One of OCTEC’s major programs, ParentsNext, is currently undergoing change before being replaced on 1 July 2024, Participants’ compulsory requirements were paused on 5 May, 2023. OCTEC participants have continued in a voluntary capacity.
“We look to the future of the program as we’ve witnessed the benefit of these services for participants again and again,” said OCTEC ParentsNext Manager, Charissa Mossop.
These arrangements have ensured parents and carers of young children originally identified for the program continue to access the support they need from the government, such as access to 36 hours per fortnight of subsidised childcare through the Child Care Subsidy.
OCTEC helps parents to identify and reach their education and employment goals through participation in activities and by connecting to local services.
ParentsNext aims to develop early intervention assistance for parents with young children who want to get back to work.
“OCTEC ParentsNext Consultants continue to approach assisting participants the same way they always have, talking with them and focusing on real and long term achievements tailored to each participant,” Ms Mossop said.
“We’ve always worked with participants to achieve pre-employment goals and inspire parents to re-enter the workforce through education and employment goals, participating in self-development workshops and activities, along with support to connect with local services.”
Locations where OCTEC runs the program are Brisbane South East, Darling Downs, Wivenhoe, Gold Coast and the Somerset regions in Queensland. In NSW the programs operates in New England and North West, North Coast, Sydney Greater West, Sydney North and West, as well as Sydney South West Regions.
The new voluntary service to come the program during 2024 will be created in consultation with parents and stakeholders from across the community. The changes come after three parliamentary reviews since it was brought in by the Coalition in 2018. The most recent review recommended it be replaced by a new service.