TERMS AND CONDITIONS
All hard copy client documentation is kept under lock and key filing. All soft copy client information is secured by Character Care’s software network systems. Clients are permitted to request for relevant case notes within the discretion of their therapist. Any other members seeking client information requires client approval and/or must be a mental health professional assigned to the client’s case/plan. School institutions may request information regarding clients and we will not pass on this information without your written consent. In the event authorities request case notes or documentation, we are bound by legal requirements and will have to pass on necessary information. Case notes can be used in a court of law as evidence. Documents are to be kept for 7 years legally and will be disposed of safely and destroyed after such time.
- Individual, Couples and Family Therapy, Supervision and Character Coaching
Therapists and people we care for (clients) are bound by confidentiality clauses. Any and all information discussed within the therapy setting will not be disclosed outside the venue. Content may be discussed by therapists during debriefing sessions to allow appropriate professional development and optimum care for clients.
For individual sessions, therapists will not disclose information regarding the person we care for to other individuals of importance (e.g. parents of child), unless approved by the client. These same principles apply for couples and families who are seen as a “unitary client.”
Counsellors are not mandatory reporters, meaning, any sensitive information you wish to remain private will remain confidential. If a counsellor suspects the client may inflict harm onto themselves or others, a report may be given to the appropriate authorities, people of concern, and supervisors, however this is not mandatory and will be discussed with a supervisor and client before any action is taken. Although counsellors are not mandatory reporters, case notes are legal documents for any court actions and might appear as evidence in a court of law.
Psychologists are under certain industry regulations for reporting. If referred by other health professionals or if the client is under a Mental Health Plan, reporting will occur. Reports will not be open to public viewing and will therefore be under the confidentiality agreements set by your referred health professional. In the absence of a referral from other health professionals or mental health plans, if the psychologist suspects the client may inflict harm onto themselves or others, a report may be provided to the appropriate authorities, people of concern, and supervisors.
Character Coaches are not necessarily mental health professionals. Their role is to provide supportive and character strengthening environments. Character Coaches are trained under the Character Care philosophies however, it is not within their role to provide therapeutic conversations. If they feel as though a client requires therapeutic services based on conversations with clients, they may suggest seeing one of our mental health professionals or participate in one of our therapeutic services. Character Coaches are not mandatory reporters however, if they believe a client may inflict harm onto themselves or others, Character Coaches will notify our team of mental health professionals who will decide how to proceed with the information. Character Coaches will not take case notes of their clients and/or sessions. Content might be discussed during debriefing and supervision.
Supervision settings will abide by the confidentiality terms outlined above. In the instances where supervision is funded by an organisation, if reporting is requested, Character Care supervisors will provide reports stipulated under their agreements with your organisation or third party (e.g. EAPs) which detail information requested from your organisation. If you are attending supervision on your own accord and/or funded privately, confidentiality terms will remain in place.
- Character Care Program, Group Therapy
When clients participate in our Character Care Program or other Group services, all clients must abide by strict confidentiality agreements. Confidentiality will be outlined during initial group settings. During these settings, we encourage clients to share sensitive experiences and materials to their fellow group members. If a client is found breaking confidentiality regarding other group members outside the therapeutic setting, reporting to appropriate authorities will occur. Character Care does not take responsibility of members and their actions and/or disclosure outside the confines of the venue. If a member has concerns about another member breaking confidentiality, this matter will be discussed during the group sessions. If a resolution is not found or if members are not satisfied with outcomes, staff will endeavour to rectify the situation with all appropriate people of concern.
Social Media forums and connections are not allowed for the duration of group processes. The matter of external relations will be discussed during group sessions. Character Care encourages and acknowledges the benefits of peer support however, these connections can only be made after the conclusion of group work. Furthermore, after the termination of group settings, confidentiality agreements remain in effect for the duration of client’s lives. If any information from group sessions is found to be exposed after the group has finished, appropriate action will be taken at the request of the client whose rights have been violated.
Duty of Care – while participating in our group environments, you are wilfully engaging in a duty of care to yourself, other group members and your therapist(s) and/or coach(s). If it is deemed you have not performed a reasonable standard of care to others, you could be liable to negligence in the instance of harm caused to others. You must be able to express your commitment to perform harmless care to others, including sensitive material, verbal and physical abuse, damage to property, and any other acts deemed careless or negligent.
Reflecting Teams – Character Care offers the unique and distinctive service of reflecting teams. Clients will be informed of the practice prior to the experience. If clients do not wish to participate in reflecting team practice, we will continue service without the team. In reflecting team practice, you will be observed via a one-way mirror or by the team being present in the consult room. If being observed by the one-way mirror, recording devices are used to transmit sound from one room to another. This information is for your peace of mind that any recordings will not be kept and only used for training purposes with the client or advocates permission. Furthermore, all team members will adhere to the aforementioned confidentiality and duty of care practices.
