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LSC to extend family law legal aid phone helplines

Date:10 MAR 2009

The Legal Services Commission's (LSC) Family Telephone Helpline tender closed last Wednesday and received 34 bids.

As government cuts to family legal aid reduce the number of solicitors doing publicly funded work, telephone advice may become the only option for people who find it difficult to access their local solicitor or advice agency.

According to the LSC, the pilot telephone family advice service was particularly successful in helping those with disabilities and minority groups. The LSC also claim it was successful in dealing with child contact and divorce issues.

The results from the pilot show that 100% of clients surveyed would recommend the service and 82% said the advice they received enabled them to resolve their problem.

The current service receives around 3,000 calls a month from clients with family problems. Around 1,300 of these clients are suitable for telephone advice and qualify for legal aid.

On Friday the LSC has said it is committed to helping a further 25,000 people during the first year of the rolled out service and will extend its hours to weekday evenings and Saturday mornings.