Inquiry into Workforce Australia Employment Services: ParentsNext
Responding to the Select Committee on Workforce Australia Employment Services, this submission focuses on the role of the ParentsNext program, which is the first major component of the Committee’s inquiry into employment services in Australia.
The submission utilises ANROWS research to explore the role of the ParentsNext program in providing early intervention services to parents and carers of young children as part of the employment services system. It outlines the impact of the program on the economic security of victims and survivors of domestic and family violence (DFV) and the program’s capacity to support women’s decisions about their current and future employment, training and education.
Recommendations made in this submission include the following:
- Revise the Targeted Compliance Framework.
- Clarify ParentsNext’s status as either a pre-employment or employment program.
- Adjust the ParentsNext program to respond to individual needs and situations.
- Address structural and cultural barriers to access and participation.
- Conduct research directly with victims and survivors to understand their experiences of welfare-to-work programs, focusing on First Nations women, culturally and linguistically diverse women, participants with disability, and those caring for children with disability.
- Ensure greater integration with other services and systems that participants may engage with.
- Provide comprehensive DFV training for ParentsNext service providers.
Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. (2022). Re: Inquiry into Workforce Australia Employment Services [Submission]. ANROWS.