The Work and Development Permit (WDP) scheme is an initiative to provide vulnerable and disadvantaged people with a non-financial option to address their fine(s) debt. A WDP allows an eligible person to work off their fine debt by participating in certain activities and treatment.
A person must undertake a WDP under the supervision of a sponsor. A sponsor is an organisation, or a health practitioner accredited by the Director, Fines Victoria to support the WDP scheme.
First Step is accredited to provide Counselling and Treatment by a Health Practitioner.
How does it work?
- Contact First Step and organise an appointment with a Sponsor. In this consultation the Sponsor will identify whether you are suitable for the program and what activities are available for treatment. If approved, you will be asked to provide your outstanding infringement notices and sign the consent forms.
- To reduce the debt on your outstanding infringements, you must be consistently engaged every month with your Clinician and Sponsor. Your Clinician could be your Psychologist, Doctor, Counsellor, Mental Health Nurse, or Therapist.
- At the end of each month, your sponsor will review your engagement with First Step and send an assessment to Fines Victoria. This will pay off a certain amount each month dependent on your attendance.
**You must not receive any more fines once your WDP is approved. If you receive a new fine, there is no guarantee that this will be added to your account. You may be required to pay for this fine yourself.
What happens if I don't attend my appointments?
We understand that each client’s circumstances will be different. If you cannot attend a scheduled appointment with your Clinician, please ring and speak with your Sponsor as soon as you can.
If there are weeks of no contact with First Step, there are zero deductions made from your infringement’s debt. Following further periods of no contact, the WDP may also be cancelled at the Sponsors discretion.
What happens after all of my debt is cleared?
You will receive a Certificate of Completion from your Sponsor. The program is designed to provide a fresh start from infringement debt for those who engage in a treatment program.
**If you ever receive another infringement after your account is closed, only in special circumstances will a WDP be reopened. Please note that there is no guarantee that this will be done, and you may be required to pay your fine yourself.
To discuss your eligibility, or enquire further regarding the Work and Development program, please call First Step on (03) 9537 3177 and speak with Ainslee O’Donnell.
For more information please visit: https://www.justice.vic.gov.au/wdp