Neoliberal reforms and ring-wing ideologies have seen the ideal of the social security ‘safety net’ take a hammering in the UK, USA and Australia. While the gap between rich and poor has widened, and demand for welfare payments increased, politicians, certainly in Australia, have generally neglected low income families, preferring to twiddle the economic dials affecting middle and upper income earners instead. Of course, tussling over who pays tax, how much, what constitutes useful expenditure, and who receives welfare services and benefits is not new – these questions have attended the modern welfare state from its inception. But the welfare safety net that most of us, grudgingly or otherwise, concede to be necessary for collective social harmony is no longer proving as effective as we would wish. Even with a battered and frayed, but still ostensibly functional systems of welfare payment and support offered in Australia, the number of people experiencing perpetual disadvantage is rising, with intergenerational poverty – its increase and impacts on children – of particular concern.