Submission to Senate Select Committee on Work and Care
“The voices of children and young people are also rarely heard when decisions are made about the issues that affect their lives.”
Australian Human Rights Commission website
This submission outlines the impact that combining work and care responsibilities has on children and young people with disability and their families. More specifically, we draw on the lived experience of families to highlight how fragmented and underperforming systems fail to support the needs and strengths of children and young people, thereby impacting the capacity of family and caregivers to successfully participate in both work and care.
- The first section presents four case studies from members of our community. These demonstrate the tangible impacts of inadequate and inaccessible systems on enabling children and young people with disability to participate in community life on the same basis as their peers without disability. Further, they foreground the emotional, financial and administrative burden placed on family and caregivers not by children and young people with disability, but by the systems that fail to provide adequate and appropriate supports (which, in many cases they are legally required to).
- The second section details specific and actionable recommendations that will better support the inclusion of children and young people with disability in service systems and community life, and as such, enable families and caregivers to successfully participate in both work and care.
- The third section, the context for our recommendations, provides insight into some of the structural and systemic issues that are hindering necessary reform and entrenching disadvantage—in particular the complex, fragmented and sometimes competing service and policy environment discussed in the case studies. This section contains many references to more detailed work on these topics to enable members of the Inquiry to explore as needed.
Summary of recommendations
- Incorporate the rights of children and young people in future work and care policy development designed to benefit their families and caregivers
- Reform systems that directly support and involve children and young people to enable families and caregivers to combine work and care