Helping community workers become legal issue spotters - Barwon Community Legal Service

Helping community workers become legal issue spotters

On Thursday 22 February 2018, twenty community workers from organisations ranging from Colac to Corio came to BCLS for our training session ‘Law for Community Workers: Identifying Legal Issues & Finding Legal Help For Your Clients.’ The group was diverse and included Health and Disability Workers, Counsellors and Social Workers and staff from Retirement Villages. Two of our lawyers, Sam Hawkins and Shane Foyster, discussed common legal problems, places to go to for help, how to have conversations with clients about debts, fines, loans, Centrelink or other legal issues, and case studies and examples. We even played a very informative version of Legal Lingo Bingo!

Following the session, participants were asked to complete a questionnaire rating the common issues that they see their clients facing. Those legal issues identified as the most prevalent in the worker’s clients included family violence or violent crime, family issues such as child support, paternity and separation, interacting with the police and ageing related problems such as guardianship, wills or medical treatment.

The session is part of BCLS’s training for community professionals and was very well received with many participants requesting another session in the future.

BCLS have scheduled the next ‘Law for Community Workers’ session, focusing on Family Violence and financial abuse, for 10:00am – 12:00pm on 31 October 2018 at the BCLS Office in Belmont.


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