Posted on 15 Mar 2022
Slater and Gordon is known for helping injured people get the compensation they need, its class actions successes, and for being the revolutionary consumer law firm that introduced ‘No win no fee’ cost agreements to Australia nearly 30 years ago.
The firm’s pioneering social work service continues this legacy by improving the lives of many of its clients as they await the outcome of their personal injury compensation claims.
To mark World Social Work Day on March 15, the firm has acknowledged the significant impact its social work team has on clients’ lives.
The service was established in 2009 with a single social worker and has since grown to a team of four. They provide free and much-needed assistance to clients who have psycho-social issues of concern or are in crisis as they move through the process of claiming compensation for their illness or injuries.
Last year, more than 370 clients across Australia received assistance from the team, who National Social Work Service Manager Olga Gountras said were always in demand.
“Compensation claims take time to settle, and while their legal claims are being pursued, injured and ill people still need to find a way to get on with their everyday lives, which can be difficult,” she said.
“We help clients manage the enormous stresses they are facing in relation to financial distress, homelessness, relationship breakdowns, mental health issues and barriers to accessing the care, support and treatment that they need, among a wide range of other issues.
“We care about how our clients live and how they’re coping, so providing a complimentary social work service ensures that we can help them access whatever help it is they need beyond the legal assistance their lawyer is already providing.”
Ms Gountras said World Social Work Day provided an opportunity to acknowledge the important contribution social workers made across a range of sectors to individuals, families, communities and the broader society, adding that there were more commonalities between the professions of social work and law than many realised.
“Both professions are underpinned by their ethics, demand integrity, confidentiality, client respect, advocate on our clients’ behalf and always seek to act in their best interests,” she said.
“Social Workers and lawyers assist their clients to improve their quality of life and to redress social injustice, and the protection and advancement of human rights is also at the core of what both professions do.”
Slater and Gordon CEO John Somerville said the firm was proud to provide a service that was changing the lives of so many clients in addition to helping them obtain much-needed compensation for injuries and illnesses that were often sustained through no fault of their own.
“From being injured in road or workplace accidents, to those who have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, our lawyers have witnessed many people struggling to deal with the associated social and emotional trauma that comes with such an abrupt and threatening disruption to their lives,” he said.
“Our social work service means we are able to help our clients beyond the legal process and provide the additional care they need to help move forward with their lives.
“The social work team is made up of highly skilled, experienced and passionate professionals and I want to thank them for the difference they make to the lives of our clients every day.”
Media Contact: Andrea Petrie 0428 994 937