New opportunity for CLCs to provide advice and representation for clients at Family Dispute Resolution Service

New opportunity for CLCs to provide advice and representation for clients at Family Dispute Resolution Service

Friday, 26 March 2021

We are inviting expressions of interest from community legal centres (CLCs) interested in providing advice and representation to clients at our Family Dispute Resolution Service (FDRS).

FDRS helps people resolve family law disputes through a lawyer-assisted model of family dispute resolution. We help with a range of disputes, including parenting issues, division of property, spousal maintenance, adult child maintenance and international child abduction cases.

Since 2009, we have engaged the Family Law Legal Service to provide discrete services to a limited number of FDRS clients who require legal advice and representation. These clients are parties to a dispute but are ineligible for aid or unable to access legal assistance. They have been invited to participate in family dispute resolution at FDRS in circumstances where an existing party has a grant of legal aid (a parent, or other adult, including an Independent Children’s Lawyer). When we determine that it would be inappropriate to conduct a conference without the other party having legal representation, FDRS has been referring clients (up to an agreed number) to the Family Law Legal Service for the delivery of conference advice and representation.

The Family Law Legal Service is soon closing. FDRS is seeking a new provider or providers to deliver services to FDRS from 1 July 2021.

Call for expressions of interest from CLCs

To maintain the current level of service delivery and to ensure access to FDRS for families (where at least one person has an existing grant of aid) we are seeking expressions of interest from CLCs to deliver advice and legal representation at VLA FDRS conferences from 1 July 2021 until 30 June 2023.

The new CLC will be required to provide services consistent with expectations of family lawyers representing clients in family dispute resolution and adhere to the Guidelines for Lawyers Representing Clients at VLA’s Family Dispute Resolution Service.

Applications will be assessed by an evaluation panel which will be made up of representatives from VLA and an external stakeholder (a current FDRS chairperson).  

The successful CLC will enter a service agreement with VLA to deliver advice and representation to clients in conferences at the VLA FDRS for a period of two years from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2023.

Attend our briefing session

We are holding an online briefing session on the procurement process with Kris Wozniak, Procurements Lead at Victoria Legal Aid and Freia Carlton, Manager of FDRS. 

When: 10am (Melbourne time), Thursday 1 April 2021

Attendance is recommended but not mandatory. Contact Freia Carlton, Manager of FDRS at freia.carlton@vla.vic.gov.au for access.

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