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Legal assistance projects

The Queensland Government works with the legal assistance sector (the sector) to achieve positive outcomes for vulnerable and disadvantaged Queenslanders.

Each year we invest in legal assistance projects that work to improve the efficiency or effectiveness of all or part of the service system on the front line. The projects produce a predetermined product or outcome, have no ongoing cost (to government) and ideally involve collaboration with the broader sector.

Current projects (2020–21)

Legal assistance forum project funding—grants process

Under the National Legal Assistance Partnership 2020-25 (the NLAP), all state, territory and Commonwealth governments are undertaking collaborative service planning with the legal assistance sector (the sector) to coordinate and maximise reach of services and to ensure that services are directed where they are most needed.

Queensland is recognised by the sector as a national leader in collaborative service planning. As a critical step in driving continuous improvement and fulfilling the State’s obligations under the NLAP, the Queensland Government has set aside $150,000 of project funding in 2020-21 to be directed towards collaborative service planning initiatives.

This funding will be allocated through a discrete grants process. The purpose of the grant is to provide each of the regional legal assistance forums (RLAFs) and specialist legal assistance forums (LAFs) with the opportunity to:

  • develop collaborative partnerships to deliver holistic services which address a range of legal and other social needs; and
  • undertake sector and regional building activities which better coordinate existing services to maximise efficiency and effectiveness and minimise system and service gaps.

Eligibility

To apply for grant funding, you must be one of Queensland’s RLAFs or specialist LAFs. If you are unsure about your eligibility, please contact LASF at LASF@justice.qld.gov.au.

Grant amount

The funding available for this process would potentially provide individual grants of up to $10,000 (GST exclusive) for all RLAFs and specialist LAFs to undertake sector and regional building activities.

Timeframes

The grants process will consist of two application periods. LAFs are provided with the opportunity to apply in the May or November application period.

For the May application period, applications must be submitted to LASF@justice.qld.gov.au by 5.00pm AEST on 28 May 2021.

Details about the November application period will be released later in the year.

Contact LASF@justice.qld.gov.au to find out more about the grants process.

2018–19 and 2019–20 projects

Digital solutions

We are investing funding to help Community Legal Centres (CLCs) improve their information technology capabilities.

Basic software and hardware upgrades—grants process

In April 2019, we made $370,000 of project funding available to community organisations funded under the legal assistance services program (LASP) to help the sector pursue more advanced digital solutions. It was allocated through a discrete grants process for basic digital hardware and software upgrades.

We allocated $262,399 to help community organisations improve their day-to-day capabilities and work toward upgrading their current technology.

Digital Strategy

To help guide where future investment should be made, $113,000 of 2018–19 project funding was allocated to Community Legal Centres Queensland (CLCQ) to develop a sector-wide digital strategy.

Following sector-wide consultation, CLCQ released a Digital Strategy Paper in February 2020. It provides insight into how investment needs to increase digital capability and infrastructure, as well as targeting the needs of CLCs and their communities.

Find out more about the Building Digital Capacity for the Queensland CLC Sector – Digital Strategy Paper.

Research and evaluation

Research and evaluation are important parts of the work of CLCs.

On 17 September 2020, the Department of Justice and Attorney-General announced the successful applicants for $300,000 of project funding to help CLCs undertake research and evaluation.

The 5 successful proposals presented projects with a research or evaluation focus that will inform culturally appropriate planning, education, and service delivery across the sector.

We allocated the 2018–19 project funding as follows:

  • $64,046 to Central Queensland Community Legal Centre to research the digital inclusion for clients of CLCs, as determined by attitudes, access, affordability and ability to engage with information and communication technology.

    This research will inform how the sector can improve services to clients in regional rural and remote Central Queensland.

  • $30,000 to HUB Community Legal to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of the Health Justice Partnership (HJP) between the HUB and Southern Queensland Centre of Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Care (CoE).

  • $33,776 to LawRight to undertake a 12-month pilot within a HJP with the Mater Young Adult Health Centre. The pilot is to assess the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of an integrated, interdisciplinary health and law wrap-around intervention for assessing and treating health, social and legal needs of adolescents and young adults with chronic illness.

  • $80,472 to Women's Legal Service Queensland in partnership with North Queensland Women's Legal Service to research the treatment of coercive control in domestic and family violence matters, including women being misidentified as aggressors. This will help CLCs to better understand and respond to matters involving coercive control.

  • $67,221 to YFS to undertake an action research task on the recently developed community legal education (CLE) analysis and toolkit to trial, refine and improve its use in CLE with First Nations people in Logan.

2016–17 and 2017–18 projects

In March 2017, the Queensland Legal Assistance Forum (QLAF) endorsed a sector work plan (QLAF work plan) of 6 projects considered to have the greatest impact for statewide collaborative service planning.

Over 2016–17 and 2017–18 we allocated:

  • $300,000 to LawRight for its Legal Health Check to be tailored for Indigenous Australians. LawYarn is a targeted resource for health practitioners to use when assessing the 'legal health' of their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients.

  • $55,000 to CLCQ to deliver training opportunities based on need and coordinate mini regional conferences for the legal assistance sector.

  • $200,000 to CLCQ to pilot a regionalised collaborative service planning process in 3 regions of Queensland to identify:

    • services provided locally
    • service gaps
    • opportunities to draw in specialist, state-wide services.
  • $18,750 to LawRight to develop a best practice 'how to' guide for delivering outreach services.

  • $150,000 to Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia (ADAA) to develop and provide resources and training for stakeholders that encourage:

    • collaborative service delivery
    • information sharing
    • referral pathways between the criminal justice system, Queensland Health and advocacy and support services.
  • $120,000 to CLCQ to undertake a 12-month project that delivered:

    • a strategic planning toolkit for community legal centres
    • 2 workshops/webinars and appropriate resources to support eligible organisations that applied for Queensland and Commonwealth funding over 2017–20
    • report on identified cost-saving opportunities within the sector.
  • $75,000 to CLCQ to enable Queensland's community legal service providers to better evaluate and understand the outcomes of their work in the community by developing a self-evaluation toolkit.