As part of the Legal Aid Ontario Domestic Violence Strategy, Luke’s Place was contracted by LAO to develop and deliver knowledge and skill-building trainings enabling its staff to work more effectively with clients who have experienced intimate partner abuse.
We trained more than 900 frontline and administrative staff in 2015. Training of community clinic staff and LAO panel lawyers began in 2016. Our Legal Director, Pamela Cross, who leads the trainings, continues to tirelessly travel the province training LAO staff and lawyers.
By April 2017, she will have trained more than 2,000 people associated with Legal Aid Ontario.
The in-person professional development is complemented by online training, the content of which Luke’s Place also developed.
The LAO Domestic Violence Strategy was initiated in 2015, championed by LAO Policy Counsel, Michelle Squires. It led to a community consultation, a discussion paper and the training initiative, and has resulted in a number of changes to LAO policies, procedures and services, including:
- Legal Aid certificates for mediation
- Legal Aid certificates for criminal charges for victims of domestic violence acting in self-defence
- Increases to the financial eligibility for people experiencing domestic violence
- Increased flexibility in cases involving property when there is intimate partner abuse
Luke’s Place is proud to play a key role with this important province-wide initiative!