The Minister for Social Inclusion, Julia Gillard has today released a research paper prepared by the Australian Institute of Family Studies to help improve social inclusion in the Australian community.
The paper explores the priority areas identified for action by the Rudd Government, including children at risk, child poverty, jobless families and intergenerational disadvantage.
Its purpose is to provide an overview of the concept of social inclusion and of key themes and emerging debates about social inclusion in Australia and selected overseas countries.
It was designed to assist the Australian Government, the Social Inclusion Unit and the Australian Social Inclusion Board to progress the social inclusion agenda.
Australia has the OECD’s second highest level of children living in jobless families (12 per cent) and the number of homeless families with children has increased by 17 per cent since 2001.
The evidence shows that if income poverty is concentrated in specific local areas it can become bound up with a host of other problems that impact particularly on children’s wellbeing and children’s life chances.
Already, the Rudd Government is working in partnership with States and Territories to deliver universal access to preschool, increase the supply of affordable housing and improve schooling in disadvantaged communities.
The Rudd Government is determined to maintain our focus on reducing disadvantage and improving the life chances of the children and families who are currently struggling.
A copy of the Social Inclusion paper is available at: http://www.socialinclusion.gov.au/publications.htm