Mildura health justice partnership – review finds increased access to legal services

Mildura health justice partnership – review finds increased access to legal services

Monday, 23 December 2019

In 2017, we established our first health justice partnership (HJP) with Sunraysia Community Health Services (SCHS) in Mildura, with a focus on offering integrated services in child protection and civil law matters. 

External consultants Clear Horizon conducted a mid-term evaluation of the service and found the HJP increased access to legal services, with legal services often provided in an integrated way that met clients’ often-complex and clustered needs. The mid-term evaluation also found that VLA successfully engaged in both formal and informal training activities to build the knowledge and confidence of health service staff to identify and respond to legal issues. VLA staff have importantly built credibility and strong relationships within SCHS and the broader community.

The evaluation highlighted that the service was assisting a high proportion of priority client groups. For example, analysis of service data for 2018 and 2019 revealed that 28 per cent of the HJP’s clients identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, 38 per cent reported having a disability and 12 per cent identified as culturally and linguistically diverse.

The mid-term evaluation also identified opportunities to clarify and strengthen the partnership with SCHS, to support more consistent integration and collaboration in service delivery. Mildura VLA and SCHS mutually developed and agreed a range of recommendations to strengthen the service, which includes further capacity building, clarifying roles and responsibilities, improving integration and engaging in joint advocacy. The HJP has commenced work on implementing these recommendations.

A final evaluation of the HJP will be delivered in 2021.  

Download the mid-term review

Read the Mid-term review of the Mildura Health Justice Partnership (pdf, 606.94 KB)

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