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The Complexity of Poverty – One agency’s response…. Key Responses to Complex Poverty. 3. Case Management. 2. Research. 1. Data . 4. Capacity Building. 5. Integrated Service Delivery. ER Database. 2005: very little data . 2007 a new data system goes live 2009 first tranche of reporting.

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The complexity of poverty one agency s response

The Complexity of Poverty – One agency’s response…


Key responses to complex poverty

Key Responses to Complex Poverty

3. Case Management

2. Research

1. Data

4. Capacity Building

5. Integrated Service Delivery


Er database

ER Database

  • 2005: very little data.

  • 2007 a new data system goes live

  • 2009 first tranche of reporting


Er database what did we find

ER Database: What did we find

  • People most at risk of needing ER – being female (63%), Indigenous (11%); relatively young at 25-49 years (56%); living alone (42%) or sole parents (31%); and living in public or private rental accommodation (70%).

  • Low income– 60% of clients received an income of less than $600 per fortnight.

  • Almost all households were receiving some sort of benefit – 95%.

  • Most households presented with more than one issue – indicating complexity of need – across the 13,000 clients there were more than 60,000 reasons for presenting. These issues included accommodation (13% were homeless), financial debt, physical and mental health, family and relationship breakdown and issues with children.

  • There was evidence of spatial poverty – across 113 postcodes 31% derived from just four postcodes – Campbelltown, Mt Druitt, Wollongong and Liverpool.


Er database what was the impact

ER Database: What was the impact?

  • Engagement with government

  • a platform for further research in the area and gave ANGLICARE a credible voice in the public sphere and the advocacy space.

  • partially responsible for the release of new funding for ER during the GFC.

  • the ER workers themselves became the greatest advocates for data collection – once they saw the leverage it gave both internally and externally.

  • This data collection is ongoing - source for research in relation to particular people groups, ER longitudinal trends, EAPA and issues around housing and Newstart. It is regularly interrogated by the research team for advocacy and policy purposes.


Key responses to complex poverty1

Key Responses to Complex Poverty

3. Case Management

2. Research

1. Data

4. Capacity Building

5. Integrated Service Delivery


Research based advocacy

Research based advocacy

  • 2002: dedicated policy unit

  • 2003 use of social exclusion theory

  • 2009/10 reports on ER

  • 2012 food insecurity research


Food insecurity research and advocacy

Food Insecurity: Research and advocacy

  • Three out of four of all respondents (76%) were severely food insecure.

  • Between one-third and a half of respondents experienced food insecurity almost every week or even more frequently during the previous 3 months.

  • a third of the sample (31%), who were considered severely food insecure almost every week.


Food insecurity research and advocacy1

Food Insecurity: Research and advocacy

  • There was anxiety about running out of food (83%) in a context where three out of four adults (76%) had run out of food in the last three months and could not afford to buy more.

  • The majority of adults (73%) had cut the size of their meals or skipped meals (62%).

  • 61% of adults had experienced hunger and one in three adults (37%) did not eat for a whole day.


Food insecurity children

Food Insecurity: Children

  • Almost 80% of children living in food insecure households experienced some form of food insecurity themselves – even though adults went to significant lengths to protect their children from the worst effects of hunger and food deprivation.

  • More than one in three children (36%) were severely food insecure and, for 8% of children, this was a once a week occurrence.

  • Adults (83%) spoke of relying on low cost food to feed their children and 78% were concerned that children did not get sufficient variety of foods.

  • In some households the size of children’s’ meals were being cut (46%), children were forced to skip meals (24%) or in the worst case children did not eat for a whole day (10%). For 7% of households this was a regular occurrence – weekly or some weeks.


The complexity of poverty one agency s response

The school wants to know why the kids are hungry...It’s embarrassing. My kids have no shoes. He’s come home with black eyes 'cos he's the poor kid.

...kids embarrassed, different to other kids.

the kids would drive me up the wall 'cos they're starving!.

Sometimes my daughter will come home from school and want to have her friends over but I can't feed them snacks


Food insecurity coping

Food Insecurity: Coping

  • Most adults with children go hungry in order to protect their children

  • Of the 272 adults who completed the child HFSSM questions for their household, only four respondents (1.5%) revealed that children in their household were experiencing more severe food insecurity than adults. The majority of respondents living with children (55.1%) were living in households where children fell into a less severe food insecurity category than the adults.

