July newsletter: Mary was 18 when she fled her home due to family violence

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Hi *|FNAME|*,

Youthlaw has been busy during the COVID restrictions period. We have had an increase in calls from regional and outer urban Victoria and also a massive number of distressed calls from university and TAFE students with no job, no government subsidy and little money.

We have been advising on COVID fines and lobbying Victoria police to issue warnings and cautions where there are circumstances of family violence and problems at home. Most of our lawyers are working from home but still going to court when needed, and clinics will resume once restrictions have further eased.  

Youthlaw’s Family Violence Program is currently assisting an 18-year old, Mary, who was forced to leave home due to experiencing escalating family violence. She is couch-surfing and studying full-time. Mary was linked in with Youthlaw by her housing worker and we’re helping her stay safe by regular contact with our specialist family violence practitioner to conduct risk assessments and safety planning. Our lawyer is also assisting her with her legal options. 

Over many years at Youthlaw, and particularly during this COVID period, I’ve seen a positive shift in government services, police and in the community, caring about young people who aren’t doing well. As a society, we seem to be finally realising that they are not bad kids but rather kids who have been damaged or faced difficulties in childhood. Many are experiencing serious mental ill-health and are taking drugs to medicate themselves. We as a society expect them in this condition to make appointments, get referrals and pay for services. There are few services, long waiting lists and so many hurdles to getting well that it’s easier to sleep on the streets. We need to do better; and this is the ultimate aim of Youthlaw.


Ariel Couchman
We need your help

On very few funds, Youthlaw has a big impact to people like Mary. As a not-for-profit organisation, we rely on volunteers, grants and donations to provide much needed support to Victoria’s vulnerable youth.

With the EOFY year upon us, now is the opportune time to make a tax-deductible donation that will make a difference. Click on the button below to make your life-changing donation to support our programs.
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Legal Pod Program

Our Legal Pod Program in Melbourne has been taking on more clients and attracting more law firms to assist. This service is for young people who have left child protection care and now have to find their own way to independence. Our volunteer private lawyers provide assistance to each young person for up to 3 years, assisting with small to big issues such as organising identification, negotiating a lease and getting their care records.
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Child Protection Services

Our lawyers are also working closely with young people in residential child protection houses in the Ballarat region, who have a lot of trust issues and childhood trauma, and don’t have much support to tackle everyday issues. We will also be training staff in the houses so they are skilled in their duty of care to young people.
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