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Law Week events showcase ‘One Ruah’

Law Week 2022 offered Ruah Legal Services and the Mental Health Law Centre the opportunity to showcase ‘One Ruah’. We were pleased to host a series of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) events at the WA Museum Boola Bardip for the Perth legal profession.

Our three in-person seminars sold out quickly, however we were able to offer a Livestream platform, so welcomed over 100 people on the day. Our CPD events crossed the spectrum of our integrated service model, offering family and domestic violence legal support, child protection services, and criminal and mental health law.

Our panel discussion “Trauma Informed Lawyering” featured Katia Nadalin A/Managing Registrar at Perth Magistrates Court, Family and Domestic Violence Lawyer, Sophie Taylor and  Projects Officer Renae Duncan. The session offered us the perfect platform to officially launch of new Family and Domestic Violence Service. This specialised services team comprises three family and domestic violence lawyers, teamed up with support workers from our Family Services team.

The team works with clients who have experienced family and domestic violence, providing legal advice and representation as well as the psychosocial support they need throughout the process.

The integration of our services allows us to deliver a seamless, multidisciplined approach to women and their families offering legal advice, Family Violence Restraining Order assistance, and court representation, whilst also supporting them through their trauma recovery and assisting them to rebuild safe, healthy lives.

Session two for the day was titled “Attachment Theory in Child Protection Proceedings“. Prior to Social Worker and Child Welfare expert Dr Celine Harrison’s presentation on “Attachment Theory Meets Child Protection Decision Making. Messages from the Literature“, we presented a brief overview of some of the evaluation data from our Care and Protection service model..

Ruah Legal Services Care and Protection service model was launched at last year’s Law Week. The Care and Protection service model is the first of its kind in WA – combining a lawyer and a case worker to intensively support clients through Care and Protection proceedings, particularly parents experiencing a mental health illness.

Our interim evaluation has revealed that 95% of clients felt that having access to both legal and social supports from one organisation had been valuable, with 86% reporting that as a result of the service they felt more hopeful for the future. You can read the full interim evaluation snapshot here.

Session three was a lively, engaging panel discussion titled: “Insanity Defence: Tips, Tricks and Pitfalls” featuring Her Honour District Court Judge Mara Barone, Senior Counsel Sam Van Dongen, and Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist Dr Mark Hall. the discussion offered insight from some of the most prestigious members of the legal profession on how to present a solid defence of Insanity when an offender is of unsound mind at the time of committing a criminal offence.

Thanks to all those who joined us on the day either in person or online. We look forward to seeing you all again next year.