DCBF Requests Input by Nov. 5 on Design of a Coordinated Intake and Referral System in the District

[District of Columbia, September 10, 2021] – As part of its reimagining of how District residents get help with civil legal needs, the DC Bar Foundation seeks design feedback on a Coordinated Intake and Referral system to improve access to justice in the District of Columbia. With more than fifty civil legal services providers in the District of Columbia, finding legal help can be daunting. It is a complex network where organizations offer different levels of assistance, address different legal areas, use different eligibility criteria, and operate with different capacities. Many people never reach the door of a legal services provider to get the help they need. Even lawyers and other professionals can experience challenges referring clients to the appropriate organization. To address this problem, the DC Bar Foundation (DCBF), in partnership with the DC legal services community and other stakeholders, will develop a user-friendly, secure, and accessible Coordinated Intake and Referral system (CIR) for District residents with civil legal needs. CIR will serve as a single point of entry to connect residents with a civil legal services provider that can offer appropriate legal resources and information. Those seeking help will call a single number or use a web application to connect with trained professional navigators to route them to an appropriate legal services organization. The Foundation is engaging legal services providers, other access to justice stakeholders, and client-eligible communities in designing and implementing this vital technology solution. The Foundation is taking a multi-pronged approach to gathering input, including releasing a CIR Design Feedback and Input request. This Request will solicit feedback on various topics, including the CIR system's structure, initial intake and conflict checks, program staffing and location, and community input and research. "Activating the District's civil legal aid network by implementing a Coordinated Intake and Referral system is a significant undertaking," says Kirra Jarratt, CEO of the DC Bar Foundation. "Community feedback and input will be vital to building a CIR system that works for our city's most disenfranchised residents. Together, we can transform our city's legal aid network so that all residents can have equal access to justice regardless of wealth, knowledge, or power." The feedback period will run from September 10 through November 5, 2021. For more details and to respond, and to read about the Coordinated Intake and Referral system, click here. To learn more about the DC Bar Foundation's impact across the District, visit www.dcbarfoundation.org. About the DC Bar Foundation: We are committed to transforming DC's legal aid network so that all District residents have a fair and equal legal experience. Through our network approach, we actively work to bring together all invested stakeholders to identify and address the unmet civil legal needs of DC residents with low incomes, create solutions with a critical eye for racial justice and equity, and demonstrate meaningful impact.

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