Health-Justice Partnerships recognise that many legal conflicts manifest as health issues and that by working together, health and legal service providers stand a better chance of helping clients address their health, social and legal issues.
The partnership between Loddon Campaspe CLC and Bendigo Community Health Services (BCHS) embeds a Lawyer at the health service’s Kangaroo Flat site three days a week to provide legal advice and casework to vulnerable and disadvantaged clients. The relationship between the lawyer and the health workers continues to prosper.
In addition, the lawyer provides professional development to health service staff and gives and receives secondary consultations from health workers that result in direct client referrals.
Through our collaborative work with clients, health workers have built trust and confidence in the lawyer.
There has been a range of client legal issues identified through the Health-Justice Partnership, which include family law child contact matters, infringements, criminal, family violence, child protection and consumer issues.
Our Health Justice partnership was originally formed following our development of the “Advocacy-Health Alliances – Better Health Through Medical-Legal Partnership” report. This report was developed through a grant from the Clayton Utz Foundation.
We have been evaluating the project since it began in 2013 and the results thus far indicate positive impacts for clients.
For more information on Health-Justice Partnerships across Australia, see Health Justice Australia website.
‘I was heading to a very dark place … without that help I may have been dead by now … I’ve been in services for a long time and this one is remarkable … Stress has been reduced 100%. My life was out of control … Now I feel more in control … I feel as if I have hope … I feel as though I have been empowered.’
– Health-Justice Partnership client
‘… the HJP Lawyer, in using their legal lens, builds upon the BCHS worker’s practice, which results in a more wholesome practice.’ – Bendigo Community Health Services Professional
During the 2015-16 financial year, Loddon Campaspe CLC’s Health-Justice Partnership delivered the following services:
To download our program brochure, click HERE.