3. Referrals

Sometimes clients present at Street Law with legal matters (and non-legal matters) outside the scope of the services that Street Law provides. When this occurs, a referral should be made.

The referral can be made on the phone if you know straight away the best referral point. For example, if the client rings up with family law matters and they live near Fremantle you could refer them to the Fremantle Community Legal Centre.

Alternatively, you can let the client know you will think about the best referral point for them and then call them back. This needs to be done on the same day.

Look at the referral list for ideas. If you are unsure, speak to your supervisor about options for referrals.


Non-Legal Referrals

Clients can call seeking non-legal services. You can visit Askizzy.org.au or ERconnect.org.au to assist you with this.

Keep in mind that a client may ring up with suicidal ideation.

If you think they may be suicidal ask – Are you thinking of suicide? Sometimes when people are as upset as you seem to be, they are thinking of suicide. I’m wondering if you’re feeling that way too?

Acknowledge their feelings/story but remember you are not a counsellor. Don’t give advice regarding their suicidal tendencies. You can refer the client to one of the following services that will assist them in their vulnerable state:

  • Mental Health Crisis Line – 1300 555 788
    • rural – 1800 552 002
    • 24 hours
  • Emergency Services – Police and Ambulance 000
  • Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467
  • Lifeline – 13 11 14
    • 24 hours
  • Kids Help Line – 1800 55 1800
    • 24 hours
  • Mensline Australia – 1300 789 978
    • 24 hours
  • Salvo Care Line – 1300 363 622

If they are really upset, you may wish to arrange to get in touch again later.


Legal Referrals

For legal referrals to other Community Legal Centres refer to our CLC contacts guide located  at *

When providing legal referrals, it is important to stay aware of the extent of different services:

E.g Circle Green CLC does tenancy, but generally only an advice line. If we have already provided some advice and they require an advocate, the referral will be to their local CLC.


Citizen’s Advice Bureau does CIC, but generally once-off appointments to assist someone with the paperwork, not to submit the claim for them

Cold referral or warm referral:

A cold referral is where you provide the name and contact number of the organisation only. A warm referral is where you reach out to the organisation on the caller’s behalf to request assistance from that organisation.

A warm referral is generally provided where:

  • We don’t have capacity to provide a service;
  • The caller is from a priority group or has an urgent matter
  • The caller has tried to contact the organisation before and has not been able to get assistance (other than if they were conflicted out)