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SHARING THE MENU Using a Legal Health Check QAILS Webinar // May 1, 2014 SHARING THE MENU Using a Legal Health Check QAILS Webinar // May 1, 2014

Presented by…. Sue Garlick Senior Lawyer Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic QPILCH Presented by…. Sue Garlick Senior Lawyer Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic QPILCH

QPILCH Queensland Public Interest Law Clearing House Inc QPILCH is a not-for-profit, community-based legal QPILCH Queensland Public Interest Law Clearing House Inc QPILCH is a not-for-profit, community-based legal organisation that coordinates the provision of pro bono civil legal services for individuals and community groups We assess applications from the public, and refers eligible matters to law firms and barristers for pro bono legal assistance; AND Coordinate direct advice clinics: Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic program (HPLC, Refugee Civil Law Clinic, Mental Health Civil Law Clinic, Outreach Legal Clinic, Legal. Pod) Self Representation Service (State and Federal Courts, and QCAT) Mental Health Law Practice Administrative Law Clinic Partnerships with: law firms, barristers, university law schools, QLS, BAQ, LAQ, other key stakeholders and CLCs

Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic q Co- located with agencies such as Micah Projects, Roma Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic q Co- located with agencies such as Micah Projects, Roma House, 139 Club, New Farm Neighbourhood Centre q Brisbane (10 inner-city + 2 phone clinics to suburbs) Regional (Townsville, Cairns & Toowoomba) Mental Health Civil Law Clinics (Footprints and Open Minds) Refugee Civil Law Clinic q q 23 law firms, provide over 350 volunteer lawyers and $2. 6 m of pro bono services & support annually q Almost 100 new clients each month. q Coordinated by five Brisbane-based staff

HPLC: Co-located pro bono legal outreach HPLC: Co-located pro bono legal outreach

The context for HPLC to change… The context for HPLC to change…

Lawyers - a fancy, expensive restaurant with foreign menus and scary waiters? Lawyers - a fancy, expensive restaurant with foreign menus and scary waiters?

Vulnerability Work/Income Family Health Housing . . . all involve legal issue - e. Vulnerability Work/Income Family Health Housing . . . all involve legal issue - e. g. employment conditions, tenancy agreements, treatment orders, family law etc

…and trauma To lose 3 -4 of what keeps you balanced is trauma And …and trauma To lose 3 -4 of what keeps you balanced is trauma And if a compounding vulnerability exists… Cognitive impairment/mental illness/disability Substance abuse Domestic violence Poverty Institutionalised (child protection/prison/MHU) Child at the time = chronic or iterative homelessness is likely

…and self-help Depleted skills…navigating pain and change, organisation, communication, emotions Dislocated – from family//community// …and self-help Depleted skills…navigating pain and change, organisation, communication, emotions Dislocated – from family//community// past careers Destructive or chaotic coping mechanisms Systems fatigue = “apathy” People experiencing homelessness are: not recognised by many government administrative procedures; and over-represented in the criminal justice system; mostly left to advocate for themselves. It is our responsibility to create bridges to maximise choice

HPLC legal casework HPLC ‘top 4’ Debt & Fines Criminal Tenancy & Housing Family HPLC legal casework HPLC ‘top 4’ Debt & Fines Criminal Tenancy & Housing Family 13% 14% 16% Debt & Fines 36% Criminal Law Other Civil Family Law 21% Tenancy & Housing Other civil: guardianship & administration, mental health law (ITOs), criminal compensation, reviewing government decisions (eg Centrelink), employment, child protection, discrimination

Legal needs of vulnerable clients All vulnerable client groups have multiple, unrecognised and unaddressed Legal needs of vulnerable clients All vulnerable client groups have multiple, unrecognised and unaddressed legal needs: housing, debt, government decisions, employment, fines, criminal and family law Disadvantaged clients rarely approach lawyers for help with their legal needs, but do approach others, such as community workers and health staff Attaining and sustaining housing is a fundamental goal

