[Sub ID 4799] Supported Leaning Program (Relationships Australia South Australia)

Submission ID: 4799
Organisation name: Relationships Australia South Australia
Contact name: Ms Lindy Brinkworth
State: SA
Contact email: l.brinkworth@rasa.org.au

Which priority group of the Try, Test and Learn Fund does your idea support?
Young parents

What need or issue are you trying to address?
Australia’s welfare system is an important safety net for vulnerable people but can also become a trap. Effective early intervention can help people from becoming locked into the welfare system by giving them the opportunity to develop life skills, and to participate economically and socially through learning and work. Young parents in particular often find themselves disengaged from employment and locked into public assistance. Notably, parents who are employed are more likely to be educated, and those who are educated are more likely to give their children the best start in life.

Conversely, parents who lack income are often prevented from investing in resources and experiences that will help their children develop. The consequence is an intergenerational cycle of poverty in which parents struggle to provide stable and supportive relationships needed to protect their children from adversity and have limited opportunities to break from welfare. The importance of helping young parents embark on educational pathways that will lead them toward self-sufficiency goes beyond the financial savings that should result from reduced welfare. Their participation in early intervention education programs will improve employment options and also strengthen their child’s education horizons, ultimately giving their child the best start in life.

What is your idea?
We propose a supported learning program for vulnerable young parents aligned with the Certificate II and III in Community Services.

The program will facilitate help-seeking skills (i.e., learning about available community and health supports to strengthen participants’ wellbeing and safety and that of their family and community); provide relationship education (i.e., understanding relationships, self-awareness, self-care, self-esteem, communication, and conflict resolution); foster parenting confidence (i.e., establishing positive interaction between parents and their children, supporting parents to develop sensitivity and responses to their child’s needs), and; enable observation of, development of, and practice in, work skills through work experience.

As well as addressing health and safety stressors the program will build fundamental work skills such as literacy and numeracy, proficiency with technology and learning confidence.

As one in four new jobs in Australia will be in the human services sector, participation in this program will not only assist vulnerable young parents but will also provide genuine work related skills and experience. It will also support them to overcome wellbeing and safety concerns arising from family violence, drug and alcohol issues, community conflict, and childhood adversity. Furthermore, it will support them to build their parenting confidence.