Legal Aid WA has been given special project funding to establish two new programs of work in Western Australia. The project will run from November 2021 to June 2022 at this stage.
Strength to Strength
Strength to Strength is a new conferencing program at Legal Aid WA's Dispute Resolution Unit. The Strength to Strength model is designed to provide families who are experiencing disadvantage, with the best opportunity to engage in Family Dispute Resolution and work together towards safe outcomes.
To be eligible for the conferencing program, families need to have a current case in the Family Court of WA. The referrals to the program will mainly be from the Family Court of WA who will refer both parties to Legal Aid WA. Community support services and lawyers can also refer families who have current Family Court of WA court proceedings for screening and inclusion in the program. People who have current Family Court of WA proceedings can also contact Legal Aid WA directly to see if their case is suitable for the program.
The program is suitable for families who are experiencing disadvantage or who are vulnerable for a variety of reasons (for example, experiencing family violence, mental health issues, disability, drug or alcohol dependence, literacy issues, whose first language is not English).
The program involves the granting of aid for advice and attendance at a dispute resolution conference. The program can help with both children and property matters. In matters involving children Legal Aid WA may also make a social worker available to assist at the dispute resolution conference.
More information is available in the Flyer - Strength to Strength.
The Stronger Women program is a free legal service for disadvantaged women who live in regional WA with respect to Family Violence Restraining Order cases, protection and care cases and family law cases. The regional areas selected are Broome, Bunbury, Albany and Kalgoorlie. Commencing in early December 2021, Legal Aid WA will send three newly recruited duty lawyers to represent and advise clients at regional Family Violence Restraining Order listings and will take appointments for office advice sessions on a rotating basis in these regional centres.
Anyone requiring assistance can contact the local LAWA office in these areas to make appointments. More information, including how to connect to the program, is available in the fact sheet for the Stronger Women program.