Abstract: Given their ongoing economic disadvantage, many Indigenous families are long-term dependents on social security income support. Their well-being continues to be a critical challenge for government and Indigenous organisations. This paper presents an anlaysis of quantitative and qualitative data from the first year of a longitudinal survey conducted in two Indigenous communities. A range of factors are identified which influence the effectiveness and appropriateness of delivery of income transfers to Indigenous families. Survey data on the extent of 'welfare dependence' being experienced by Indigenous families are analysed, and the nature of household economies described. The interaction between the CDEP scheme (a work-for-the-dole scheme) and the welfare economies operating within Indigenous households is discusssed. In the context of the Federal Government's Welfare Reform Agenda, the paper outlines recommendations for fine-tuning policy and service delivery to address the economic and culturally-based realities facing Indigenous families.
Notes: This paper provides a good current overview of the situation of welfare dependency in light of the early findings from a longitudinal study being conducted within two Indigenous communities. There is a good overview of the interrelationship between CDEP work and welfare payments within Indigenous families. It also provides good recommendations for government policy changes in relation to cultural understandings of Indigenous people.