The research… The research…

Senate Legal & Constitutional Affairs Committee Reports Legal Aid and Access to Justice Report Senate Legal & Constitutional Affairs Committee Reports Legal Aid and Access to Justice Report 2004 Very few people become homeless without some interaction with legal or bureaucratic institutions Factors preventing homeless people accessing the justice system, include: limited availability and inadequate resourcing of appropriately targeted and directed specialist legal services; limited legal aid; lack of awareness by homeless people that they have a legal problem or that they have “legal rights” which have been infringed; and individual barriers such as mental illness, language issues, expense or past negative experiences with legal system Access to Justice Report 2009 “…a holistic approach would most benefit those members of the community experiencing multi‑facetted and complex problems, and commends those legal assistance service providers who have adopted this client‑focussed approach”

No home, no justice? : The legal needs of homeless people in NSW Immediate No home, no justice? : The legal needs of homeless people in NSW Immediate needs prioritised over legal issues When homeless people finally do contact a legal service, if at all, the issue has reached crisis point The multiple, urgent and inter-related problems of homeless people, together with barriers they face in addressing these issues, have significant implications for the nature and type of legal service delivery that is appropriate Many homeless people turn to a non-legal services for help when they have a legal problem Caseworkers play a vital role in assisting homeless people to identify their legal issues, obtain legal assistance, engage in legal processes and manage their legal outcomes Non-legal service providers and caseworkers need access to timely legal information, legal advice and relevant legal “education” Barriers include: lack of awareness of legal rights, options for redress and which legal process to follow Forell S, Mc. Carron E & Schetzer L, ‘No home, no justice? The legal needs of homeless people in NSW’ (2005) Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Sydney

Justice made to measure: NSW legal needs survey in disadvantaged areas 2431 disadvantage participants Justice made to measure: NSW legal needs survey in disadvantaged areas 2431 disadvantage participants (not just homeless) 2/3 of participants reported legal need Substantial barriers to seek help Subjects sought help for legal issues only 50% of the time (balance was “ignore” or DIY) traditional legal advisors – 12% of that 50%; and non-legal help for legal issues – 75% of that 50% Perhaps the existing informal network of non-legal professionals used in response to legal issues could be harnessed and used as more formal gateway into available legal services. Tailored and proactive strategies to do this could include: tailored assistance services to meet specific needs; non-legal professionals acting as gateways; coordinated response from legal and non-legal services to people with multiple needs; and improved coordination between different legal services Coumarelos C, Wei Z & Zhou AH, ‘Justice made to measure: NSW legal needs survey in disadvantaged areas’ (2006) Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Sydney

Pathways to Justice: The role of nonlegal services Most people who have legal problems Pathways to Justice: The role of nonlegal services Most people who have legal problems do not go straight to a lawyer for help There needs to be more hand-holding…a central coordinator to gobetween resources to assist that person instead of just a referral Workers attending legal appointments with clients is beneficial to keep the client calm and to monitor comprehension levels It would be beneficial to equip non-legal workers to at least be able to appropriately refer clients who have legal problems to legal assistance services Building relationships between the legal and non-legal sectors, which recognise the key role of non-legal workers as a pathway to justice, has potential to improve the access to justice for socially and disadvantaged people, particularly those with complex needs, including sometimes overwhelming legal and non-legal problems Clarke S & Forell S, ‘Pathways to justice: the role of non-legal services’ (2007) Justice Issues Paper 1, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Sydney

Pascoe Pleasence (UK) Socially excluded people are most vulnerable to rights problems, perpetrating cycles Pascoe Pleasence (UK) Socially excluded people are most vulnerable to rights problems, perpetrating cycles of exclusion People do not face legal problem, but clusters of problems, so need access to seamless, integrated service [Bad spiral]: If you lack knowledge of your rights. . . do nothing. . . adverse consequence. . . less likely to meet objectives…more likely to be socially excluded AND if you do nothing you are far more likely to do nothing again (additive effects strategies) [Good spiral]: If you obtain legal advice…you are far more likely to do so again…if you obtain legal advice, other household members are far more likely to do so Adapted from a Power. Point presentation (2008) by Pascoe Pleasance at DLA Phillips Fox, Sydney

