Workfare Oz-style: Welfare reform and social work in Australia

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McDonald, Catherine
Chenoweth, Lesley
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Richard Hoefor

Date
2006
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Abstract

Traditional approaches to the promotion of welfare have disappeared in Australia, replaced by a new institutional order represented by welfare-cum-workfare. This has impacted on social work - both as a collective entity and as a set of practices. This paper maps the shift to workfare in Australia and examines its impacts on and implications for social work. We briefly discuss the Australian model of social protection, illustrating our own brand of 'exceptionalism' and lay out what we have termed "Workfare-Oz style". Drawing upon neo-institutional theory, we review and analyse two key contexts where 'Workfare-Oz style' is operationalised - the Job Network and Centrelink. Some tentative conclusions and the dimensions of a research agenda which will put any emerging propositions to empirical test are also proposed.

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Journal of Policy Practice

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5

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2-Mar

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Social Work

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