Partnerships

Identifying drivers of entrenched disadvantage

CSSA members and ANU Centre for Social Research Methods

Australia is a wealthy country that includes many areas of entrenched social disadvantage. The implications of this for social cohesion and mobility are a significant challenge for governments.

Over the last two decades, there has been a range of studies that have mapped the extent of this challenge. Our partnership with Jesuit Social Services in the Dropping Off The Edge (DOTE) studies is one example.

Currently, we are partnering with the ANU and twenty of our member organisations in new disadvantage research. This research will identify what drives entrenched disadvantage in every Australian suburb. It will also conduct analysis of population and future trends.

This research will inform better decision-making around infrastructure investment and service delivery. It will also help design better targeted place-based approaches in communities.

With our partners, we will provide new evidence on what drives entrenched disadvantage and what we can do about it as a nation.

Social Policy Research Centre 2017

New Budget Standards for Low-Paid and Unemployed Australians Report

On 23 August 2017 the UNSW’s Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) with support from Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA), the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and United Voice, published a research report that showed the Newstart Allowance received by people looking for work falls well below the minimum income required to achieve a basic standard of living.

The researchers built on previous Australian and recent international research to develop a set of budget standards i.e. how much money different family types needed to live decent life.

We hope this research will be used to inform debate and guide decisions about the adequacy of minimum wages and income support payments for the unemployed.

CSAA has been advocating since the last federal election for the establishment of an independent commission to advise government on the appropriate level of welfare payments to ensure people can have access to basic requirements.

You can acess the summary and full report using the links below.

Summary Report

Full Report

Dropping off the Edge 2015

A report commissioned by Catholic Social Services Australia and Jesuit Social Services

A small number of communities across Australia continue to experience disproportionately high levels of unemployment, low family income and education, housing stress, domestic violence and prison admissions. Such factors limit the life opportunities available to individuals and families, potentially locking them in to lives of continuing poverty, with the further potential to endure on an intergenerational basis.

Dropping off the Edge 2015, commissioned by Catholic Social Services Australia and Jesuit Social Services, demonstrates that such disadvantage is not only significantly concentrated among these communities, but is entrenched and enduring, featuring interconnected barriers that inhibit the consistent efforts over many years of individuals and families to break free.  Most of these communities are in regional Australia and communities with high Indigenous populations are amongst the most disadvantaged.  The outer metropolitan areas of some of our capital cities are also “close to the edge”.

This structural inequity is something for which all Australians – governments, opposition, business and community leaders – must take responsibility, as the effort required to change the outcomes for these communities will rely on the sustained and cooperative efforts of all contributors over the long term.

Our Catholic social services network members are working in many of the communities identified in the report. We have the information, expertise, and most importantly the relationships and trust to work in partnership with local communities to bring about change.

The findings from Dropping off the Edge 2015 suggest that Australians experiencing disadvantage do not lack will power, ambition or a willingness to change their outcomes in life, but are held back by entrenched structural barriers that limit their opportunities in life, and the opportunities of their children.  Catholic Social Services Australia wants to help change that.

Please visit the Dropping off the Edge 2015 website for comprehensive information about the report and its findings.