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A significant demographic trend in recent decades in Australia has been the growth in lone parent families as a proportion of all families, associated with which has been growth in welfare dependency. This has led to considerable policy focus on increasing lone parent participation in employment. A key issue that has arisen for the Government in pursuing this policy goal is whether, in the context of a welfare system that accommodates the combining of part-time employment with welfare receipt, part-time employment helps or hinders a progression to full-time employment, and whether and how this depends on characteristics such as the number and ages of dependent children.
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