On 4 December 2018, the Senate referred the following matter to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report:
ParentsNext, including its trial and subsequent broader rollout, with particular reference to:
(a) the aims of ParentsNext, and the extent to which those aims are appropriate, having regard to the interests of
participating parents, their children, and the community;
(b) the design and implementation of ParentsNext, including, without limitation:
(i) the appropriateness of eligibility for compulsory and voluntary participation,
(ii) the protocol for providers’ conduct of Capability Interviews with participants,
(iii) the design of participation plans, including the range of economic and social participation requirements,
(iv) the selection of ParentsNext providers,
(v) the interaction between ParentsNext, business, education and training providers, and health, community and social
(vi) the effectiveness of the communication between:
(B) the Department of Jobs and Small Business,
(C) Centrelink, and
(D) ParentsNext providers,
(vii) the measures, if any, in place to avoid causing risk or harm to vulnerable participants and their children, including
participants and children who are victims and/or survivors of family violence,
(viii) the appropriateness of the aspects of the program specifically aimed at communities with high Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander population, and the appropriateness of the broader program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
parents outside target communities,
(ix) the effectiveness of the program in supporting the long-term wellbeing of parents and children, and the longer term
skills and earning capacity of parents, and
(x) best practice pre-employment programs for parents;
(c) the appropriateness of the application of the Targeted Compliance Framework (TCF) to ParentsNext, and the impact of the
TCF on participants;
(d) the oversight of ParentsNext, including:
(i) the oversight of determinations of non-compliance, and
(ii) the fairness and efficiency of any complaint handling processes, including protocols around changing providers; and
(e) any other related matters the committee considers relevant.
Making a Submission
Submissions were sought by 1 February 2019. The reporting date is 31 March 2019.
While the committee welcomes submissions from parents who have been affected by the implementation of ParentsNext, the committee emphasises that it is not in a position to assist or intervene in individual circumstances.
If you are interested in contributing to the committee's inquiry, you may find it helpful to look at the guide for preparing a submission. It includes suggestions on what to include in a submission, a check list, and information about what happens to your submission once it has been received by the committee.
The committee prefers to publish submissions from private individuals on the inquiry website with names and contact details withheld. If you do not want your submission to be publicly available, you can ask the committee to keep your submission confidential – just include the word confidential on the front of your submission.