A community legal service will use almost half a million dollars in funding to better support clients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
ARC Justice has received $493,000 from the state and federal governments, which will go to direct client legal support across its Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre, based in Bendigo, and the Goulburn Valley Community Legal Centre.
Executive officer Hayley Mansfield said the complexity of the matters people sought support for had increased since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.
For example, she said, people were trying to navigate child custody sharing while in isolation, or were not sure of their responsibilities in the current climate.
"Vulnerable and isolated families in our region are now feeling the additional social and economic impacts of COVID-19, and demand for family violence and family law services is growing," Ms Mansfield said.
Family-related legal matters have made up 48 per cent of enquiries to ARC Justice's services in the past three months.
Ms Mansfield said this was about average, but COVID-19 had compounded these issues.
She said they had also started to see an increase in the number of people enquiring about employment and financial-related matters.
The service's staff also reported that those seeking help were under high levels of stress, Ms Mansfield said.
The money will also fund technology upgrades to allow for better remote support of clients during this period.
ARC Justice operates across a large swathe of the state, from Wedderburn down to Gisborne, across to Benalla and up to Cobram.
Ms Mansfield said the organisation was looking at ways people could access its services from afar.
During the pandemic, the organisation is also working with other agencies and services, such as Victorian Legal Aid and the Centre for Non-Violence, to ensure people are getting the help they need.