Poverty and Family Life under Welfare-to-Work - University of ...

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Poverty and Family Life under Welfare-to-Work - University of ...

Poverty and Family Life under Welfare-to-Work: TheContinuing Failure of Welfare PolicyHelen CameronUniversity of South AustraliaSocial Policy Research GroupHawke Research Institute for Sustainable SocietiesThe welfare-to-work "solution" can be thought of as a match made in hell. It puts poormothers who need the most support and flexibility into jobs in the low-wage labormarket which often are the most inflexible [and] have the least family-necessarybenefits (Albelda 2000, p.32).IntroductionThe words above, although focused on shifts in the USA welfare system, provide aprescient reflection of the future for many families in Australia under the current welfareto-workprovisions. This paper discusses aspects of a study into the lives of poor familieswith young children and examines their fortunes in current policy environments, raised intosharper relief by the latest welfare-to-work shift. Poverty diminishes life chances andcontributes to lower levels of human and social opportunity with ramifications that echodown the years in the lives of parents and their children. As Jamrozik (2005, p117) notesmany aspects of government policy in the post-welfare state have maintained social andeconomic inequality. Jamrozik (2005 p.41) argues that the welfare state in modern westernsociety has faded, along with any ideas about it being possible to provide for citizens ‘fromcradle to grave’ - as in past idealistic visions of a munificent provider of social services.Major changes have occurred over the past two decades in the ideologies and theoriesunderpinning contemporary Australian Government social policies and Jamrozik (2005,p.9,10) refers instead to the ‘post-welfare state’, where welfare in its previous form isviewed as outmoded inside policy frameworks valuing profit over equitable redistribution.Welfare-to-work legislation, as an extreme exemplar of these post-welfare provisions, isviewed by some however as pushing ‘single parents and people with disabilities, who arealready amongst the most vulnerable people in the community, further into poverty’(Catholic Welfare Australia, 2005, p.9).The social and economic ramifications of these changes in welfare policy, as represented inthe welfare-to-work measures, will be registered most by jobless households but especially1

those headed by sole parents. Kent (2005) suggests the impact will also be felt bythousands of children who are likely to be pushed further into poverty and with manyparents forced into the employment to qualify for the parenting pension, into facing emptyhouses after school. Meahan (2005) notes the ‘precarious positions of single parentfamilies’ under Workchoice policy and he puts forwards views similar to those of bothAlbelda (2000) and Kent (2005) about this pushing parents into an underpaying labourmarket without any beneficial impacts on their life chances or those of their children. AsAlbelda notes, in reference to changes in welfare policies in the USA, ‘blind faith … all toooften accompanies the welfare-to-work mentality’ ignoring the fact that labour marketshave always ‘failed women who have little formal education and sporadic job experiences’(Albelda 2000). He also notes that the kind of work they are likely to get (supermarketcheck-out, hospitality or cleaning jobs) will be neither well paid nor very ‘mother-friendly’in terms of flexible hours, on-site child care or holiday and sick pay. Butterworth (2003,p.24) describes similar features that are often prevalent in the lives of sole parents thatblock their workforce participation. Sole parents, a primary target of new welfare policythrusts, will continue to struggle to locate suitable employment and to negotiate educationaland family-based obstacles on the pathway between welfare and work.Bauman (2001 p.115) notes that the analysis of poverty is too often merely financial yet itis far reaching in people’s lives, especially eroding the future of poor families. It eats intolevels of social capital and this type of connective strength is seen by several commentatorsas essential in providing necessary supports for families struggling with the impact ofdisadvantage (Winter 2000 (a), Forrest & Kearns 2001, Cattell 2001). Winter (2000 (b)p.16) explores the complexities of modern family life and suggests that whereas socialcapitalists such as Putnam and others have made positive links between family life andsocial capital, this misses the changing nature of the family. Winter (2000 (b) p.12)suggests that sole parenting can be a separate and lonely existence especially where there isassociated economic hardship resulting in limited chances to get involved in the life of thecommunity. When variables like this are also linked to high residential mobility, as is oftenthe case with poor families, low trust levels and limited community connection are likely toadd further complexity to the lives of sole parents. This becomes a kind of “catch 22” inthat some parents miss out on benefits deriving from the safety net that socialconnectedness affords in finding employment and supportive social resources.The idea of community connection being linked to finding successful employment suggestsa complex set of relationships in considering the factors surrounding a family’s social2

