The legal system does, definitely, respond to the needs of a large range of people whom are socioeconomically disadvantaged in some way or another. However, by assessing the scenarios issued in the assessment we are faced with many questions concerning the effectiveness of the system in relation to particular situations. .
1. Mr Smith is a widow, he is 64 owns his own home in Blaxland valued at $250 000, owns a car valued at $8000 and has personal possessions valued at $40 000 and has not worked in 4 years.
2. Frank is 19, left school at 16 and has never had a full time job. He lives with friends in Mt Druitt.
3. Fiona is 23, she is a single parent with two children aged 6 and 3; her ex-boyfriend has just kicked her out of his home. She now has nowhere to live, she hasn't spoken to her parents since she fell pregnant with her first child and has very few friends that can accommodate her family for more than a couple of days. She works 3 nights a week when her best friend minds the children and earns $540 net a fortnight, she can't work more or different hours and she does not have anyone else who can mind the kids. She has had no contact with the children's father for over 2 years.
Under the Australian Constitution, the Federal Government has the power to make social security payments. This is done under the Social Security Act 1991 and the Veterans Entitlement Act 1986. The Commonwealth Department of Family and Community Services, is in charge of the Australian Social Security System. The department is responsible for income support, housing policy, community support, disability services, childcare services and various family issues. The department spends around $55 billion a year on providing its programs and services. In 1977 FaCS established Centrelink, which delivers income support payments and services on behalf of the department to nearly 7 million people.
The legal system recognises the socioeconomically disadvantaged in several different ways.