October 29, 2015 |
The annual report for the Federation of Community Legal Centres shows 2014–15 was a year that saw the Federation and our member centres achieving change together.
As highlighted in the Chairperson and Executive Officer’s report, Victorian CLCs helped more than 150,000 people this year with serious legal problems related to their housing, debts, infringements, safety, relationship breakdown, and much, much more.
As always, CLCs adapted their work to meet new or growing areas of need. Some examples of this need are localised. Others, such as family violence, reflect growing demand across the state. The number of new family violence cases initiated this year increased by 17 per cent over the previous year, with family violence cases now comprising over 40 per cent of new CLC cases in Victoria.
As community-based, independent services, CLCs have often been at the forefront of finding new ways to provide legal help to people facing disadvantage, hardship and discrimination. We know people with legal problems often have a number of other, connected non-legal problems and we know many of the people most in need of legal help are in no position to seek out a lawyer. In an effort to assist these people, 84 per cent of CLCs provide outreach services and 80 per cent work in partnership with non-legal services like hospitals, community health services and financial counsellors. A growing number of CLCs are trialling innovative, multi-disciplinary service models including health–justice partnerships. This annual report is the story of this vital work.
The annual report will be tabled at today’s Annual General Meeting.
For media inquiries, please call Darren Lewin-Hill, Communications Manager, on 0488 773 535.