The experiences of Anglicare staff and clients in interacting with Centrelink
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY – Extract
Australia is in the midst of a major reform to the way the income support system is delivered. This involves automation and a move towards self-sufficiency for customers, as well as changes to eligibility criteria, assessment processes and the compliance framework for a number of different payments.
This research examines in detail the impact of these changes on both clients and staff of community service organisations in three different jurisdictions — Southern Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia. Through a survey and face-to-face interviews with over 218 staff and case studies of 18 clients during 2017 and 2018, the research explores their lived experiences of accessing and interacting with Centrelink, how this affects their lives and what improvements they would like to see.
The key findings of the research are:
- Difficulties in accessing Centrelink
- Falling through the safety net
- Supporting access to Centrelink
- Quantifying Anglicare support
The research concludes that although welfare reform may be leading to cost savings for the Department of Human Services (DHS), substantial costs are being shifted to vulnerable customers and the community services that support them. It is they that are paying the price of welfare reform.
SOURCE: Hinton, Teresa. “Paying the Price of Welfare Reform: The experiences of Anglicare staff and clients in interacting with Centrelink.” Anglicare Tasmania, May 2018.
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia