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Work and Development Permit – Law App

Our App helps people to understand and participate in the Work and Development Permit (WDP) scheme, which aims to help people ‘work off’ their unpaid fines by participating in therapeutic and pro-social programs. The interactive web application was produced through PCLC’s participation in the Melbourne Law School Neota Logic ‘Law Apps’ program.

Work and Development Permit (WDP) Scheme

PCLC has received funding from the Victorian Legal Services Board to integrate the Work and Development Permit (WDP) Scheme across Melbourne’s Southern region.

The Work and Development Permit (WDP) Scheme allows eligible people to ‘work off’ their unpaid fines by engaging with a range of health, educational and other pro-social activities. A health practitioner or an organisation can become an accredited ‘sponsor’ in the WDP Scheme and provide access to it for the people connected to their services. A sponsor can provide treatment, courses or other activities so that the time a client spends engaged in a sponsor’s service counts towards clearing this debt. Sponsor applications are made through Fines Victoria.

Our WDP Project team work proactively with health and community services providers across multiple sectors to provide assistance in understanding how the initiative can be adapted in their organisations. Through this collaborative work, PCLC has established a number of health-justice relationships with agencies who support vulnerable community members. These relationships build the capacity of these organisations to identify and respond to the legal issues experienced by people connected to their services and to work effectively with our legal practitioners.

Contact the WDP Project Team at PCLC on 9783 3600 or pclc@pclc.org.au if you are interested in knowing more about the WDP scheme.

PCLC Young Renters’ App

PCLC recently worked with law students from the University of Melbourne to develop our new Young Renters’ App. The App provides legal and practical information aimed at increasing young people’s knowledge and skills to access and maintain private accommodation.

Due to a severe lacking of affordable housing, a large number of people face significant barriers to entering the private rental market. Young people often face prejudice and negative perceptions that they are high-risk tenants, and often lack knowledge about their rights and the skills to find, apply for and maintain tenure of private rental properties.

The App contains a short test and users will receive a certificate of completion which they can show to real estate agents when applying for private rentals to support their application.

Family Violence/Family Law Educational resources

Given the level of family breakdown in Australia, it is not surprising that the most common legal problem for our clients is family law, with more than half reporting family violence. This is consistent with the fact that our catchment area includes several postcodes that are rated in the top ten for levels of family violence in Victoria.

New research has revealed that people experiencing family violence, the majority of whom are women, face a massive 20 legal problems on average, including 16 legal problems other than family violence victimization.

In response to the scale of the problem, PCLC has with the support of a grant from Victoria Law Foundation produced educational resources that help clients and family violence workers and allied professionals navigate the family law and family violence legal systems.

These materials raise awareness of common legal problems that people experiencing family violence often have; they also debunk common myths and give relatable examples through client stories and a client journey map.

The laws about family violence and families are complicated. The call to action with these materials is for those affected to get legal advice early in order to better understand their legal options.

The resources are being shared widely with our partner agencies working in the family violence sector to raise awareness of the family law and other legal issues that often accompany family violence and to encourage referrals to PCLC and other legal service providers where this is the case.

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