  • Just under half (43.4%) of respondents were living in households where children and adults fell into the same food insecurity severity


The complexity of poverty one agency s response

Not to be able to feed your kids is unforgiveable

I don’t worry if I don’t eat – I just worry if the kids don’t eat.

If your kids have got food,

you’re OK.

I buy a little bit of food every day so I know the baby has something to eat that day.


Food insecurity other interesting facts

Food Insecurity: Other interesting facts

  • The research also indicated households most at risk of food insecurity were:

  • Households on low income (67% on incomes of less than $500 per week)

  • Disability Support Pension (41%

  • Newstart (31%)

  • Not being in paid work (77%)

  • Renting (78%)

  • Single parent (31%)

  • Indigenous (17%)

  • Nine out of ten households indicated that an unexpected event had pitched them into financial crisis in the last three months – related to bigger than expected utility bills, white goods breaking down, a family funeral, return to school expenses for the children and medical expenses.

  • Apart from low income other factors also played a role in food insecurity including not having access to a fridge (10%), not having access to an oven or microwave (13%) or not having power connected – 8%.


Food insecurity what s it like

Food Insecurity: What’s it like

...violent. feral. Become unaware of other people around you

...gets me cranky, I can really spit the dummy,

... Feel sick... just drinking tea and water

...I can get moody and tired. Sick in the stomach. Light headed

it's quite depressing and humiliating and makes you feel like you fail at the most basic of needs

you just want to go to sleep and never wake up. You’re just living to survive

...worry me guts out


Research its impact

Research – its Impact

  • Awareness of the issue by parliament

  • Credible advocacy

  • Informing the sector

  • Basis for further research and advocacy


Key responses to complex poverty2

Key Responses to Complex Poverty

3. Case Management

2. Research

1. Data

4. Capacity Building

5. Integrated Service Delivery


Case management

Case Management

  • Wollongong 2010

  • Move from crisis management to case management

  • Sustainable Living model

  • 28 clients, 12 month pilot

  • Enhanced independence, well being, resilience and connection


Key responses to complex poverty3

Key Responses to Complex Poverty

3. Case Management

2. Research

1. Data

4. Capacity Building

5. Integrated Service Delivery


Capacity building

Capacity Building

  • launched in 2010.

  • an adult community education program which offers groups and seminars teaching basic living skills, employment and social skills.

  • Since 2010 54 groups and seminars have been run, with an average of 11 students enrolled in each group or seminar.

  • The basic premise of the program is that people experiencing financial hardship can have a number of issues mitigated through education, early intervention, increased knowledge base and increased access to community and service networks.


Capacity building1

Capacity Building

  • Short term goals – nearly all survey participants involved in groups finished their involvement with a strong sense of personal and emotional wellbeing. Most had built new social connections during their time on the program, with nearly two-thirds having built a friendship with someone they thought they could turn to in times of crisis. Many also had learnt new life skills such as budgeting and cooking.

  • Longer term the program seeks to build resilience, independence and pathways into education and employment.


Key responses to complex poverty4

Key Responses to Complex Poverty

3. Case Management

2. Research

1. Data

4. Capacity Building

5. Integrated Service Delivery


Integrated service delivery

Integrated Service delivery

  • Old Model

  • Multiple entry points

  • Multiple intake and assessment

  • Overworked ER staff and volunteers

  • Feeling like band aid solutions


Integrated service delivery1

Integrated Service delivery

  • New model

  • Single entry point

  • Five services : ER, NILS, FSP, Step Up, Financial Counselling

  • Intensive case management

  • Focus on families with children

  • New systems and processes


Integrated service delivery2

Integrated Service delivery


Integrated service delivery3

Integrated Service delivery

  • Impacts

  • Improved staff well being, reduced stress and anxiety

  • More streamlined service dleivery

  • Better longer term sustainable outcomes for families


Sustainable l iving

Sustainable L:iving

3. Case Management

2. Research

1. Data

4. Capacity Building

5. Integrated Service Delivery


Questions

Questions?


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