health (Bandura 1996, Sampson, Raudenbush and Earls 1997, Warner and Rountree 1997,Sampson, Morenoff and Earls 1999, Morenoff, Sampson and Raudenbush 1999, Sampsonand Raudenbush 1999). As a concept, social connection refers to a composite of residents'attitudes towards others in the neighbourhood and to the neighbourhood itself. Forrest andKearns (2001 p. 2131) point out the link between levels of social connection and the lengthof time residents have lived in a neighbourhood. Likewise, Stone (2000 p.12) notes thiscomplex set of family variables and the links between neighbourhood cooperation, socialtrust , home ownership, residential mobility, socio-economic status and employment - ademographic pattern discernable in other Australian studies (Winter 2000 (b); Gleeson andCarmichael 2001). But even if strong levels of social connection exist, they cannot providestable remedies for lack of employment opportunities and the related limitations of lifechances. The lives of poor parents, especially when they are alone in managing the familyand its resources, are made even more complex by the changed provisions and rules of thenew welfare-to-work policy. Sole parents on a parenting pension under previous provisionsare estimated to be subject to a cut of around 17% under welfare-to-work provisions – alsotermed ‘welfare-to-poverty’ (Seaborne &Thorne, 2005).The Adelaide StudyThe data described in this paper (and reported more fully in Cameron 2005, Slee 2006))focus on a sample of poor families with young children living in several areas of the mostsocially-disadvantaged sectors of metropolitan Adelaide (Baum et al 1999). As such, thesedata provide an illustrative background to the discussion of welfare-to-work provisions andtheir impact on poor families – especially those headed by single parents. The studyinvolved 500 families where a range of data were collected, focusing on factors includingeducational standards, income levels, housing arrangements, residential mobility (i.e.changing houses) and household composition. In this paper, these background data providea context for a discussion of the impact of recent welfare policy changes on the lives ofmembers of poor families.Samples and SamplingAn initial sample comprised 500 Adelaide families in areas characterised by lowest levelsof socio-economic scores on the Australian Bureau of Statistics SEIFA Index of RelativeSocio-Economic Disadvantage (Census 1996). A pool of Collection Districts (CD's) withthe lowest SEIFA readings, were identified. These areas were door-knocked to locate,among this initial catchment, those parents with young children (under 7 years) and whowere willing to be interviewed. This sampling process was deliberately employed to avoid3

the bias that may occur when questionnaires are conducted over the phone (severalresidents in our sample had no phone) or require a written completion (some could not readand write well). Except for the exclusion of some residents unable to speak English due toinsufficient project finances to employ interpreters, the sampling produced a good crosssection of poor families with young children. It is stressed that no suburb names are used inthis paper, to avoid further “demonising” the residents of areas already heavilycharacterised by public housing, burdened by negative social perceptions and bothered byresearchers interested in their condition.A Profile of PovertyThe following data reflect a demographic mosaic of disadvantage in the householdcomposition patterns and the following table summarises some of these. As can be seen,only 6% of parents were fully employed and a further 17% had some part-time workcompared with an Adelaide average of 54% employed according to ABS (2002). A largergroup of parents (75%) were on some form of government assistance and around 40% haddeclared incomes of $20,000 p.a. or less which is below the Henderson Poverty Line(Brotherhood of St Laurence 2002). A proportion of those who stated they did not knowtheir annual income (30%) may also have equally low incomes, so indicators of povertymay be much higher.Many parents (around 48%) reported their financial resources as just enough (most of thetime) for basic needs even if funds were seen as insufficient for unexpected eventsincluding moving house, purchasing needed furniture or white goods, or for children’sschool expenses, sport or recreation. Approximately 25% however stated clearly that theirfinancial resources were inadequate. But poverty is a matter of perception and it was notpossible to tell from the data if the 27% who considered there was plenty or enough moneyto live on (even some left over) were necessarily those with annual incomes well over thepoverty line (around 13%). Likewise, it was not clear if all those declaring there was notenough money to live on (around 25%) were those with declared incomes below thepoverty line (around 40%).In terms of household composition, 92% of those interviewed were female, with 48% of thehouseholds headed by (mostly female) single parents, compared with the Adelaidemetropolitan average of 16% (ABS 2002). Australia wide, it is estimated that 21% of allfamilies with children under 15 years of age consist of one parent (lone mother or muchless frequently lone father or grandparent), representing an increase from 8% in 19894

