[Sub ID 4793] Disrupting Pathways to Disadvantage (Griffith University)

Submission ID: 4793
Organisation name: Griffith University
Contact name: Prof Lesley Chenoweth AO
State: QLD

Which priority group of the Try, Test and Learn Fund does your idea support?
Young carers, Young parents, Young students at risk of long-term unemployment

What need or issue are you trying to address?
Long-term welfare dependency is often associated with pathways towards long-term disadvantage that all of the nominated priority groups travel. For the target cohorts, this disadvantage can be mapped across the life cycle from birth through to adulthood. The missing of early milestones and opportunities, lack of readiness for school, poor educational outcomes, disengagement and lack of work skills compounds over time and leads to long term unemployment, welfare dependency and, disturbingly, intergenerational effects for subsequent generations, creating ‘welfare dependent’ identities in the absence of other adult modelling.

Disrupting these pathways to disadvantage requires potent and sustained strategies that halt these compounding effects and supplant them with innovative interventions that establish positive pathways towards improving capacity to work and workforce participation beyond simple job-readiness courses.

Prior studies by Griffith researchers and others from many disciplines have shown that, in areas such as the City of Logan, many people are entrenched in pathways of disadvantage. Broadening the range of accessible services can contribute to reframing of identity development to one of a contributing citizen within a broad-based collaborative framework that mobilises the collective resources of multiple organisations, enabling more efficient delivery.

What is your idea?
The objectives of Disrupting Pathways to Disadvantage are to assist individuals within the priority groups by:

• Improving capacity to participate in social and economic life independent of welfare
• Empowering through knowledge and sense of purpose beyond acquisition of job-ready skills
• Providing advocacy and leadership to better understand complex communities
• Developing localised, place-based initiatives to respond to specific issues
• Developing a rigorous, shared and coordinated data and research platform, that can be harnessed to evaluate and learn to inform and improve Government policy
• Facilitating strategic learning and continuous adaptation at the policy, organisational and network level

Griffith University already has considerable cross-disciplinary expertise in designing and delivering appropriate programs and partnerships, including:

1. The Parents under Pressure program is backed by 10 years of research evidence and has been successful in Australia and internationally. The program targets young parents and carers facing difficult circumstances that impact family functioning.

2. The Financial Literacy program addresses the growing importance of financial education, particularly among young Indigenous Australians vulnerable to poor financial decision-making.

3. The Creating Pathways to Prevention program strengthens development systems for children placed in ethnically diverse, socially disadvantaged and high crime suburbs, to reduce youth crimes and promote human and community development.

Our partnership will disrupt pathways to disadvantage for the priority groups by adapting what we have learned from these and other interventions within a unique approach already used by Griffith University. A social emotional learning (SEL) framework will provide leadership development and service engagement within their community, leading to evolution of support networks. Our approach integrates a novel learning environment that makes integrated place-based knowledge available to participants, providers, researchers and policy-makers.