Welfare, or wellbeing, is positively or negatively affected by many factors, including housing, education, employment and social networks. These factors can also influence a person’s need for welfare services and support.
Chapter 1 What is welfare and wellbeing?
Broadly, welfare refers to the wellbeing of individuals, families and the community. Our welfare, or wellbeing, can be influenced by environmental, social and economic factors including housing and living arrangements, education, employment, income, safety, and social networks and connection.
Chapter 2 Changes and challenges since the onset of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted a renewed focus on issues which impact the health, welfare and wellbeing of Australians. This chapter explores some of the key trends, changes and challenges that have emerged in Australia since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Our health:
- COVID-19 deaths
- COVID-19 disease burden
- Long COVID
- Our welfare and wellbeing:
- Life satisfaction
- Social contact
- Psychological distress
- Financial stress
- Working arrangements
- The role of data during COVID-19.
Chapter 3 Welfare, welfare services and supports
People access welfare services and support temporarily when circumstances and need arise (for instance, emergency temporary accommodation for bushfire affected communities), or long term (for instance, the Disability Support Pension). When an event triggers change in a person’s life, it is often the point at which that person contacts government support services.
Information about people’s welfare and the support services they use are critical for understanding the population’s wellbeing, measuring progress and working to improve outcomes for all Australians. This chapter summarises the latest available data across a range of areas including:
- education and skills
- employment and employment services
- income support
- housing and housing assistance
- family, domestic and sexual violence,
- justice and safety.
It also includes a summary of how selected, age-based population groups are faring, focusing on:
- children (under 18 years)
- younger adults (15–25 years)
- older people (65 and over).
Chapter 4 Welfare of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
This chapter looks at welfare and wellbeing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (First Nations) people and summarises a range of welfare services and supports, including:
- population profile
- education and skills
- income and finance
- community safety
- disability support
- aged care.
Chapter 5 How do we compare internationally?
Comparing welfare and wellbeing data between Australia and other member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) helps to inform policy, planning and decision making. This chapter presents some key welfare indicators, illustrating how Australia is faring compared with other OECD countries.
Chapter 6 The importance of welfare data in Australia
This chapter describes why the development and collection of welfare data is hugely valuable. When used well, welfare data can provide reliable information on the quality of people’s lives, and how wellbeing is changing over time, both within and across different population groups. Welfare data can also inform our understanding of the impact of policies and programs, enabling better decision making and improved outcomes for Australians across a range of areas including housing, education and skills, employment and income, social support, and justice and safety.
It also notes a number of activities taking place to improve the range and quality of data available, such as data linkage.