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Seniors Rights Victoria SFVC referral information

Provides an elder abuse helpline, legal and social work advocacy and advice and, where resourcing and other considerations allow, casework on issues related to elder abuse.

On this page

Types of Assistance:

For client:

  • Older people experiencing elder abuse can be booked in for advice appointments with a lawyer and an advocate. Advice appointments are only available for older people experiencing elder abuse themselves, not family and friends. Telephone appointments are the norm although exceptions can be made for in office appointments or home visits where appropriate.
  • On-going legal or advocacy (or both) casework is available to older people after an advice appointment and subject to resourcing and other considerations.
  • Senior Rights Victoria advocates, who have social work, family violence and counselling skills, work with clients on a one-off or short-term basis to provide client-centred, trauma-informed support. Senior Rights Victoria advocates encourage older people’s informed decision-making, increased legal literacy, and assist older people to feel empowered to take action to stop the abuse. Advocates have an excellent knowledge of the relevant service system landscape and can make warm referrals for additional client support to case management and local services where required. Social work advice and advocacy can include such things as safety planning, linking the client in with My Aged Care Services, support through court process, practical assistance with the financial sector and navigating Centrelink enquiries.
  • Areas of legal work included intervention orders, particularly exclusion orders, arrangements involving the exchange of assets in return for the promise of care, adult children who return home or don’t leave home, property co-ownership disputes, guardianship and administration, denial of access to grandchildren and all forms of financial abuse including misuse of Powers of Attorney, unpaid debts, property transfers subject to undue influence or unconscionable conduct.

Helpline:

  • 1300 368 821, 10am – 5pm Monday - Friday
  • The SRV helpline is available for anyone concerned about elder abuse – whether an older person experiencing it themselves, professionals wanting advice about how to deal with a particular scenario, or a family member or friend of an older person who they are concerned about. It is an information, support and referral service staffed by advocates with social work or related backgrounds.

For other legal staff:

  • Secondary consults via the Helpline 1300 368 821. Legal staff will be put through to one of the Senior Rights Victoria lawyers to discuss their issue.

Key eligibility criteria:

  • Elder Abuse related matters (not abuse from a paid carer or institution – refer these to Elder Rights Advocacy)
  • Client must be 60 years of age or older (45 years of age or older for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients)
  • Helpline and advice available without any means or merits testing. Casework is only available where resourcing allows and casework guidelines apply including client inability to obtain alternative legal assistance, reasonable prospect of success, ability to provide instructions, etc.

Contact details for referral:

Essential information

What should I know before making this referral?

Client services usually occur remotely by phone or video although some exceptions can be made.

SRV does not draft Wills or Powers of Attorney unless a case is open and these are required to prevent further abuse occurring.

SRV will make an assessment as to whether older person has capacity to provide instructions in relation to the relevant matters.

Advice appointments can only take place directly with the older person.

SRV will not ‘cold call’ client who has been referred by a third party.

What should I do before making this referral?

Check eligibility criteria.

Obtain client’s informed consent for referral.

Ensure client has ability to discuss matter with SRV staff.

Making an effective referral

Contact SRV Helpline.

Prefer warm referrals over the phone rather than in an email.

An initial email may be sent asking for a return call.

What do I tell my client about this referral?

That their matter will be assessed as to whether SRV is able to assist them further with an advice appointment or whether there is a more appropriate service.

Waiting period for advice appointments can be 1-3 weeks. Assistance is not guaranteed.

What happens after I make the referral?

After contact has been made with the Helpline (either by client or on their behalf), an assessment is made regarding the situation, older person’s capacity to provide instructions, and risks.

If high risk, refer to 000.

If SRV is unable to assist, where possible, the older person will be referred to another appropriate agency.

If there is a potential case of elder abuse, client will be booked in for an advice appointment.

The ability of SRV to provide casework will only be determined after the advice appointment.

Updated