Media Release by The Hon Dan Tehan MP

Investing in young parents to reduce welfare dependency

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP

    Minister for Women

    Brett Whiteley

    Liberal Candidate for Braddon

Young parents will be helped to improve their work readiness or education prospects as part of a Turnbull Government trial to reduce welfare dependency.

Young parents are more likely to experience disrupted education, as well as barriers to finding and keeping a job, which can lead to long-term welfare dependency – 79 per cent of young parents aged 18 or under who were receiving a Parenting Payment are expected to be receiving income support payments in a decade.

The Turnbull Government is providing $4 million to the Brave Foundation to run an innovative trial to reduce welfare dependency among young parents.

Social Services Minister Dan Tehan said up to 350 teenage mums and dads would be offered one-on-one support to help them navigate early parenthood and be better prepared to return to education or find a job, such as driving lessons or training.

“The Turnbull Government is focussed on helping people off welfare and into work,” Mr Tehan said.

“The economy is creating 1,100 jobs a day, and we have the lowest level of working age Australians dependent on welfare in more than 25 years.”

Minister for Women Kelly O’Dwyer said the Government wanted to give young parents, including young women, the best possible opportunity to succeed in education and in work.

“It is critically important that we provide young mums with the toolkit to best enable them to get into work and to secure their future,” Ms O’Dwyer said.

Liberal candidate for Braddon Brett Whiteley said the Turnbull Government is committed to increasing the capacity of young parents. “This trial will reduce isolation and support development of self-confidence and resilience of young parents across Australia, including Tasmania,” Mr Whiteley said.

The trial will be run in Darwin, Melbourne and Geelong, Wyong, Newcastle, greater Hobart, and greater Brisbane.

As well as one-on-one support, the trial will provide young parents across Australia with access to relevant supports and services in their local area through a national online directory.

Brave Foundation CEO and Founding Director Bernadette Black said expecting and parenting teens had high hopes for themselves, their families and careers.

“This project ensures a collaborative pathway plan will connect expecting and parenting teens to their aspirations whilst support, education and workforce opportunities are made available to them in their trial region of Australia,” Ms Black said.

The trial was developed following a co-design process with 30 stakeholders from across Australia, including young parents, Northwest Chaplaincy and CatholicCare (Burnie).

The trial is funded under the Turnbull Government’s $96.1 million Try, Test and Learn Fund that is targeting welfare dependency in at-risk groups.

Young parents interested in this program should visit Brave’s website.