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Care and Protection: Recognising Forgotten Australians . Remembering the Forgotten:. Legal Advocacy services keep families better connected Redfern Legal Centre Lynda Holden and Elizabeth Morley Prepared for presentation at “Achieving Social Justice”, the CLC NSW State Conference 2010. .

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Presentation Transcript
remembering the forgotten
Remembering the Forgotten:

Legal Advocacy services keep families better connected

Redfern Legal Centre

Lynda Holden and Elizabeth Morley

Prepared for presentation at “Achieving Social Justice”, the CLC NSW State Conference 2010.

slide6

Court Directions

In Statutory Care

Court Ordered Contact

recommendations
Recommendations

Recommendation

That

  • Community Legal Centres:
    • Proactively identify and manage legal information provision and assisted referral to clients.
    • Acknowledge the illiteracy of some of their clients and the complexities of their legal issues.
slide8
Recommendation

That

  • Legal Practitioners need:
    • Cultural history and awareness training
    • Adjustment of service delivery to meet actual needs of the client to achieve commensurate ability to instruct, understand and act on legal advice.
    • To take steps to advise the client accordingly and refer appropriately to address the range of issues when dealing with parents without or inadequate housing and/or income to meet basic needs of the child, or where there is family violence, and a risk of care and protection issues arising.
    • To acknowledge the illiteracy of some of their clients and the complexities of their legal issues.
recommendation
Recommendation

That

  • Legal Aid NSW
    • Should review its grants and service provisions to ensure that:
      • In-house services address the recommended legal practitioner requirements.
      • That grants are sufficient to make it economical for private practitioners to meet the recommended requirements and that they undertake to do so on accepting the grant.
    • To acknowledge the illiteracy of some of their clients and the complexities of their legal issues.
recommendation1
Recommendation

That

  • Legal Practitioners acting in Care & Protection Matters
    • Should be able to and should be legally aided to attend with client’s case conferences and ongoing interim meetings with DoHS.
    • Duty solicitors or barristers attending at Children’s Courts should not act regularly for DoHS as there is a perception of conflict or capture.
    • To acknowledge the illiteracy of some of their clients and the complexities of their legal issues.
recommendation2
Recommendation

That

  • Department of Human Services
    • To the extent that Practice Rules may prevent this they DoHS should waive the right or their legal representative should also attend.
    • When DoHS identify a child ‘at risk’, they should fund the family obtaining legal information and advice and not only the care and protection issues but any other matter that may be affecting the family.
    • To acknowledge the illiteracy of some of their clients and the complexities of their legal issues.