(ABS, 2002). The number of single parents in this study's sample is much higher than theAdelaide average and over double the Australian national average.Table 1- The Demographics of Family Poverty (n =500)Focus Answers Number (%)Gender Males 41 ( 8.2)Females 459 (91.8)Family CompositionParents One-parent 237 (47.4)Two-parent 263 (52.6)Number of children Families with 1- 3 children 388 (77.6)Families with 4 or more children 112 (22.4)Family incomeHenderson Poverty line point for singleparent with 1 child is around $20.000 p.aUp to $12 000 50 (10). $12 001 - $20 000 148 (29.6)$20 001 - $30 000 81 (16.2)$30 001 - $40 000 43 (8.6)$40 001 - $50 000 19 (3.8)Over $50 000 6 (1.2)Not stated/refused 1 ( .2)Don’t know 152 (30.4)Source of income Salary / wage (6% ft/17% pt) 119 (23.8)Government assistance 376 (75.2)Unclassified/missing 5 (1)Enough money to live on? Plenty 21 ( 4.2)Some left over 114 (22.8)Just enough 238 (47.6)Not enough 127 (25.4)Type of rent Unclassifiable 2 (.4)Public (SAHT) 278 (55.6)Private 122 (24.4)Board 14 (2.28)Buying/owning 84 (16.8)Highest (completed) education Less than Grade 9 31 (6.2)Grades 9 to 11 328 (65.6)Grade 12 / 13/Matriculation 78 (15.6)Post-secondary / TAFE 40 (8.0)University 14 (2.8)Other/Unclassifiable/missing 9 (1.8)The targeted selection into the study of parents with young children meant all parentsinterviewed had at least one young child and some had up to 10. In all, over 77% offamilies had between one and three children and 22% of the total number of householdshad four or more children. Only 30% of families had one child. Compared with SouthAustralian 2002 figures on this feature, these poor families are caring for many morechildren. In South Australia generally, 73% of households have no children, 12% ofhouseholds have one child and only 15% of households have two or more children (ABS5

2002). Living arrangement are sometimes complex however, in that many parents reportedliving in multiple-adult households (two to six adults) with their young children, adultchildren, adult friends, their own parents or boarders for example. Sole fathers were morelikely to live alone with their children than sole mothers. Half of the fathers (twenty of theforty-one in the study) were the only adults in their household.It can also be seen in Table 1 that 37% do not have access to a car, compared with 11% ofhouseholds without a car in the Adelaide metropolitan area in general (ABS 2002). Thisimposes difficulties in shopping, getting to medical appointments and hospital or visitingrelatives, especially when any travel involves transporting several young children alongwith prams and pushers. With current petrol prices however, it is doubtful that anyone withfinancial difficulties could afford to run a car if they had one. Perceptions of limited lifechances in the sample intensify when levels of educational qualifications are examined.Among those interviewed, 73% left school after year 11 or before, compared with anAdelaide metropolitan average of 52% (ABS 2002) and only 10% of sampled residentshave attempted post secondary education.Appropriate, safe and secure housing is fundamental but also difficult to find formany, especially in some geographic areas and particularly for young mothers. Amajority of parents were renting from the South Australian Housing Trust (56%,compared to 8% of households in Metropolitan Adelaide), with a further 25% inprivate rental accommodation (17% in Metropolitan Adelaide) and 3% wereboarders. When the housing authority allocates the house to a family, parents gain somesecurity of tenure. Of course security of tenure needs to be matched against suitablelocation, size of house and affordability of rent. More or less compulsory moves to an areaoccur sometimes when a larger house becomes available following the birth of additionalchildren or when other family changes occur – emergency circumstances such as medicalproblems, domestic violence, community violence and trouble with neighbours. Somewithout access to public housing were under pressure to accept a private rental contract innon-preferred locations because it was within their limited price range.Because of a range of circumstances, some of them mentioned above here, highresidential mobility characterises the sample in this study. Around 34% ofresidents had resided in their current area for less than one year and 35% for lessthan five years. In all, 16% of participants had lived in their area for more than five6

