Integrated Services Fund
The Integrated Services Fund was established by the Victorian Government in 2018 to provide community legal centres and Aboriginal Legal Services with additional funding to deliver integrated services within their communities.
We know that often when someone presents with a legal issue, there can be underlying or connected concerns that aren’t being addressed. Community legal centres are unique in their response to people experiencing complex issues, and strive to approach each individual case holistically. This integrated approach often includes forming partnerships with social, health or other local services to ensure people can get support before their issues snowball.
The Government provided grants of up to $200,000 in in 2018-19 and 2019-20 for community legal centres and Aboriginal Legal Services to enhance or extend integrated services, or build capacity to establish and deliver integrated services. The Federation was proud to administer the grants to a number of excellent projects and initiatives across Victoria.
As part of the Fund, the Federation commissioned a research report to profile the projects, and to investigate the drivers and inhibitors of effective partnerships. The report highlights the impact, effectiveness and opportunities for the future of Integrated Services in Victoria.
You can read the full report here.
The below video demonstrates the positive effect of one of the funded projects on a client experiencing legal issues connected with drug use.
An independent assessment panel selected the following applicants to receive grants from the Fund. This year's successful projects are:
- Consumer Action Law Centre
Delivering integrated consumer, credit and debt legal services to Victorian Aboriginal communities, in partnership with the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service, which both resolve issues for individuals and ensures that campaign and advocacy attention is given to the systemic issues that are identified as impacting on communities.
- Fitzroy Legal Service
Assist community members in Darebin with legal problems where alcohol and other drug use is an underlying factor.
- Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre
The Policing Family Violence: Changing the Story - providing collaborative legal casework, complaints and advocacy support to survivors of family violence.
- Inner Melbourne Community Legal Centre
Health Justice Partnership with Royal Melbourne Hospital to provide advice, casework, community legal education, strategic policy work and develop a promotional video.
- Law & Advocacy Centre for Women Ltd
Providing pathways out of the justice system for socially and economically disadvantaged women who are in or at risk of entering the criminal justice system.
- Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre - Advocacy and Rights Centre
Health Justice Partnership - integrated legal-health service to clients with complex needs and enabling early intervention support for clients who are at risk of coming in contact with the criminal justice system.
- Peninsula Community Legal Centre
Tackling out-of-control toll fines postcode by postcode, an early intervention approach, in partnership with Connect East. [Peninsula Community Legal Centre applied for funding in 2018-19 only].
- Seniors Rights Victoria at COTA VIC
Supporting those who have been recently diagnosed with dementia to plan ahead and to make informed choices about their future financial, health or care arrangements, as well as to put those choices into an appropriate legal format.
- Social Security Rights Victoria
Designing, implementing and evaluating an integrated service bringing together social security law specialists and financial counsellors in order to work more effectively and improve client outcomes.
- Springvale Monash Legal Service
Sporting Change: empowering and educating diverse young people to engage constructively in society, by using sport to teach them about the justice system, and increase access to justice through an integrated school lawyer.