SNAICC cites Senate Inquiry, says ParentsNext must go

by Freya Lucas

April 03, 2019

With a Senate Inquiry releasing findings that ParentsNext is causing “anxiety, distress and harm” for many parents, SNAICC – National Voice for Our Children, have said there can be no delays in “scrapping the discriminatory program.”

 

The Inquiry report states that the “flaws” in the program “indicate fundamental changes need to be made”, recommending that ParentsNext should not continue in its current form. SNAICC described the current system as “punitive” saying the program “forces parents to complete burdensome and demeaning tasks or risk having their parenting payments cut through the Targeted Compliance Framework

 

95 per cent of parents involved in the program are women, with SNAICC reporting that over 20 per cent of them had their payments suspended between 1 July 2018 and 31 December 2018.

 

Antoinette Braybrook, Convener of the National Family Violence Prevention Legal Services Forum, said she welcomed the recommendation to cease the program, adding that it was “setting women up to fail. No amount of tinkering around the edges will make a fundamentally flawed program better, especially when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations were not involved in its design or implementation.”

 

She urged the Government and Opposition to “work with us to develop services that value the unpaid work women do, and that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents”

 

SNAICC Chair, Muriel Bamblett, said the ParentsNext program, in its current format, does not align with Closing the Gap principles, “and simply wouldn’t get through a process where communities and peak Aboriginal organisations have a say”

 

Ms Bamblett called for a program co-designed with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities – “one that will properly support children in such a vital time in their lives, and one we know will work”

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