Better (legal) assistance with multi-problem situations

Media.Source: © Jan Willem Groen - Fotografie Groen 2009
Citizens of the Netherlands have the possibility of turning to ‘Het Juridisch Loket’ (Legal Services Counter) to receive (free) primary legal assistance. However, in some cases, their questions do not arise from a one-off situation, but due to a multiplicity of problems. In these cases most importantly debts and psychological distress are a major factor to bear in mind. Primary legal assistance is not designed to properly handle such complex situations. This research project is concerned with improving the process of identifying multi-problem situations and referring the client to organisations where they can receive further assistance.

Objective

The aim of this research project is to employ a multidisciplinary approach to improve the services that ‘Het Juridisch Loket’ (HJL) offers to clients in multi-problem situations. This new customer-focused approach helps to identify multi-problem situations and on time and, where necessary, to refer the customer to organisations where they can receive further assistance.

People seeking assistance with multi-problem situations often experience legal problems along with psychological, financial and even physical problems. Such a combination of problems in different areas of their lives makes this target group’s demand for assistance particularly complex.

Results

The results of the research project will be shared via publications, workshops and during a closing conference. The results will also be included in the legal degree programmes provided at HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, so that current and future legal professionals will be able to benefit.

An article about this project has already been published in the online magazine Socialevraagstukken.nl (dutch only).

Duration

01 January 2019 - 31 January 2021

Approach

Students of the Social Legal Services degree programme at the HU will be taking part in the research by measuring how often multi-problem situations occur among visitors of four HJL offices.

HU researchers involved in the research

Collaboration with knowledge partners

Participants from professional practice include:

  • Legal Services Counter (Het Juridisch Loket)
  • Social Services Drechtsteden (Sociale Dienst Drechtsteden)
  • Foundation Vivenz Social Services (Stichting Vivenz Maatschappelijke Dienstverlening)
  • MEE Plus
  • Foundation Rijnstad (Stichting Rijnstad)

Would you like to collaborate or do you have any questions?

Majda Lamkaddem | Lecturer-researcher | Access to Justice

Majda Lamkaddem

  • Teacher-researcher
  • Research group: Access to Justice