years (Table 2) although there a similar proportion (14%), living in their locationfor over ten years. Adelaide metropolitan figures show higher levels of residentialstability in that 10% have lived in their current area for less than one year and 26%for less than five years (ABS 2002). Just under 75% of the study participants hadmoved house at least once in the past five years and around 50% had moved threeor more times during the last five years. A small group (around 4%) have movedhouse from eleven to more than twenty-one times in the last five years.Table 2 - Residential Mobility of FamiliesTime (yrs) living in the area >1 year 170 (34%)Times the parent (the family) movedduring last 5 years>1 year and ≤ 5 176 (35.2%)years> 5 and ≤ 10 years 81 (16%)Over 10 (up to 38) 72 (14%)years0 times 95 (19%)1-2 times 137 (27.4%)3-10 times 236 (47.2%)11-20 times 15 (3%)21+ times 6 (1.2%)Overall these demographic results paint a picture of residentially mobile, unemployed,poor, single parents struggling to support their young children and a range of other familymembers. A recent publication of the World Health Organization (Wilkinson and Marmot2003), identifies ten important social determinants related to inequalities in health and wellbeingwithin families. These impacting variables include poverty and social exclusion,stress, unemployment, lack of social support and poor access to transport (Wilkinson andMarmot 2003) – all profiled in the families in this study. Security of tenure and a sense ofconnection become contested issues for parents raising children within a context of povertyand residential mobility, especially when lack of social trust and perceptions of unsafeneighbourhoods is also part of their experience.The Issue of Community Trust & SafetyFor most families, their location provides a difficult locale in which to raise their children.As evident in Table 3, levels of trust in those living around them centred below 2 (on ascale of 1 – 4) indicates perceptions of there being few people to trust in theneighbourhood. Table 3 also shows that scores on neighbourhood safety hovered aroundthe 'somewhat safe' mark - indicating prevalence of low levels of safe feelings. The linkbetween perceptions of safety and levels of trust in the neighbourhoods seems an inevitableone too. Feelings of safety doubtless vary according to the situation of personal and family7

need. For instance, most of those interviewed in this study are female (92%) andconsequently the views about lack of safety probably have gendered aspects, especiallywhen many of these women are also sole parents of several young children, Noneighbourhood's 'mean score' reached the safe level of 3, indicating prevailing unease aboutsafety issues. Standard variations between the scores do not indicate a large spread ofopinion either, suggesting these perceptions about lack of safety are widespread andconsistent among the families in this study.Table 3 - Family Perceptions on Trust & Safety(Mean Scores from all questions as measured on a scale of 1-4.Families Trust Score Safety Score500 1.9 2.1When people live in straightened circumstances and are also transient dwellers in theirareas of residence, connective trust may never develop. Feelings about safety are also oftenlinked to images of crime in urban settings (Walklate 2001, Sparks; Girling and Loader2001; Bannister and Fyfe 2001). Some literatures suggest that high anxiety about crimemight be an over-reaction by frightened residents to colourful press accounts and otherwisepoliticised processes for a range of purposes (Walklate 2001 p.934). Whatever the sourcesof fear about safety, the effects are likely to impact on people's trust in those around them,undermining their sense of neighbourhood security and eroding connections.Overall then, key findings from the preceding data reveal a majority of parents arestruggling financially and comprise a large number of households headed by singlemothers. High residential mobility, limited housing choice and low levels of safety andtrust appear to underline lack of neighbourhood connection in the lives of these familieswith young children. In addition, chronic levels of unemployment in the families surveyed,point to the added stress on the lives of these parents, especially those with sole parentstatus, with the inception of the new welfare policies.Discussion of Emerging IssuesLone parents are clearly one of the client groups targeted by the range of welfareto-workreforms which is focused on those people receiving the ParentingPayment as well as other vulnerable members of society. The Australianlongitudinal study by Gray, Qu, de Vaus and Millward (2002) demonstrates clearlythat human capital and other socio-demographic characteristics – as illustrated also8

