Caxton Legal Service has built on its successful relationship with a health services provider to create a service for vulnerable multicultural clients.
The Brisbane centre’s health justice partnership with World Wellness Group (WWG) has led to the Multicultural Advocacy and Legal Service (MALS), designed specifically for people from multicultural backgrounds whose mental health is impacted by legal challenges.
The free and confidential service, which launched in June, embeds lawyer Ada Sculthorp at WWG at Stones Corner. There, Ada help clients in a variety of legal areas, including family and domestic violence, employment, human rights, discrimination, and consumer and credit law.
Ada said Caxton had already seen the benefits of partnering with WWG in establishing the Older Persons Advocacy and Legal Service.
“World Wellness Group is the largest provider of primary health services to multicultural communities in Queensland,” she said.
“As such, referrals can be received directly from WWG primary health service providers and also from the Greater Brisbane Region, and clients who are not patients of WWG can also be referred into WWG for mental health or other primary health services with consent and where appropriate, allowing for a holistic legal and health response.”
World Wellness Group staff confer at the Stones Corner clinic.
Ada works directly with WWG Multicultural Advocate Lina Zarta.
“The Multicultural Advocate can provide culturally appropriate advocacy, support and navigation to ensure that clients are connected to health, psycho-social, and legal supports,” Ada said.
“Central principles that underpin our health justice partnership are human-rights-based approaches, (and) culturally appropriate, strengths-based and trauma-informed practice to ensure access to justice for the clients of our service.”
This included providing outreach services to clients unable to attend the clinic in person, as well as working with interpreters and WWG Multicultural Peer Support Workers where necessary to ensure clients understood their rights and options in their own language or in a culturally appropriate way, she said.
“MALS also works with staff of WWG to build their capacity around identifying and responding to legal issues as they arise, and provide secondary consults to provide legal information to WWG staff enabling them to support or refer their patients appropriately,” Ada said.
“MALS is also able to refer into Caxton’s existing services where we are able to, including our pro bono partners and pathways.”
For information on MALS, visit the Caxton site.