Toronto, ON – CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario/Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario) has launched a specially designed website to support community workers with public legal education, and information. At CLEOConnect.ca, community workers can find training, tools, resources, and connections to help them help their clients with legal problems.
Staff in community organizations – from schools to libraries to faith-based institutions to settlement services – are often asked questions by members of the public about their legal problems. Someone might be facing an eviction, wondering about their dismissal from a job, or needing to apply for benefits, and community workers want to help. In Ontario, many front-line workers in community organizations have helped clients by identifying legal problems, providing legal information, suggesting next steps, helping clients to complete forms, making legal referrals and accompanying clients to legal meetings and hearings. In a recent report prepared for The Law Foundation of Ontario, 70 per cent of such respondents had helped people to take steps to resolve a legal problem.
"The research shows that community workers are best able to help clients with legal problems when they have access, not only to information, but also to training, tools, organizational support, and connections," said Julie Mathews, CLEO's Executive Director. "The CLEO Connect website offers this support."
At CLEO Connect, community workers will be able to:
- Learn about key steps in helping people address their legal problems, and access our practical tip sheets on giving good legal information and referrals
- Sign up for legal capability training, or watch webinars, to learn skills and find out about key resources to help clients find reliable legal information
- Find guidelines for developing better legal information resources, including clear language and design tips
- Find helpful resources and research from CLEO and many other organizations
- Learn how CLEO's Connecting Communities training partnerships can help organizations provide training for their staff and colleagues about substantive legal issues
Funded by The Law Foundation of Ontario, CLEO Connect also provides Espace francophone, a space where community organizations can book training, and more, in French.
"Community workers who are able to provide legal information and referrals to support their clients to resolve their legal problems are an asset, not only to their communities, but also to our legal system," says Tanya Lee, CEO, The Law Foundation of Ontario. "CLEO Connect is an important resource to increase access to justice for all Ontarians."
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario/Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario) is a non-profit organization and legal clinic that has provided accurate and easy-to-understand information and education about the law for people in Ontario for over 40 years, particularly those who have low incomes or other disadvantages. CLEO is funded by Legal Aid Ontario, the Department of Justice Canada, and The Law Foundation of Ontario.
About The Law Foundation of Ontario
Established by statute in 1974, The Law Foundation of Ontario is the sole foundation in Ontario with the mandate of improving access to justice. Through granting and collaboration, the Foundation invests in knowledge and services that help people understand the law and use it to improve their lives. Learn more at www.lawfoundation.on.ca.
CLEO Connect is supported by:
For more information, please contact: Deb Bourk, Community Engagement and Communications Manager, 416 408 4420, ext 842 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Caption: Members of community organizations, representatives of The Law Foundation of Ontario and the Ontario Justice Education Network gathered for the launch of CLEO's new resource for community workers, CLEO Connect.