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:
- Ballarat and Grampians Community Legal Centre
Providing family law and family violence services for parents and carers who visit Parent Place and the Sebastopol, Lucas and Ballan Maternal and Child Health Centres.
- Consumer Action Law Centre
A partnership with the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service to deliver integrated consumer, credit, and debt legal services to Aboriginal communities
- Fitzroy Legal Service - Darebin Drug Outreach Lawyer Program
Assisting individuals with legal problems related to alcohol and drug use through partnerships with YSAS (Youth Support and Advocacy Service), Living Room, Inner Space, North Richmond Community Health, Odyssey House Victoria and Uniting Care ReGen.
- Goulburn Valley Community Legal Centre
A partnership with Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative to support local Aboriginal community members with complex legal and health issues.
- Hume Riverina Community Legal Service - Invisible Hurdles
A youth and family violence program that identifies systemic issues affecting young people, advocates to address these issues and provides legal services.
- Inner Melbourne Community Legal Centre
- Beyond Survival – Policing Family Violence Project:
A partnership with Flat Out responding to police accountability issues.
- Health Justice Partnership with Royal Melbourne Hospital:
Providing advice and casework for patients, delivering community legal education and undertaking strategic
- Acting on Warning Signs:
A partnership with the Royal Women's Hospital to provide legal assistance to patients in weekly legal clinics, by telephone or in-person.
- inTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence
A partnership with Monash Health to provide legal advice for migrant and refugee women experiencing family violence, and secondary consultations for Monash Health staff.
- Justice Connect - Seniors Law
A partnership with cohealth and St Vincent’s Hospital to increase access to legal support and help progress social justice for people who are experiencing or at risk of elder abuse.
- Law and Advocacy Centre for Women
Providing pathways out of the justice system for socially and economically disadvantaged women through specialist, gender-informed legal advice and representation alongside in-house social work and case management assistance.
- Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre
- Health Justice Partnership with Maryborough District Health Service:
Providing integrated legal-health service to clients with complex needs, and enabling early intervention support for those at risk of encountering the criminal legal system.
- Health Justice Partnership with Bendigo Community Health Service:
Increasing safety and access to justice for women experiencing family violence
- Seniors Rights Victoria (Council on the Ageing)
Supporting people with dementia to plan and make informed choices about future financial, health or care arrangements, and document them in an appropriate legal format.
- Social Security Rights Victoria
Providing legal and financial counselling services for people experiencing difficulties with Centrelink and associated nonlegal matters.
- South-East Monash Legal Service - Sporting Change
Supporting young people from diverse backgrounds to engage constructively in their local communities and learn about the legal system; and increasing young people’s access to justice through integrated school lawyers at Hampton Park Secondary College and Dandenong High School.