SCOA Submission: Migrant and refugee perspectives on a new voluntary service for parents

Oct 26, 2023 | Policy & Research

The Australian Government is designing a new voluntary pre-employment service for parents.1 The new pre-employment program will replace the ParentsNext program, which will be abolished from 1 July 2024. Through consultations with parents from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds and settlement practitioners, the Settlement Council of Australia (SCOA) identified the needs of disadvantaged migrants and refugees who plan to return to work or education while raising children. The consultations were conducted to understand how best to support disadvantaged parents with primary caring responsibilities for young children in their education and employment goals.

In August 2023, SCOA, with support from member organisations, organised six consultations across Australia with migrant and refugee parents to understand their needs, eligibility, the features of the new service and communication strategy. In September 2023, SCOA organised a meeting with settlement practitioners to present preliminary findings from parents’ consultation and facilitated a consultation to gather further feedback from the practitioners. This submission presents the key findings from the consultations.