After Robodebt retraction, will govt drop ParentsNext?

Image: Ian, Flickr

Last Friday the Federal government quietly announced it would be refunding around $720 million in debts raised through its controversial Robotdebt program to some 470 000 Australians.

It’s put the spotlight on government welfare programs and how their monitoring and compliance schemes affect the lives of recipients.

One of those programs is ParentsNext, a program designed to target what the government calls “intergenerational welfare dependency” among recipients of the Parenting Payment by linking participants – who are mostly single mothers – with training and other activities to increase their “work readiness”.

But many have questioned the usefulness of the program which has required participants to take part in activities such as taking their children to story time sessions.

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