Guide to help residents navigate legal system

VALID deputy CEO David Petherick, Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centreʼs Robert Southgate, FIN Victoria secretary Denise Smith and president Melissa Dawson, alongside Steps to Speaking Up project coordinator Kate Fitt who marked the launch of the newly available legal resource.

Steps to Speaking Up, a new easy to understand legal resource, was launched in Maryborough last week as part of Law Week and seeks to make understanding parts of the legal system easier.

The new resource, launched in partnership with VALID and FIN Victoria, provides an accessible guide for parents with an intellectual disability information about child protection services in Victoria.

Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre’s Robert Southgate welcomed the new resource and said it will enable members of the community to better understand the legal system and their rights.

“For parents, child protection services are often confusing,” he said.

“When you’re talking about preservation orders, reunification orders and care by secretary orders that’s all very legalistic language. It really does need to be brought back to a point where the parent understands how they maintain their rights and responsibilities in respect of their children, which this resource does.”

Mr Southgate said there wasn’t a resource that was “plain language” until Steps to Speaking Up was launched and that it will enable a broader reach into the community to aid people who may need some assistance.

“I think the resource is a good thing not only for people who may have an intellectual disability, but also for any parent who might be finding this a particularly challenging process,” he said.

For more on this story see Page 3 of The Advertiser, Tuesday, May 21

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