The Justice Gap: The Unmet Legal Needs of Low-income Utahns Many individuals are unaware The Justice Gap: The Unmet Legal Needs of Low-income Utahns Many individuals are unaware of what issues can be resolved through the legal system Only 13% of very poor households report receiving legal help with their civil legal problems, as: feared cost and hassle; didn’t know where to get help; thought nothing could be done; did not perceive they had a legal issue; and received unsatisfactory help previously Recommended that outreach to low-income individuals be increased to help them understand they have a legal problem and where to go for assistance; plus need specific plans for those who face additional barriers Utah Bar Journal blog (2007; accessed 9 October 2008)

So in 2009, we asked ourselves… How do we build a bridge between lived-disadvantage So in 2009, we asked ourselves… How do we build a bridge between lived-disadvantage and the services of a lawyer? How can vulnerable clients “choose” unless someone they trust shows them the “legal menu”?

We need to collaborate more to solve legal problems Don’t always identify all legal We need to collaborate more to solve legal problems Don’t always identify all legal need (just family law and criminal) Need training, resources and support to identify, prioritize and refer legal need Vulnerable clients Has multiple legal needs, but doesn’t know what/how/who to ask about them Will benefit from “diagnosis” of those needs Support workers Lawyers Choice = knowing what’s on the “menu” Benefit from a structured interviewing tool Need community workers to ask Qs at the best time, and refer/support client

Our answer = Legal Health Check Our answer = Legal Health Check

Legal Health Check = The Legal Health Check enables lawyers and community workers to Legal Health Check = The Legal Health Check enables lawyers and community workers to collaborate with each other and their mutual client to provide targeted, timely and appropriate legal assistance for all relevant legal needs. The right issues The right question At the right time By the right person The LHC is not a self-help tool.

Which legal issues in LHC? Representative: HPLC casework frequency Endemic: Legal issues entrenched in Which legal issues in LHC? Representative: HPLC casework frequency Endemic: Legal issues entrenched in homelessness experience Barriers: Biggest legal barriers to sustaining housing Solutions available Debts; Fines; Tenancy; Public Trustee/ITOs; Crime (practical help and active referrals); Family (practical help and active referrals); and Other

Showing the “menu” How can a disadvantaged client know what to ask for if Showing the “menu” How can a disadvantaged client know what to ask for if we don’t show them the menu? Legal Health Check Standard HPLC Client-centred – recognise inequality Assumes knowledge/choice inherent in disadvantage in client Comprehensive (clustered problems) Only presenting issues addressed Caseworkers part of legal process Lawyer is the ‘expert’ Collaborative with non-legal outcomes Legal service is siloed from other needs Context-specific model Standard legal model for all client groups

LHC pilot at Roma House, 2009 q q Pro bono lawyers attend Roma House LHC pilot at Roma House, 2009 q q Pro bono lawyers attend Roma House 2 hours/week and complete file work at their firm, with supervision from QPILCH 81% of Roma House residents attend the HPLC (the LHC embedded in intake processes for Roma House) HPLC lawyers from Herbert Smith Freehills, meeting with a client at Roma House in 2013 39 bed crisis accommodation with intensive casework Lawyers use LHC for every client 6 months observation and “tweaking’ the LHC (by me)

LHC Data: Roma House 2011/12 67 new clients with 204 legal matters, across 7 LHC Data: Roma House 2011/12 67 new clients with 204 legal matters, across 7 issue types Average of 3. 04 legal matters per client 58% of clients had a SPER issue identified. Compare with Café One (our busiest, standard-model HPLC) where 8% of clients had a SPER issue identified Roma House 2011/12 SPER Debt Housing Crime Guardianship Family Other 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Number of clients with issue of that type 35 40 45

