Engaging Individuals in the Real Economy
Welfare Reform is a process of moving from passive welfare dependence to engagement in the real economy.
Cape York Welfare Reform is premised on the view that in order to engage individuals in the real economy, and for there to be social development in communities, four things must occur:
- Rebuilding of norms
- Reform of incentives
- Normalisation of housing
- A retreat of government from the domain of individual responsibility
Cape York Partnerships is responsible for two facets of Cape York welfare reform. It not only houses the nerve centre of reform in Cape York, the Welfare Reform Program Office. but it is also the main implementor of many of the reform projects.
Principles for Implementing Welfare Reform in Communities
- Build trust
- Learn by doing and build the people through the project
- Teach and coach
- Offer options — Encourage, but don't take over
- Follow-up talk with action: make material, practical change
- Promote personal choice — Let people take their own risks, accept the consequences, learn from mistakes and try again
- Maintain high expectations around social norms that affirm Indigenous culture
- Support people but accept that you cannot shield people from failure
- Look at assets, not just deficits
- Mobilise passions, curiosity, interests and self-interest
- Encourage intuition, imagination and dreams — Fan the flame, don't blow it out
The Cape York Welfare Reform Trial is delivered through a unique partnership between Cape York Partnerships, the Australian Government, Queensland State Government, families and individuals. It has provided an unparalleled opportunity for the organisation to leverage its strong community roots and establish solid relationships with all levels of Government, breaking down barriers between people and building trust.
With trust at the forefront of our relationship, we are able to influence government policy and ensure that all staff work collaboratively as a team to support individuals and families in communities to choose a life they have a reason to value. The Cape York Welfare Reform is on its way to deliver social justice to Aboriginal families in Cape York.
Gummi Fridriksson, Director of Welfare Reform, Cape York Partnerships