WELS – Women Engaging and Living Safely
Eastern Health and Eastern Community Legal Centre have collaborated to develop WELS (Women Engaging and Living Safely).
WELS is a two-year pilot program designed to respond to the needs of women attending Eastern Health for maternity services.
WELS will play a key role relating to family violence and child safety. It will provide opportunities for women who are experiencing, or are at risk of experiencing family violence to seek free, confidential legal advice. By providing an integrated specialised family violence legal response at a critical time in a woman’s experience, WELS aims to offer an early intervention to limit or prevent further harm to both new mothers and their children.
From an ‘early intervention’ approach the WELS’ lawyer will be able to provide women with legal information about:
- their options available in seeking safety from family violence
- the impacts of separation on parenting and property
- the details around birth registration
- the pathways for ongoing legal assistance.
Whilst they are distinct, WELS and Mabels work closely together with similar principles and objectives as well as strong cross-referral processes.