Poverty, homelessness and social inequality


Reconceptualising partnerships: new options for effective partnerships between state government and third sector in employment services in Australia

ARC Linkage
E Carson (with Kerr and Simmons)

Demographic change, ageing and the workforce: an integrated model to inform workforce development and planning in Australia

ARC Linkage
E Carson (with Spoehr, Hugo and Richardson, Uni of Adelaide administering funds total $153,358).

Inequality and social exclusion

A collaborative research partnership between Uniting Care Wesley and the Social Policy Research Group
E Carson and L Kerr

UCW Adelaide and the SPRG have combined to undertake applied research on pressing social concerns and social policy issues for South Australia that are generated through the interface between inequality and social exclusion. This is a dynamic and changing field, which must use key economic, political and social indicators in ways that are responsive to community needs. The evaluation, development and use of policy requires a transdisciplinary approach and is based on knowledge drawn from fields such as social work, sociology, political science and economics. It requires skills in the identification of current and emerging social issues and expertise in the management of human services, including the delivery and evaluation of community programs. Our combined research aims to generate frameworks, programs and guidelines based on principles of social justice and equity and develop options for achieving social objectives. These activities are clearly in line with the vision, mission and core values of UCW Adelaide and the university's mission of 'educating professionals – creating and applying knowledge – serving the community'.

Completed projects

Family policy and the impact of poverty on families and children at risk

H Cameron (with Slee, Murray-Harvey and Baghurst) 2000–2004
In collaboration with Flinders University, SA Department for Human Services and Adelaide Women's and Children's Hospital

This research defined several factors separating some families 'at risk' from others, and the range of factors that impact on family outcomes and on the families' patterns of service access and use. Our research found that families living in socioeconomically disadvantaged circumstances were found to experience increased difficulty in making and maintaining social connections within their neighbourhoods. They also experience a low sense of safety for themselves and their children. It was found that crime is higher in disadvantaged areas than in more affluent areas and this intersects with perceptions about lack of family safety. The results have direct implications for both service delivery strategies and the location of such services, and contribute to the literature on families at risk and on community intervention strategies to improve safety. Community forums in both the northern and southern suburbs conveyed the major findings of this research to service providers who showed considerable interest.


Carson E, Fopp R & Parker S (2003) Vulnerable in the city: a study of accommodation and other services for vulnerable adults in inner Adelaide, Inner City Administrators Group, Adelaide. (PDF 2 MB)

Carson E & Martin S (2001) Social disadvantage in South Australia.

Flinders University et al (2004) Families at risk: the effects of chronic and multiple disadvantage, Flinders University et al, University of South Australia, Department of Human Services and Women's and Children's Hospital. (PDF 845 kb)

Kerr L & Savelsberg H (2002) The impact of mutual obligation policies on unemployed young people, community organisations and the wider community, Social Policy Research Group and Adelaide Central Mission, Adelaide. (PDF 448 kb).

Kerr L & Savelsberg H (2003) Breaching and disadvantaged young people: the social and financial impacts, Social Policy Research Group and Adelaide Central Mission, Adelaide. (PDF 531 kb)

King S, Bamford D, Sarre R (2005) Factors that influence remand in custody: final report to the Criminology Research Council, Social Policy Research Group, Magill, South Australia. (PDF 1.55 MB)

Sarre R, King S & Bamford D (2006) Remand in custody: critical factors and key issues. Trends and issues in crime and criminal justice no. 310. Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra.


Fopp R (2006) 'Social constructionism and housing research: exploring issues', paper presented at Australian Housing Researchers Conference, Adelaide, 19–21 June.

Arthurson K (2006) '"It puts your value down, I think if you've got them all around" – estate regeneration and the malign effects of social mix', International Social Sciences Conference, Rhodes.

Arthurson K (2006) 'Historical Constructions of Social Mix', Urban History Planning Conference, Wellington, New Zealand.

Arthurson K (2006) 'The Labour Force Benefits of Community Housing', Dunstan Foundation Research Roundtable: Changes at Work and their Implications for Housing in Australia, Adelaide, 10 April.

Arthurson K (2006) '"A lot of people don't notice who they are, but I do!": Stigma and mixed tenure communities', European Network of Housing Researchers Conference.

Arthurson K (2004) 'Conceptualising social inclusion in estate regeneration policy: what part does public housing play?' Just Policy, 34, 3–13.

Arthurson K (2004) 'From stigma to demolition: Australian debates about housing and social exclusion', Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, 19(3), 255–270.

Arthurson K (2002) 'Creating Inclusive Communities Through Balancing Social Mix: A Critical Relationship or Tenuous Link?' Urban Policy and Research, 20(3), 245–261.

Arthurson K & Jacobs K (2006) 'Housing Policy Discourses in the Australian Post-Welfare State', Australasian Housing Researchers Conference, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 19–21 June 2006.

Baker E & Arthurson K (2006) 'Social networks, Housing Quality or Residential Environment: What's more important for the Well-being of Relocating Tenants?' European Network of Housing Researchers Conference, Slovenia.

Cameron H (2006) 'Poverty and family life under welfare-to-work', South Australian Policy Online, Australian Institute of Social Research, University of Adelaide.

Cameron H (2005) 'Social disadvantage and families with young children', Journal of Family Studies, 11(2), 297–316.

Carson E, Kerr L & Goddard J (2002) 'Contractualism, employment services and mature-age job seekers', The Drawing Board, 3(2).

Jacobs K & Arthurson K (2004) 'Public housing and the "problem" of anti-social behaviour', Parity, 17(10) and Housing Works, 2(2), 23–24.

Jacobs K, Arthurson K & Randolph B (2004) Developing appropriate exit strategies for housing regeneration programmes. Positioning paper no. 69. Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, Southern Research Centre.

Winefield A and Carson E (2006) 'Active labour programs for young long-term unemployed: psychological impact of participation in a recent program', in T Kieselback, A Winefield, C Boyd and S Anderson (eds), Unemployment and health: international and interdisciplinary perspectives, Australian Academic Press, Brisbane.

Ranzijn R, Carson E & Winefield A (2006) 'On the scrap heap at 45: the human impact of unemployment', British Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 79(3), 467–479.

Areas of study and research

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