LHC Data: Roma House 2012/13 37 new clients with 89 legal matters, across 7 LHC Data: Roma House 2012/13 37 new clients with 89 legal matters, across 7 issue types Average of 2. 4 legal matters per client 65% of clients had a SPER issue identified. Compare with Café One (our busiest standard-model HPLC) where 5. 4% of clients had a SPER issue identified Roma House 2012/13 SPER Debt Housing Crime Guardianship Family Other 0 5 10 15 20 Number of clients with issue of that type 25 30

New research confirming the LHC… New research confirming the LHC…

Legal Australia-Wide Survey Disadvantaged or socially excluded groups, such as those experiencing homelessness, are: Legal Australia-Wide Survey Disadvantaged or socially excluded groups, such as those experiencing homelessness, are: more vulnerable to having multiple legal problems; less likely to take action to resolve these problems; less capable of handling their problems alone; and grappling with non-legal needs; more likely to suffer a variety of adverse consequences that may further entrench their social exclusion Client-focussed or case-management services suggested: “a more systematic diagnosis of a client's full range of legal and non-legal needs at entry, followed by a case plan for addressing all of those needs through coordinated response across all services” (at 213) Coumarelos C, et al, ‘Legal Australia-Wide Survey: legal need in Australia’ (2012) Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Sydney

Home is where the heart of legal need is Homeless people: 85. 4% have Home is where the heart of legal need is Homeless people: 85. 4% have a legal problem each year; 50. 5% experience multiple – 3 or more – legal problems each year; compared to 22. 8% people in public housing & 15. 7% of people in other housing; & require a holistic or client-focussed approach, involving an integrated response from legal and broader community services, to fully address their problems Coumarelos C and People J, ‘Home is where the heart of legal need is’ (2013) Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Sydney

Pascoe Pleasence (UK) Inequality of experience, access and capacity Some key messages: joined up Pascoe Pleasence (UK) Inequality of experience, access and capacity Some key messages: joined up problems require joined up solutions; and legal services should mirror the behaviour and needs of consumers Law Week Presentation by Pasco Pleasance (2013) at the Banco Court, Brisbane

Training caseworkers with LHC ‘Legal Basics’ Training day framework: HPLC Legal Basics Training day Training caseworkers with LHC ‘Legal Basics’ Training day framework: HPLC Legal Basics Training day in March 2013 over 65 community workers from more than 25 homelessness organisations have received free training in March each year since 2010; topics echo Legal Health Check, including debt, tenancy & housing, child protection and mental health law; and presenters from Legal Aid Queensland, Tenants’ Union of Queensland, SPER, Commonwealth and Queensland Ombudsman and Welfare Rights Centre In-house training program for community agencies – identifying parallel processes Video and postcards

Caseworker resources Caseworker resources

LHC training video www. qpilch. org. au/lhc LHC training video www. qpilch. org. au/lhc

How does it work for lawyers? Lachlan Mitchell, HPLC Team Leader with Herbert Smith How does it work for lawyers? Lachlan Mitchell, HPLC Team Leader with Herbert Smith Freehills: “Most of our homeless clients have great difficulty identifying what their legal issues are. They typically associate a lawyer only with criminal or family law problems and are unaware of the assistance we can provide them with their other legal issues. The Legal Health Check has been an extremely useful tool in helping to identify those problems, such as housing issues and SPER fines, and helping to facilitate discussions with the client on the assistance that HPLC lawyers can provide. Often these issues are placing significant stress on the client and preventing them from obtaining secure long-term housing. It continues to amaze me how helping homeless people resolve some of these issues can really make a difference to their lives” Garlick S, ‘There’s no place like HPLC’ (July 2013) Proctor, Queensland Law Society, Brisbane