in the sample featured in this paper – such as low levels of educational attainment,number of young children and lack of home ownership, are associated withemployment difficulties for lone mothers and have implications for successfultransition to work. Butterworth (2003, p.24) notes a range of other factors‘prevalent among welfare recipients and that represent a substantial barrier toincreased workforce participation, self-reliance and movement off welfare’although he acknowledges the basis of such findings are from United Statesliterature. However he also cites the Australian study by Gregory and Klug (2001)demonstrating that ‘many lone mothers spend a considerable period of time onwelfare, both on Parenting Payment Single and other income support payments’(Butterworth 2003, p.24). It is apparent then that sole parents face uniquechallenges in locating suitable employment and that these impact on thesewomen’s capacities to smoothly move off welfare support and into a job.The residents in this study are low in human capital, in that their financial or propertyresources are limited in many respects and associated high unemployment levels suggestlimited life chances. Linkages between poverty, unemployment, low levels of educationalattainment, single parent status and high mobility are noted by a range of commentators asforces that limit life chances and keep residents somewhat unconnected to the socialsettings in which they live (Wilkinson & Marmot 2003; Stone 2000; Winter 2000 b; Smithet al 1992). This lack of connection may be grounded to some extent in parents’ limitationof choice about their place of residence as expressed by many in this study, in turn linked tolow levels of trust in those around them. Peel (2003, p.155) notes the strength and value ofcommunity connections, where multicultural perspectives and 'active mothering' havecreated real hope in the lives of people, despite their lived injustices. Whatever the reason,lack of social connection seem prevalent in the profile of the group studied and this ispossibly connected, as both cause and effect, to lack of employment – and lack ofopportunities – which Peel refers to as the 'lost world' of meaningful work (2003, p.121). Itis acknowledged that to some extent lack of neighbourhood trust characterise manyWestern societies (as described by Bauman 2001 p.88) and this is not only a feature ofthose living with poverty and unemployment. But this paper describes a sample of parentstroubled by poverty and unemployment that is entrenched and expressing minimum levelsof trust in those around them. Overall, this is a life pattern characterised by limited personalchoice about the future, discussed by others with insight into vulnerable groups, such asPeel (2003), Walklate (2001) and Wijnberg and Weinger (1998).9

Carney’s (2005) careful analysis of predecessor policy frameworks to the 2006 welfare-toworkshift provides an insight into the continuing plight of the poor and unemployed.Many mothers have been out of the work force for several years especially if they haveseveral children and are also single parents with little backup parenting support. Carneyinvokes images of such a group in his discussion of the problem of ‘few or out-modedskills…and the impact of long-term unemployment in reducing morale and creatingemployer resistance to re-engagement’ (Carney 2006 p.33). He also criticises pastemployment fostering strategies, such as the Job Network for instance (2006, p.33), as bothtargeting and failing the long-term unemployed by resulting in a policing type strategy thatpunishes non compliance. This thought is reflected in Jamrozik’s contention (2005, p.263)that recent social policy contributes strongly to ‘blaming the victim’, as in the case of thesefamilies who have such an unequal share of Australia’s’ wealth. Falzon, as St. Vincent dePaul spokesman (Pearson 2006) expresses fear that the breaching regulations related towelfare-to-work changes will ‘make people feel like they are to blame for their poverty’.Falzon also criticises the new policy as lacking both fairness and clever strategy in that itwill push vulnerable people ‘into that low end of the labour market without any adequateopportunity for skilling, for education at a time when most commentators will acknowledgewe’re facing a skills crisis’. Pearson disagrees with Falzon’s analysis and suggests –presumable as some sort of solace to the currently unemployed parents – that there areplenty of job opportunities in ‘gardening, cleaning and domestic help’. He also suggeststhat the people Falzon is concerned about ‘have been betrayed into thinking those jobs arebeneath them and that ‘a poisonous ethos of entitlement’ has meant they now see ‘wellpaid,interesting work as a right’ and ‘that they’re also owed free training (Pearson 2006)’.All people, not just successful social commentators, have a right to seek interesting andwell paid work and to be provided with access to education to compete on an even field forsuch jobs. As Falzon says in another forum, welfare-to-work offers little incentive forpeople to engage ‘productively or meaningfully in the labour market’, nor ‘theopportunities to be able to engage in the workforce and in society’ (Falzon 2006).Seaborne and Thorne (2005) in commenting on the new welfare-to-work provisions,describe how they will erode any certainty for those on existing parent benefits. They citeGregory’s research indicating that ‘sole parents move on and off benefits over a five yearperiod’ perhaps through seeking reconciliation with a partner or after the end of a shortterm contract. An English study by Nobel, Smith and Cheung (1998) had similar findingsabout movement on and off income support with many lone mothers. Their study found10

