

Lance Emerson, the chief executive of the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, told The Weekend Australian a review of the economic burden, tied to moral arguments about what was right, would help motivate governments to move to early intervention programs.


Most child abuse happens at home, data on adults shows
Ben Grubb, Sydney Morning Herald

Most adults who were abused as children were harmed by those in their immediate family rather than by those in religious, educational or health institutions, new research shows.

The findings, based on statistics from more than 3500 telephone calls to the Adults Surviving Child Abuse helpline in the past four years, quashes the perception that most abuse happens inside institutions.

... The Australian Catholic Church's truth, justice and healing council's chief executive, Francis Sullivan, said the statistics did not ''remove the obligation of the religious bodies to come forward with the truth'', despite a recognition that ''child sex abuse has largely always occurred in domestic settings''.


UK - Social impact bonds and adoption
The Economist

There is a market failure in adoption” is how Jim Clifford puts it. Children in Britain who are not placed by their local authorities go on to a national adoption register. This is a shop window in which only some children have a good chance of finding a new home. If for example children are over four years old or come with siblings attached, they are less likely to attract parents and more likely to end up in the care of the state. In the view of Mr Clifford, who is father to nine adopted children and is a partner at Baker Tilly, an accountancy firm, too much market power belongs to the prospective parent and not enough to the child.


How Britain leads the world in social-good capitalism
Andrew Cave, The Telegraph (UK)

The Rockefeller Foundation helped Social Finance, a London organisation co-founded by Sir Ronnie in 2007, to develop social impact bonds, whose returns are calculated actuarially on the basis of social gains.

At Peterborough Prison, for example, a trial programme has issued bonds based on the success in lowering re-offending rates.


Plan for homeless raises questions
Kree Nash, The Daily Advertiser

A revival of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s plans to halve homelessness by 2020 has been welcomed, but also met with caution in the Riverina.

Prime Minister Rudd’s Council on Homelessness met at Kirribilli House last week off the back of the Gillard government’s one-year extension to government funding.


Psychiatric oversight demanded
Joel Magarey, The Australian

The peak human rights and mental health organisations have called for independent monitoring of the treatment of involuntary patients on psychiatric wards following revelations that coercive practices are seriously harming patients and staff.


Federal police focus on mental illness with launch of National Missing Persons Week

Early signs of mental illness that may lead to a person's disappearance will be the focus of this week's National Missing Persons Week.


Greens pledge funding to help farmers sell direct to consumers in 'food deserts'
Chris Hingston, The Age

Mobile farmers markets and fresh food box deliveries are at the forefront of a Greens plan to bring affordable fruit and vegetables to Australia's ''food deserts''.

Greens leader Christine Milne will unveil a plan on Sunday that aims to help farmers sell direct to consumers, cutting out the big supermarkets.

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