More lawyer feedback… Cassie Aprile, HPLC Team Leader with Herbert Smith Freehills: “In my More lawyer feedback… Cassie Aprile, HPLC Team Leader with Herbert Smith Freehills: “In my experience, the clients we see at the HPLCs are often very much in need of legal assistance but have significant difficulties articulating those needs. The Legal Health Check aims to remedy this by using a checklist of open-ended questions which highlight those areas in which we can assist. The client can then choose whether or not to instruct the lawyer in any of those areas. The Legal Health Check also serves as a useful tool for the lawyer. The lawyers from Herbert Smith Freehills who volunteer their time at the HPLC clinics are accustomed to practicing in the commercial sphere and aren’t readily familiar with the legal issues faced by homeless clients. The Legal Health Check can therefore act as a ‘prompt’ for the lawyer and allow for an interview with clear direction and structure” Garlick S, ‘There’s no place like HPLC’ (July 2013) Proctor, Queensland Law Society, Brisbane

Case study- Claire was seeking shelter at a crisis women’s hostel, where she met Case study- Claire was seeking shelter at a crisis women’s hostel, where she met with the HPLC and completed the LHC Through several follow-up appointments and on-going collaboration with Claire’s caseworkers, the HPLC: provided substantive advice in relation to the guardianship, administration and restrictive practices arrangements of Claire's adult son, including assisting with submissions to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal; negotiated an infringement notice waiver from a local council; and facilitated manageable arrangements for Claire’s SPER fines Claire is now residing in more secure accommodation, and was able to meet with her son for the first time in over 10 years

LHC at Bric Housing – A snapshot of legal needs. . . The HPLC LHC at Bric Housing – A snapshot of legal needs. . . The HPLC assisted 12 new clients during the pilot at Bric Housing, indentifying and addressing the following legal needs: Issue 2 Issue 3 Client 1 2 Issue 1 Debt Removal from Housing Dept list 3 Removal from Housing Dept list SPER fines 4 SPER fines Local council 5 TICA blacklisting SPER fines Accessing super 6 TICA blacklisting Family law SPER fines 7 8 SPER fines Debt Accessing super 9 10 11 12 SPER fines Tenancy Issue 4 Accessing super Debt Accessing super

Lawyers on using the LHC at Bric… Lachlan Mitchell, HPLC Team Leader with Herbert Lawyers on using the LHC at Bric… Lachlan Mitchell, HPLC Team Leader with Herbert Smith Freehills: “While often clients will attend the clinic with a legal issue in mind, the Legal Health Check is a great way to ensure that the client is aware of the full breadth of advice we can offer” Garlick S, ‘There’s no place like HPLC’ (July 2013) Proctor, Queensland Law Society, Brisbane (distributed)

More applications of LHC Other HPLC locations and events in Queensland Flood advice (LAQ More applications of LHC Other HPLC locations and events in Queensland Flood advice (LAQ collaboration) CLCs in NSW/Victoria/NT Legal POD – legal support for young people transitioning from care Other demographics of disadvantage (new Nundah Phone Legal Clinic)

Legal. Pod postcard Legal. Pod postcard

Limitations/challenges of LHC Only where accessible referral options once LHC completed What is client’s Limitations/challenges of LHC Only where accessible referral options once LHC completed What is client’s priority (legal and non-legal) and story: caseworker drives process Under-resourced, stressed caseworkers with “another form”: embed in their existing processes (e. g. 139 Club) Can’t “set and forget”: maintain training and dialogue with agency

Contact us QPILCH: www. qpilch. org. au Ph: (07) 3846 6317 Fax: (07) 3846 Contact us QPILCH: www. qpilch. org. au Ph: (07) 3846 6317 Fax: (07) 3846 6311 PO Box 3631, South Brisbane BC QLD 4101 HPLC Senior Lawyer: Sue Garlick Email: [email protected] org. au The client stories and photos used in this presentation are real, and we thank HPLC staff, volunteers and clients for their willingness to have their photos published. The stories are in no way connected to the photos, and do not relate to any person depicted. Many of the images used in this presentation were created by Roma House residents who participated in the HPLC poster project in 2011.

Questions? Questions?