New training for legal staff to provide, culturally responsive and trauma-informed family violence legal help

Client facing staff in the legal sector can now access training to identify family violence safety risks when assisting First Nations women and women from migrant and refugee communities.

The new training (delivered online) promotes the safety of clients and their families by increasing lawyer understanding and awareness of the risk factors that can contribute to family violence.

Women’s Legal Service Victoria worked with Boorndawan Willam Aboriginal Healing Service and inTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence to develop the new modules for Victoria Legal Aid’s Client Safety Framework.

“This training is informed by our joined-up expertise responding to family violence and working with clients and communities”, Director of Education and Engagement Amy Schwebel said.

“We know that supporting women experiencing family violence is core business for the legal sector and this new training will assist lawyers to provide safe services.”

Culturally safe, trauma-informed

The new training helps learners to ask questions, listen out for and respond to disclosures of family violence or risks of family violence in a culturally responsive and trauma-informed way.

This includes understanding family violence risk factors, protective factors and cultural barriers specific to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Boorndawan Willam Aboriginal Healing Service Chief Executive Officer Elliejean Singh says learning from diverse knowledge, skillsets and expert views can increase the cultural safety and sensitivity for clients.

“Building the capacity of workforces to be more understanding and empathetic to the needs of those clients creates a much more productive and pleasant experience for both the staff and clients.”

The module on working with culturally and linguistically diverse clients looks at the systemic barriers, challenges and discrimination these clients may face.

It helps learners apply a culturally responsive and intersectional lens when working with migrant and refugee clients, to better understand the migration context and minimise further family violence safety risks.

Lead, Learning and Development at InTouch Divvya Sivarajah is confident the new materials will help to ensure that victim-survivors from migrant and refugee communities are listened to and supported appropriately.

“inTouch is in a unique position in terms of educating the sector because our workforce understands the importance and effectiveness of responding to family violence in a culturally tailored manner, resulting in safe and successful outcomes for clients and a more informed and efficient process in courts.’

Associate Director Family Violence Response at Victoria Legal Aid, Leanne Sinclair says the training will help to ensure staff understand how to assist First Nations and culturally and linguistically diverse clients in a culturally appropriate and responsive way.

“The e-learning framework helps us to promote the safety of clients and their families by increasing our understanding and awareness of the risk factors that can contribute to family violence.”

Access the training

The Client Safety Framework e-learning is available for private practitioners, community legal centre and Victoria Legal Aid staff through LawHub.

The complete framework of six modules attracts six continuing professional development points for lawyers.

Information for clients

Get legal information about family violence and separating from a partner.

Visit Our Services, to see if we can support you.

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