that only 20 per cent single mothers had an uninterrupted claim over a period of three yearsor so. This pattern would automatically drop a sole parent from the existing more generousbenefit and make her eligible for only a lower rate and the added pressure to gain furtheremployment if her youngest child is six years or eight old. Recently the TV program TodayTonight (Channel 7 June 9 th 2006) gave voice to a group of young mothers clearlyconcerned about the new welfare-to-work rulings, the pressure from these to take work justto meet the new provisions and about the deleterious impact on their ability to continue tocare well of their children. Seaborne and Thorne (2005) dismiss the new policy as ‘a cruelsham’ and they also call for matching funding to increase child-care places and to provideeducation for poor single parents. They suggest the lack of ‘jobs with family friendlyconditions’ will severely limit single parents’ opportunities to locate suitable work – withvalue and dignity. Wijnberg and Weinger (1998 p.) and Kleinman (1998 p. 15) also notethat providing opportunities to educate poor mothers can have a positive impact ininterrupting the vicious cycle between poverty, low self-esteem and low aspirations.Jamrozik (2005 p.97) tracks the development of the fairly recent concept of ‘mutualobligation’ into ‘work for the dole’, the more recent shift of focus onto single parents andthose with disabilities and the retired. He states there has developed a ‘complete acceptancein the public sector of the ‘free’-market capitalist system and of the values on which thissystem is built’ (Jamrozik 2005 p.321). It is easy to see how this system has eroded anyexistence of welfare or other services as entitlement and replaced it with one of obligationto engage in an exchange - as in ‘work for the dole’ and the recent welfare-to-workprovisions. All such procedures target those who are disadvantaged by virtue of socioeconomicstatus, education or other personal and social qualities which place them outsidethe mainstream market. Hamilton & Denniss (2005 p.141) suggest ‘our national objectiveshave gradually moved away from providing and improving essential services and helpingthose most in need to bribing the well-off for their electoral support’- a process theydescribe as ‘middle-class welfare’ where ‘wealthy parents are offered non-means testedfamily payments’ (pp,139, 140).Entrenched poverty and its partner unemployment, characterise the lives of many familiesand Peel (1995) in his study of the Northern suburbs of Adelaide, expresses deep concernabout the further 'ghettoing' of these areas. He suggests that recent approaches to housingredevelopment (so-called social mix) may 'pave the way for an even more socially dividedcity' (Peel 1995 p.224). Building the community from inside as well as throughinfrastructure redevelopment seems important, especially if it creates local employment11

opportunities in projects focused on developing community pride and maybe strongereducational opportunities. An example of a cooperative mutual support process in one ofthese socially disadvantaged areas has offered higher education opportunities to thosepreviously believing these were outside their reach. Termed a higher education network, itsupports people from a northern Adelaide suburb with the lowest suburban rate ofuniversity participation, to access and then to successfully complete higher education(Young 2004). Creative strategies such as these offer more hope to the poor than has muchwelfare policy in recent decades.This paper clearly paints the interrelationship between poverty and diminished life chancesfor sole parents. Low parental educational attainment levels and unemployment combinedwith one-parent parent families is a pattern noted by Jamrozik (2005, p.233) as relating topoverty (Jamrozik 2005, p.265). Creative strategies by local, state and commonwealthgovernments are required to mediate the circumstances described in this paper and theirimpact on the lives of these parents and their children, although Jamrozik notes current‘social and economic policies pursued by the federal government and state governments’are likely to strengthen the ‘structural arrangements that create social division [and]inequality’ (Jamrozik 2005, p. 265). To be avoided is any approach that further demonisesthese families through suggesting they are responsible for their circumstances. Peel (2003,p.173) sees our silence about poverty as part of a social redefinition that dampens empathyand blocks any transformation of the circumstances of the poor. These parents are raisingthe next generation however and any processes that further limit these families’ life chancesis an act against the future. As suggested by Hamilton and Denniss (2005. p.142) ‘Theideas of nation-building, investing in our children’s future and protecting the mostvulnerable, although preserved in the rhetoric, have vanished in the reality of modernpolitics’. Finally, Carney (2006, p.40) urges policy maker to differentiate between welfareadministration offering ‘sanctions’ rather than ‘incentives’. Encouraging people to gainrewarding work appropriate to their circumstances has benefits for all, but welfare-to workprovisions appear to be a discipline imposed on those already beleaguered by disadvantage.12

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