The Smith Family’s response to the Federal Government’s 2012 Budget
Media Statement from The Smith Family Chief Executive Officer, Dr Lisa O'Brien
Federal Government Budget Announcement: Schoolkids Bonus scheme
"The new Schoolkids Bonus will offer cash payments to 1.3 million low and middle-income families to assist with educational expenses. While the cash will no doubt help these families, our years of experience have shown us that disadvantage is about more than not having enough money.
That's why our Learning for Life program offers not only financial support for disadvantaged young people's education essentials, but also supportive relationships with a Learning for Life Worker and sponsor, as well as access to a range of learning support and mentoring opportunities. Our program therefore is targeted investment providing holistic support.
We are proud that last year we supported 117,000 young people and their families. More than 33,000 of these young people received a sponsorship, which entails a formal partnership through which families must commit to achieving a minimum 90 per cent school attendance rate and when asked, provide proof of purchase for the educational resources bought with the sponsorship monies.
So while the Schoolkids Bonus acknowledges the costs of education, our focus is on ensuring that young disadvantaged Australians continue to access Learning for Life's suite of ongoing support so that they can get the most out of their education and go on to make the best of their lives."
Dr Lisa O'Brien, CEO, The Smith Family