The Children’s Matters forum organised by the State Child Support Working Group was held on Thursday 18th July, 2013 with over 55 community workers attending and BCLS lawyer, Geordie Konieczka, facilitating.

2The forum consisted of a series of information sessions conveyed via a mix of presentations, case studies and quizzes on the key legal issues that affect children in the community and was designed to further equip and empower community workers to assist their clients.

Josick Duhau from the Department of Human Services opened the forum with a presentation on applying for child support. Next, lawyer Nita Nagendran, from the Springvale Monash Legal Service and Joyce Nallathamby from the Springvale Community Aid and Advice Bureau presented on the common issues that arise with child support clients and where to seek assistance. BCLS’ Geordie Konieczka then provided an overview of Family Law as it relates to children and the processes around applying for Family Violence Intervention Orders. Finally, Sue Walden from the Chadstone and Traralgon Family Relationship Centre spoke about their mediation service for parents and how the organisation interacts with community workers and their clients.

Overall the feedback indicated that attendees found the forum very useful and well organised and were especially interested in how the different services overlapped and interacted.