client advocates

CLIENT ADVOCATES

Policy

An advocate is a person who, with the authority of the client, represents the client’s interests.

Clients may use an advocate of their choice to negotiate on their behalf. This may be a carer, family member, friend or advocacy service.

Advocates will be accepted by Ravenshoe Community Centre Inc as representing the interests of the client.

Advocates may be used during reviews, complaints or for any other communication between the client and RCC Inc.

Advocacy processes and systems are regularly audited as a part of RCC Inc’s continuous quality improvement cycle, and staff, clients and other stakeholders are encouraged to provide ongoing feedback on issues and areas where improvements can be made.

Procedure

Clients wishing to use an advocate should inform RCC Inc in writing of the name of the person they wish to negotiate on their behalf.

The client has the right to change their advocate at any time and should inform RCC Inc in writing of any change.

All staff and volunteers should make clients aware of their right to use an advocate, and should regularly remind clients of this option.

RCC Inc will provide training to staff and volunteers in the use of advocates.

Completed ‘Authority to Act as an Advocate’ forms are to be kept in the relevant client file.

A copy of the ‘Authority to Act as an Advocate’ form is to be given to both the client and the nominated advocate.

Nominated advocates will also be given a copy of the ‘Guidelines for Advocates’ information sheet.

Related Policies and Documentation

Advocacy Services – Resource List (pg 2)

Guidelines for Advocates (pg 3)

Authority to Act as an Advocate (pg 4)

Participation

Choice and Self Reliance

Client Service Charter

Client Rights and Responsibilities

 

ADVOCACY SERVICES – RESOURCE LIST

 

Office of the Public Guardian

(Formed 1st July 2014)

 

  • Protects the rights, interests and wellbeing of vulnerable Queenslanders, specifically children and young people in the child protection system.
  • Protects the rights of adults (and their carers) with impaired decision making capacity from neglect, exploitation and abuse by investigating complaints, mediating in disputes concerning finances, care arrangements and making health decisions.

 

1800 661 533

07 3225 8325

 

child@publicguardian.qld.gov.au

www.publicguardian.qld.gov.au

 

Qld Aged and Disability Advocacy Inc

 

  • Free information, advocacy and support to enable people to understand and exercise their rights and responsibilities.

 

1800 818 338

 

www.qada.org.au

 

Rights in Action

 

  • Provides independent advocacy for people with disabilities who are in vulnerable situations.

 

0740 317 377

 

info@rightsinaction.org

www.rightsinaction.org

 

Qld Advocacy Inc

 

  • Human Rights Legal Service (for vulnerable people with a disability)
  • Mental Health Legal Service
  • Justice Support Program

 

1300 130 582

07 3844 4200

 

qai@qai.org.au

www.qai.org.au

 

 

GUIDELINES FOR ADVOCATES

 

BEING AN ADVOCATE

 

If a client of ............................................................... has asked you to be their advocate, this means they would like you to act on their behalf in their dealings with the service. You may be a family member, carer, or friend of the client or a member of an advocacy service.

 

Being an advocate may mean your attendance or involvement will be required during assessments and reviews of the client’s situation and services received, or if the client wishes to communicate or negotiate anything with the service or lodge a complaint about the service.

 

We ask our clients to complete an ‘Authority to Act as an Advocate’ form when they wish to appoint or change their advocate.

Clients are free to change their advocates whenever they wish, however, we request a new authority form be completed each time so service staff and volunteers are always clear on who the client’s advocate is.

 

As an advocate of a client we ask you to be aware of the following and ensure that:

 

  • the client has given written authority for you to act as chosenadvocate
  • the service is aware that you are acting as the client’s advocate
  • you always act in the best interests of the client
  • you abide by any prescribed ‘Privacy and Confidentiality’ requirements
  • the client is aware of any issues and developments in relation to the services they receive and which you, as their advocate, may be involved in
  • the client is kept informed of any developments
  • you encourage the client to provide feedback to you about the services they are receiving
  • you advise the service about any changes in client circumstances and any concerns about changing client needs
  • you are prepared to relinquish the role of advocate should the client wish this.

 

 

 

AUTHORITY TO ACT AS AN ADVOCATE

CLIENT DETAILS:

 

NAME: ........................................................................................................................................

ADDRESS: ..................................................................................................................................

PHONE: .................................................................................

EMAIL: ..................................................................................

 

I authorise the person named below to act as an advocate on my behalf and represent my interests in relation to my involvement with ...............................................................................

I understand that the service may discuss details of my support/care plan, situation and the services it provides with my advocate if the need arises.

This authority takes effect from ............................................................... (date) and replaces any previously advised arrangements.

I understand that I can change my choice of advocate at any time and undertake to advise the service of any such change in writing.

 

CLIENT SIGNATURE: ....................................................... DATE: .........................................

 

ADVOCATE DETAILS:

 

NAME: ........................................................................................................................................

ADDRESS: ..................................................................................................................................

PHONE: .................................................................................

EMAIL: ..................................................................................

 

I have read and been given a copy of ‘Guidelines for Advocates’ and agree to abide by the guidelines.

I agree to act as an advocate for the above named client.

 

ADVOCATE SIGNATURE: ...............................................DATE: ..........................................