In our line of work, it is not uncommon to have clients with parents who have separated. Our communication systems will send information to the person identified on the intake form. In some cases, this can inadvertently cause conflicts. We believe it is the responsibility of the parents to organise communications between themselves regarding the use of our services. Parental agreements are arranged in legal settings and not by our services. It is not a requirement of ours to inquire about any parental arrangements. Decisions regarding the child in question are left to the parenting unit and we will assume you as a guardian have adhered to your parenting agreements. Confidentiality in these instances will fall back to the aforementioned details. If you are a parent not listed on the intake form and request information about your child, we will first seek permission from the child and then listed parent. If this matter requires further actions, we will inform the appropriate bodies and will then need to sight a parental agreement.
Code of Ethics
All practitioners abide by regulatory codes of ethics. If you wish to learn more about your therapist’s code of ethics, please enquire and you will be directed to the relevant information and resources. All therapists are registered with an Australian industry regulator and must abide by these codes in order to practice. If you feel as though a breach has occurred, please contact our manager or receptionist who will escalate the issue to find a resolution with all members involved. In the event a resolution is not found, reporting to the industry body will occur. In exceptional circumstances, third party officials will be involved immediately.
Conflicts of Interest
During any time of the services we provide, if a matter of conflict of interest arises, it is both the responsibility of the therapist and/or client to cease the service. A therapist will deem a situation as a conflict of interest and refer the client to another one of our therapists or another organisation. Conflicts of interest can include but not limited to: family members, previous relationships, friends or acquaintances, financial influences.
If a client wants to file a complaint against a staff member of Character Care, they will be provided with a Complaints Register. The complaint will be handled by the Practice Manager. If the complaint is regarding the Practice Manager, the complaint will be escalated to Ownership. If a client wishes to take this complaint further, they can approach their EAP, referring doctor, NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner or other appropriate bodies, relevant to your referring partner.
Reporting to the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner can be done orally, in writing, and/or anonymously and can be withdrawn at time.
Character Care is obligated to manage, record, and potentially report all incidents which:
- have or could have, caused harm to a person with a disability receiving supports or services; and
- acts by a person with disability that happen in connection with the provision of supports or services and that have caused serious harm, or a risk of serious harm, to another person; and
- reportable incidents that are alleged to have occurred in connection with the provision of supports or services at Character Care.
Records of such processes are available for participants/clients/representatives involved. The Practice Manager will collaborate with all parties involved, including relevant government agencies (e.g. Commissioners, NDIS Quality and Safeguard Commission etc.) and clients/participants/representatives.
Bookings and Cancelations
Bookings will be made via telephone call to our reception. Our scheduling system is based on therapist’s time availability and is subject to change, in negotiation with clients. Any changes desired by Character Care, the client will be notified within 48 hours. In the event of an emergency from our therapist(s) which requires a cancelation, we will endeavour to reschedule your appointment at the earliest convenience or if accepted, another therapist could be arranged. Bookings are essential, and walk-ins will only be accepted if a therapist is available for a consultation.
For Character Coaching sessions, spaces might be limited, and bookings are preferred. Different Character Coaching sessions will have varied spaces available and will be published for each session. If you wish to book, please contact our reception and we can allocate you to your Character Coaching session.
For the Character Care Program, you are required to complete the full amount of sessions within 3 months of your initial consult, unless specified by your primary therapist. Certain contributing factors may allow an extension however, this needs to be confirmed by the primary therapist. Subsequent individual and group sessions will be arranged during your second individual consultation.
In the event a client needs to cancel an appointment, a minimum 24 hours must be provided in order to cancel your appointment. If the client has not provided the required 24 hours’ notice of cancelation, your full fee will be charged. This fee is not available under Medicare rebates.
For Character Coaching sessions, the 48 hours’ notice will be required, however if a rescheduled session has been negotiated, no charges will occur within the 48 hours.
The Character Care program will not accept any cancelations whatsoever. The client must commit to the negotiated dates of the program, especially group sessions. For the individual sessions within the program, 48 hours’ notice will be required to reschedule your appointment, providing a rescheduled time has been arranged, to align with the program outline and group session co-ordination.
Payments for all services are required upfront, in full, and prior to your consult. Payments are accepted over the phone, account deposit transfers, or at our reception. Your fee has been carefully priced determined by our specialised unique service and market trends. All prices are non-negotiable. We stand by our service and experience to understand what we deliver will provide a unique hospitable experience to best serve our client’s needs.