Tackling Entrenched Disadvantage in WA: 100 Families Research Project Findings

The collaborative three year project’s report findings were launched last week

November 12, 2021
5 Mins
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Wanslea, along with several other not-for-profit agencies, the West Australian Council of Social Services (WACOSS), The University of Western Australia, and a Community Advisory Group (CAG), a group of members with lived experience of entrenched disadvantage, have, for the last three years, been collaboratively conducting a unique research project into entrenched disadvantage in Western Australia; 100 Families.

The study followed 400 families living in disadvantage in Western Australia, to gain insight into the challenges they face, to attempt to address entrenched disadvantage from the research findings, with the final report launched last week.

One of the report’s key findings is that disadvantaged Western Australian families are increasingly trapped in poverty and hardship by the system that is designed to support them in crisis, and the report calls for State and Federal governments, as well as the community services sector, to work together to implement systemic change and lift people out of the poverty cycle.

Among 10 calls to action based on the research with the families is to recognise the value of caring roles and other contributions to society. This includes the role of grandparent carers, who receive limited financial assistance in their roles and face significant financial distress. The call to action aligns with Wanslea’s research report, A Fairer Future For Grandchildren, which found that grandparent carers live below the poverty line, and calls for a Grandparent Carer’s Subsidy as a regular, accessible and equitable means of financial support.  

The 100Families WA’s final report was presented to the Minister for Communities Simone McGurk MLA at its launch, held at the WA Museum Boola Bardip. Wanslea CEO Tricia Murray along with Dr Kwadwo Adusei-Asante and Dr Anita Lumbus from Wanslea’s Research and Evaluation team participated in round-table discussions at the event, which focused on identifying ways the calls to action from the research could be implemented at the policy, community sector and local community levels.

The research project has highlighted a need to raise awareness and promote empathy for people living in disadvantage, in an effort to create meaningful action,which led to ‘Welcome to our world’; an online interactive platform that provides insight into disadvantage through the voices of the families involved in the project.This includes the story of a grandparent carer in her journey from crisis to navigating services and seeking support.

To find out more about the research project, its findings and the proposed calls to action, the full and summary reports are available from the 100Families website.