National Legal Aid

With You: Trauma Informed Organisational Toolkit

With You: Trauma Informed Organisational Toolkit
Published on 16 November 2023 With You is a training package for trauma-informed, rights-based legal services to people experiencing distress, poor mental health and/or suicidality.

The With You Toolkit is an implementation-ready resource designed to promote the development of trauma-informed, rights-based organisations in the legal assistance sector. These include Legal Aid Commissions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, Family Violence Prevention Legal Services and Community Legal Centres. The toolkit serves as a comprehensive guide to inform in every aspect of service provision. This toolkit empowers organisations to develop services that promote safety, dignity, and empowerment for people who experience poor mental health, mental distress and/or suicidality.

At the heart of the With You Toolkit is the concept of trauma-informed practice, an approach that recognises the widespread impact of trauma and seeks to address its consequences. This toolkit provides guidance on implementing trauma-informed practices, ensuring that organisational policies, procedures, and interactions with clients are sensitive, responsive, and supportive. This toolkit will assist in the development of services that reduce barriers to access to justice and prevent further harm or traumatisation for clients.

The With You Toolkit also goes beyond a one-size-fits-all approach by emphasising the importance of a rights-based framework. It recognises that people who experience poor mental health, mental distress and/or suicidality often face intersecting forms of marginalisation and discrimination. By adopting a rights-based approach, organisations can work towards not only addressing the immediate needs of clients, but also challenging systemic inequalities and promoting social justice.

The With You Trauma-Informed Organisational Toolkit provides practical guidance from the legal assistance sector, for the sector, on all aspects of service design, organisational culture, leadership and management. The Toolkit showcases best practice from approximately 40 legal services across Australia, addressing:

  1.  Organisational readiness
  2.  Staff competency and trauma-informed supervision
  3.  Integrated practice and partnerships
  4.  Client and carer access, involvement and leadership
  5.  Organisational and systems change