Settlement Workers Guide to Helping Clients with Legal Information and Legal Referrals

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Settlement workers and others working with immigrants are often the first point of contact for people who may not know that the law can help with their problem. Providing legal information and referrals at this early stage can help clients learn about the law, the legal system and where they can go for more help.

This ‘how to’ guide is for settlement workers and others working with immigrants in BC. It provides basic information to help you:

  • understand the difference between legal information and legal advice,
  • identify when your client may have a legal issue,
  • find legal information,
  • find legal help, and
  • make effective referrals.

There are three ways to access the information in this guide. You can read online, print the information or watch the videos. Suggested uses include orientation for new staff or viewing a video in a staff meeting to start discussion. Videos can be viewed all at once or one at a time.

This guide was developed through the collaborative efforts of the Immigrant PLEI Consortium (IPC) and the following agencies: Courthouse Libraries BC, Justice Education Society, Legal Services Society (LSS), Options Community Services, and People’s Law School. The partners would like to acknowledge work done by others that informed this project:

  • University of New South Wales, Faculty of Law “getting off the referral roundabout - effective legal referral 2006 workbook”
  • UBC, Our Place and the Vancouver Foundation, “Legal Services Resource Guide,” January 2014
  • LSS “Community Partners Orientation Manual,” September 2013

A term under the Family Law Act that describes the visitation rights of a person who is not a guardian with a child. Contact may be provided by court order or by an agreement among the child's guardians with parental responsibility for making decisions about contact. See "guardian" and "parental responsibilities."

A resolution of one or more issues in a court proceeding or legal dispute with the agreement of the parties to the proceeding or dispute, usually recorded in a written agreement or in an order that all parties agree the court should make. A court proceeding can be settled at any time before the conclusion of trial. See "action," "consent order," "family law agreements" and "offer."

Under the Divorce Act, the schedule of a parent's time with their children under an order or agreement. Access usually refers to the schedule of the parent with the least amount of time with the child. See "custody."

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