The Worker Advice Service plays a central role in Consumer Action’s theory of change. The service aims to provide practical legal advice to Victorian community workers so that they in turn can provide effective assistance to current and future clients. It also contributes to our systemic change work in a myriad of ways, including by connecting us with workers and clients with stories to tell and enabling them to contribute to campaigns.
The service is used mostly by financial counsellors, but also assists community lawyers, family violence workers, disability workers and many others.
Our latest evaluation helps us reflect on how we can improve, and ensure our services create impact for people experiencing vulnerability or disadvantage. The key evaluation findings are:
- The service is high-quality, and builds knowledge, skills and confidence in workers
- The service contributes to good client outcomes
- Workers make use of our online resources and know about our campaigns
- Our engagement and training work contributes to demand for the service.
The evaluation also demonstrates that demand for the service is high and growing and this can affect wait times.
We are sharing these findings with our funders to build the case for resourcing that better meets demand. It also finds that there is high demand for small business advice that we cannot provide. We are collaborating with partners to understand the nature and extend of unmet legal need among low-income small business owners in Victoria, and explore actions that we can take to help address that need.2021 Evaluation of Consumer Action Law Centre’s worker advice service