Helping vulnerable families in Bankstown
The Australian Government is working to help vulnerable families in Bankstown with a range of new programs, including through the introduction of income management.
Income management helps families ensure their welfare payments are spent in the best interests of children.
It ensures that money is available for life essentials, and provides a tool to stabilise people’s circumstances and ease immediate financial stress.
Bankstown is one of five locations around Australia chosen to have income management rolled out, based on a number of factors, including unemployment, skills gaps, the numbers of people relying on welfare payments as their primary source of income and the length of time recipients have been receiving income support payments.
The Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin said it was important people in Bankstown understand how income management will work in their community.
“The model of income management that will be introduced in Bankstown is similar to the one that has been operating in Western Australia since 2008,” Ms Macklin said.
“More than 1,000 people are now participating in the income management in Western Australia.
“Almost 800 of those people have volunteered to be part of income management. And around 200 people were referred to income management by child protection authorities.
“An evaluation of people participating in the trial in Western Australia found most respondents said that income management had improved their lives and those of their families.
“Income management is non-discriminatory and is not targeted at Aboriginal people. People on income management do not have to queue separately at shops and Centrelink will not take away people’s ability to set their own budget,” Ms Macklin said.
In Bankstown from 1 July 2012, income management will apply to vulnerable families and individuals including:
- people referred for income management by state or territory child protection authorities where children are being neglected or are at risk;
- people assessed by Centrelink social workers as being vulnerable to factors including financial crisis which could include people who are at risk of homelessness due to rental arrears; and
- people who volunteer for income management.
For those people who volunteer for income management and those people who are assessed by social workers as being vulnerable, fifty per cent of their welfare payments are set aside for basic necessities.
Under child protection income management, seventy per cent of parents’ welfare payments are set aside to be spent on the necessities of life such as food, housing, utilities, clothing, and medical care.
More information about income management can be found at: http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/our-responsibilities/families-and-children/publications-articles/income-management-fact-sheets.