The impact of welfare to work on parents and their children

Brady, Michelle and Cook, Kay (2015) The impact of welfare to work on parents and their children. Evidence Base, 2015 3: .

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Brady, Michelle
Cook, Kay
Title The impact of welfare to work on parents and their children
Journal name Evidence Base
ISSN 1838-9422
Publication date 2015-11-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 2015
Issue 3
Total pages 23
Place of publication Sydney, NSW, Australia
Publisher ANZSOG
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
When Welfare to Work activities for single parents were first introduced in the 2005 Commonwealth Budget, the primary claim was that these measures would increase individual wellbeing. A decade on, the veracity of this claim has yet to be comprehensively assessed. In this article, we systematically review the 41 Australian studies of income support recipients who were the primary carers of children, to examine the impacts of welfare-to-work on child and parent wellbeing. In line with the themes contained within these studies, we synthesized the findings related to three key areas of wellbeing: financial wellbeing; social connection and subjective wellbeing; and physical and psychological wellbeing. Academic research on the impact of Welfare to Work reforms on the wellbeing of single parents and their children presents an overwhelmingly negative picture whereby reforms have forced parents to participate in services that use ‘work-first’ and ‘one size fits all’, ‘blanket’ or ‘rigid’ approaches that do not help parents to meet their aspirations. Research also suggests that the reforms have decreased the financial wellbeing of single parents and their children, resulting in parents making the transition from welfare to work feeling less satisfied with their future security and standard of living, and higher poverty rates amongst the population of single parents with dependent children. However, there remain significant gaps in our understanding of how Welfare to Work affects parents and their children.
Keyword Welfare to work
Single parents
Sole parents
Single mothers
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Social Science Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sat, 14 Nov 2015, 23:31:58 EST by Michelle Brady on behalf of School of Social Science