SAP103 Introduction To Welfare Law And Management

Case study A.

Billie is 16 years old and 3 months pregnant. Billie visits her local maternal health service for a check up by her maternal health nurse Jane. The maternal health service is an integrated service. A community lawyer works on site at the service to assist expectant mothers with legal issues related to family violence. Also working at the service is a human services worker who is trained as a family violence advocate. The family violence advocate provides expectant mothers with information about family violence and helps them with safety planning and referral to other family violence support services. Billie fills in the family violence-screening questionnaire that Jane gives her to complete in the waiting room. During the appointment, Billie discloses that she is experiencing family violence at home where she lives with her parents and that she feels unsafe.

Q 1. What is an integrated service, and why integrate health, legal and human service provision?

Q 2. Describe three ways in which Billie could benefit from using the integrated maternal health service described above?

Q 3. Compare and contrast the different roles taken by the maternal health nurse, the community lawyer and the family violence advocate when working together to assist a client like Billie?

Case study B.

Jack lived in a public housing property for 5 years. In July 2020, he reported being a victim of family violence to the police. They advised him to vacate the property immediately due to concerns about his safety. After Jack vacated the property, his violent ex-partner Ben damaged the front door and window. The police were called to the property at the time and an incident report was prepared. The police interviewed the ex-partner. Jack’s record with the public housing office shows that Jack was under physical threat from his ex-partner in the months leading up to him leaving the property. Jack is now living in temporary accommodation at an undisclosed location. In August 2020, a housing officer from a state government department of public housing was working on Jack’s file and recorded that the property had been vacated. A home visit by the housing officer confirmed that the property was abandoned and that the front window and door were damaged. One week later the department of public housing generated a maintenance claim against Jack and he was sent a notice to pay the cost of repairing the window and door to the value of $3,000. The housing officer’s case file for Jack shows that no attempt was made to contact Jack to discuss the circumstances surrounding the repairs. This is despite Jack keeping the public housing department up-to-date regarding his whereabouts. Jack maintained the same mobile phone number as when he was residing at the property. There was no evidence on file that the housing officer considered Jack’s circumstances as a victim of family violence. There is a note on file: “Jack is in a same-sex relationship. He must be lying about experiencing domestic violence – only women can experience this kind of violence in the home”. The public housing department policy in relation to maintenance claims states that: “Special circumstances such as the mental or physical health of the tenant, indications of family violence, or evidence of third party criminal damage must be taken into account when assessing a maintenance claim. These circumstances can reduce the claim or defeat the claim. Housing officers are expected to engage with the tenant directly before determining any liability for damage to the property.” Jack’s file with the department of public housing is marked “debt owed and property damaged by the client”. Jack’s recent application for new public housing has been rejected by a housing officer based on this mark. The housing officer has advised Jack that he can apply to have this decision reviewed by the department.

4.Identify two principles of administrative law that must be followed by the housing officer when processing Jack’s maintenance claim, and explain why the housing officer failed to apply these two principles in decision-making?


5.What type of review has Jack requested?

Case study C

Billie (from Question 1) is 16 years old and she has been having trouble at school. After School Billie attends a netball match organized by Jeremy who is a human service trained student support worker employed by the school. After the match Billie tells Jeremy that she is in trouble at school and she wants to change schools because she is frightened of her teacher. Billie also tells Jeremy that she has been hanging out at the local shopping mall during the day to avoid going to class. Billie gives Jeremy a piece of paper with her home address and phone number written down, along with the teacher’s name. Billie’s father visits Jeremy at his school office on Monday morning. He knows that Billie has been skipping school because the school notified him that Billie was not attending class. Billie’s father is becoming increasingly worried about his daughter’s welfare because of her erratic behavior and outbursts of anger at home. He threatens to report Jeremy to his boss – the school principal, if Jeremy doesn’t tell him what has been going on with Billie.

Q 6. Identify the personal information about Billie that is held by Jeremy?

Q 7. Jeremy is concerned about Billie’s welfare. Who can Jeremy contact with the information he has about Billie? In your answer refer to any legislation that would allow (or prevent) such a disclosure?

Q 8. Discuss what Jeremy would need to do to obtain Billie’s consent to discuss her situation with her father?