Research + Projects

Pre-court support for AVITH pilot

The CIJ was thrilled to kick off its partnership and co-location with Youthlaw with a two-year collaborative project funded by the Victorian Legal Services Board. Building on the findings of the PIPA Project, this project will enable us to explore and test early family violence legal and non-legal support options for young people who use or experience violence.

The project is based on the premise that giving young people earlier specialised support from a lawyer and youth worker will provide a more positive and participatory experience of court, as well as improving safety and personal outcomes. Youthlaw will deliver the project through an additional lawyer and social worker to provide earlier, multidisciplinary pre-court legal support, while he CIJ will conduct the research and evaluation component of the project. This will explore young people’s experiences and promote the need for them to feel heard and contribute to project design solutions.

Project design and referral pathways to early, pre-court supports are being developed in close and collaborative consultation with critical stakeholders, including the Melbourne Registry of the Children’s Court of Victoria, Victoria Police, Victoria Legal Aid and Family Safety Victoria, with project delivery and research to run from early 2021 to mid 2022.

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Key People

Elena Campbell

Elena Campbell

Associate Director of Research, Advocacy & Policy

Elena is a lawyer, speechwriter and former political staffer who has worked in legal and social policy for over 20 years. Elena’s expertise includes therapeutic justice, women’s decarceration, equal opportunity and human rights, as well as the prevention and elimination of violence against women and children.

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Riley Ellard

Riley Ellard

Manager, Service Design, Evaluation & System Reform

Riley has worked in social policy across a range of sectors including disability, child protection, mental health and family violence.

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