Nsw Legal Framework for Working with Diverse Clients

Legal Aid NSW`s Coronial Investigations Unit worked with the Law and Justice Foundation to produce a report examining how to improve corona services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in New South Wales. The report will identify the barriers that prevent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families from participating in the Corona system, and what culturally sensitive practices and strategies can overcome these challenges. The percentage of services provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has increased every year for the past five years. In 2019-2020, 18.3% of all case services were provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services, compared to 15.7% for combined case and inpatient services the previous year. The absence of visible signs of ill-treatment of clients does not mean that there was no physical torture. We have developed new resources to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to discuss common civil law issues they may face. We worked with the Wanaruah Local Aboriginal Land Council, the Hunter Community Legal Centre, the Cooperative Legal Services Delivery Program, and Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter County Councils interagency meetings to provide remittance channels for the service. For newcomer youth, overcoming barriers such as lack of social capital or lack of awareness of complex housing systems (Liddy, 2012) can compromise access to adequate housing in the long term and further increase stress for this group. Homelessness is widespread, with refugee youth „six to ten times more likely to become homeless than Australian-born youth” (Centre for Multicultural Youth, 2010). Young people living with their families may also struggle to find safe housing due to discrimination in the housing market, financial hardship, and family separation or breakdown (Refugee Council of Australia, 2013). LGBTI youth from CALD families are less likely to openly disclose their sexuality to their parents than adolescents from non-CALD families, and when they do, they are less likely to receive a supportive response (Hillier et al., 2010). In the 2014 Growing Up Queer report, which examines issues of young Australians who are gender-diverse and sexually diverse, 18% of 1,000 respondents reported experiencing conflict between their cultural background and their sexuality/gender identity (Robinson, Bansel, Denson, Ovenden, & Davies, 2014). In many cultures, identifying as „gay” is seen as a conflict with religious or cultural ideals.

Among youth surveyed by the Growing Up Queer project who practiced a religion or belief, 56% reported experiencing a conflict between their religion or belief and their sexuality or gender identity. Legal Aid NSW offered a range of targeted programmes that worked with clients from different communities, including: Although practitioners are trained to be open-minded and impartial, they cannot be expected to be free of emotions or express empathy in their communications with clients. Speaking informally and sincerely and expressing compassion and empathy towards clients can be especially helpful in building a relationship with youth. Through a sincere and thoughtful presentation, clients (and their families) are more likely to feel safe and trust practitioners with their life history. As an employer, you have access to a number of government programmes to help you employ people with disabilities: this year we coordinated training for Legal Aid NSW staff, private practitioners and key partners such as the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) to provide services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the state. This included in-person workshops and webinars. We held sessions on cultural safety in the workplace, parentage and trauma-informed practice, Indigenous cultural awareness training, and training on our new best practice standards for Indigenous client representation. Youth and their families may find employee inquiries regarding their family history and personal affairs disrespectful or culturally inappropriate.

The question component of an evaluation may be linked to an interview; considered authoritative; or discouraging young people or their families.