Author(s): Elizabeth Curran
The report has been commissioned by Consumer Action Law Centre and the Footscray Community Legal Centre and launched at a National Conference and the Ruby Hutchison Lecture on Thursday 14 March 2013. The ACCC and CHOICE jointly host the Ruby Hutchison Memorial Lecture each year. Ruby Hutchison was the founder of the Australian Consumers' Association which is now known as CHOICE.
Dr Curran's report which was written with the assistance of the staff of Consumer Action Law Centre and the Footscray Community Legal Centre illustrates the importance of going beyond an individual approach to casework to benefit individuals, groups and the broader community. It argues that a strategic approach to problem solving can better ensure that a service is effective, efficient and targeted, with a broader and long lasting impact or as government says - a “successful outcome”. It also proposes that community legal centres should be given more support to encourage and foster an environment where strategic thought and planning about service mix approaches are used to make the service more outcome-focused. This would lead to service being more effective and mindful of what interventions are needed to achieve the best outcomes rather than merely providing case work, information and referral in isolation from a broader strategy that improves clients’ lives.