Counselling Rights, Confidentiality and Pre-Counseling Questionnaire
must be completed prior to 1st appointment / response
Clients using our counseling services should read and understand the policies stated below prior to their first appointment or email / skype response. Should you have any questions or concerns please discuss them with your Counselor at the beginning of your session. By signing below you are agreeing to abide by these policies and acknowledge that you have read and understood them. We hope this information is helpful to you in understanding our processes and limitations.
- Our practice is concerned with Client confidentiality and takes all reasonable steps to ensure that your private information is not shared with any other parties.
- Services are not limited in any way to families affected by Autism and may be used by anyone.
- During your sessions notes will be taken and copies of emails and other information kept for your file and these records will be kept in our office (all cabinets are securely locked and / or a secure password protected computer accessible only to Counseling staff).
- From time to time your Counselor may request that a session be recorded, this will be discussed with you prior to the session and be for reference purposes only unless specifically authorised otherwise by the Client.
- Our Client lists are not used for any other purpose than in the normal course of business and is not sold or given out without a court order.
- From time to time your individually assigned Counselor may need to share some information for the purposes of guidance and instruction from other members of the Counseling staff. Information may also be shared if your Counselor leaves and your case is taken over by another member of staff or is unable to attend to any sessions for any reason including but not limited to illness. All consultations are kept in house and in accordance with strict internal policies and procedures.
- If a referral is made to another agency some information will be shared with this agency however all matters relating to the referral would be discussed with you prior to any information being given out.
- You have the right to ask for a referral for any reason or change to a different service provider. Should you not feel comfortable talking about this with your Counselor please refer to other Management Staff who can handle this on your behalf.
- We refer to the police and / or Family and Children’s Services any information regarding child abuse (in any form including but limiting to; incest, rape, physical or mental abuse) and threats to life being your own or anyone else or any other information on illegal activity. This information will be shared regardless of the suspected perpetrator i.e. hearsay will apply.
- If you are under 18 years of age we respect your right to privacy from your parents / guardian or relevant carer however should it be felt that you are putting your life in danger, breaking the law or otherwise, in our opinion, endangering yourself or others then we will contact and discuss relevant details with your parents / guardian or relevant carer.
- We may also be required by law to give details of sessions if the information is relevant to a court action as Counseling has no client / patient court privileges.
- You may request to see your file or have these records referred to any third party. If to a third party this request for file information to be transferred will need to be in writing.
- Should your Counselor determine that you require hospitalization then information will be given to the Doctor taking on your case.
- Whilst all care is taken on professionalism and understanding of your situation counseling is designed to assist you working through your goals and issues. No responsibility for the outcome is taken in anyway by Friends of Autism or its associated companies, staff or directors.
- It is expected that Clients of our counseling services will actively participate in their treatment as what you put into it yourself will determine what you will get out of it.
- If our Staff determine that your case is outside our scope of expertise we will endeavour to assist you with transitioning to another more appropriate professional for your needs.
- All Staff must be treated with respect at all times, any deviation to this, in the opinion of our Staff, may result in the immediate termination of all services immediately. You will be liable for any outstanding amounts including the termination session in full.
- All fees for services must be paid in full prior or immediately after each session, you are personally liable for all costs and full fees may apply for sessions you do not attend without giving at least 24 hours notice (notice is deemed to be a message reasonably able to be access by our staff).
- Please refer to our current fee schedule for details of the fees for our services – this may change from time to time without further notice.
- If you are having difficulty paying your fees financially please speak with our Staff, as a registered Charity we endeavour to assist as many people as possible and may be able to assist you with reduced fees on a means tested basis.
- Please note that counseling is NOT a claimable service under the ASD Panel FACHSIA funding.
- If we are unable to attend to you for any reason and you are in a crisis situation please contact the Crisis Care Hotline on (08) 9223 1111 or 1800 199 008 or the police on 000 for assistance. Please note there may be other agencies applicable and available for your needs, in a crisis situation please do not limit yourself to these numbers but keep trying until you receive the assistance you require.
It would be appreciated if you could answer a few questions in relation to your counseling prior to commencement so we have a better understanding of issues which may affect your goals, treatment programs and advice given.