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Legal Aid NSW Domestic Violence Unit: process evaluation of the first nine months
2018The Legal Aid NSW DFV Strategy 2016-2018 aligns with government policies and priorities to ensure people who are affected by DFV receive high quality, client-centred and holistic services. The DVU of Legal Aid NSW began operation in January 2016. The Foundation was engaged by Legal Aid NSW to develop an evaluation framework for the DVU that would outline the planning, monitoring and evaluation activity relevant to the DVU.
The Domestic Violence Unit (DVU) of Legal Aid NSW began operation in January 2016. It was established in response to an identified need for a more integrated and intensive response to the complex legal and non-legal needs of people experiencing or at serious risk of domestic and/or family violence (DFV). The DVU includes both lawyers and dedicated social workers and provides free legal advice, assistance, advocacy, ongoing litigation casework and social work support to help people experiencing DFV to stay safe and rebuild their lives. The DVU operates duty lawyer services at four local courts, two legal advice clinics, a telephone/email/webcam legal advice line and social work support services, and provides grants of legal aid.
Working with other Legal Aid NSW and human services, the DVU aims to provide accessible services to people experiencing DFV, as well as appropriate and proportionate assistance to clients according to their level of legal and non-legal need, vulnerability and capability, including holistic services and case management as needed.
The Law and Justice Foundation of NSW was engaged by Legal Aid NSW to conduct a process evaluation of the DVU’s first nine months of operation, in order to examine its early implementation and inform any refinements to improve its operation. The findings suggest that the DVU is filling important service gaps.
Domestic and family violence help
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, visit Domestic Violence NSW or call the 24-hour NSW Domestic Violence Line on 1800 65 64 63. For the 24-hour Australia-wide Domestic Violence Line, call 1800 RESPECT.