Rights and Responsibilities

Your Rights

As a client of Encircle you have the right to:

  • Be treated with respect and dignity;
  • Access services in a safe environment;
  • Be assessed to receive services without discrimination;
  • Actively participate in decisions affecting you;
  • Have a support person  present when you access our services;
  • Have your personal and sensitive information kept confidential, except where these rights may be overridden by legal or safety reasons;
  • Express your views and ideas, make suggestions and give feedback;
  • Access your own records.

Your Responsibilities

As a client of Encircle you have a responsibility to:

  • Act in a way that respects the safety of our staff, volunteers and other visitors to the centre;
  • Help us to understand the needs of you/your family by providing all relevant information so that we can provide the best service possible;
  • Actively participate in the service or program you are accessing;
  • Keep appointments and tell us beforehand if you are unable to do so.

Client Code of Behaviour

The following will help to ensure the safety of everyone connected with Encircle.

Whether you are accessing services at a centre or during a home visit we ask that you abide by the following code of behaviour:

  • Respect the right of everyone to be safe and feel safe by not using violence, threats of violence, swearing or using obscene language;
  • Do not smoke, drink alcohol or use any non-prescribed drugs or illegal substances. Persons that are affected by substances will be asked to leave, and if evident during a home visit, the visit will be rescheduled;
  • Wear appropriate clothing e.g. footwear, shorts, pants, t-shirts at all times;
  • Respect other people’s right to privacy and confidentiality;
  • Act respectfully towards all people regardless of their gender, sexuality, race, culture, language and/or religion;
  • Let a staff member or volunteer know if you notice something that could effect the safety of others.

Our Rights

In providing service to you, we have the right to:

  • Expect you to act in a safe manner when you access our service;
  • Expect you to provide us with the information necessary for us to assist you;
  • Expect you to take responsibility for the consequences of any decisions you make;
  • Expect your participation and contribution to the service or program you have accessed;
  • Expect you to let us know when you cannot attend a pre-arranged appointment.

Our Responsibilities

In providing service to you, we have a responsibility to:

  • Honour you as a person, and treat you with courtesy and consideration;
  • Provide a safe environment for you when you access our services;
  • Ensure that all our workers are well trained and work in accordance with our mission, vision and values;
  • Provide you with accurate information about our services and programs;
  • Offer the services we are funded to deliver without discrimination;
  • Respect the choices you make about services;
  • Respect the decisions you make, including your decision not to refuse some services;
  • Respect your philosophy and values, even when these differ from those of the Centre;
  • Work cooperatively with you and your support person in the provision of services;
  • Ensure that you are aware of our complaints procedure, and have access to relevant forms and assistance if you want to lodge a complaint or provide feedback on the service you receive;
  • Follow strict procedures to ensure your confidentiality and privacy, except where these rights may be overridden by legal or safety considerations;
  • Provide you with information about how to access your records, and the circumstances in which access may be refused.

Our Duty of Care

If we believe that you  and/or your children are being harmed, or at risk of harm, we have a duty of care to ensure you and your children’s safety.

This means that Encircle may disclose your personal and sensitive information if we reasonably believe that the disclosure is necessary to lessen or prevent risk of harm to yourself or others.

This duty of care relates particularly to the safety and wellbeing of children as outlined in the Child Protection Act 1999. The Solicitors of our Pine Rivers Community Legal Service adhere to the Australian Solicitors Conduct Rules.

Interpreting Service

Where it is identified that there may be difficulty communicating with a client in English or who is deaf, or has a hearing or speech impairment, staff can arrange to access telephone interpreting services from the Commonwealth Government or the Auslan Interpreting Services.

We Welcome Your Feedback

Encircle welcomes information and feedback which will help us improve the quality of our services.

You have the right to give feedback or make a complaint  about the service you are receiving without fear of retribution and can expect your feedback to be dealt with fairly, promptly and confidentially.

You can provide feedback verbally, in writing, via a feedback form or you can use an advocate.

As far as possible, the fact you have lodged a complaint, and the details of that complaint, will be kept confidential among the staff / volunteers directly concerned with its resolution. Your permission will be obtained before any information is given to other parties that may need to be involved in order to satisfactorily resolve the complaint.

Where a complaint relates to matters of an unlawful nature, this complaint will be passed on to the relevant authorities.

Child and Youth Risk Management Strategy

How does Encircle look after the safety and wellbeing of children and youth accessing Encircle services and programs?

  • All staff, volunteers and students at Encircle sign and adhere to a Code of Conduct for working with Children, Young People and Adults. The Code of Conduct provides clear guidelines on how staff, volunteers and students are to interact with children and young people and the consequences of not meeting these standards.
  • All staff, volunteers and students working with children hold a valid Blue Card or exemption card.
  • Encircle has procedures to ensure that its staff are committed to providing safe and supportive environments for children and young people.
  • All staff, volunteers and students are provided with clear guidelines to follow if they have concerns about the safety and wellbeing of a child or young person.
  • Staff, volunteers and students implement  risk management strategies for all activities that involve children and young people that are run by Encircle.

If you have any questions or would like to provide feedback on Encircle’s Child and Youth Risk Management Strategy, please let us know.

Privacy and Confidentiality

Encircle has policies and procedures in place to ensure that your personal and sensitive information is kept private and confidential in accordance with the Privacy Act and the Australian Privacy Principles.

All Board member, staff, volunteers, contractors and students are bound by a Declaration of Confidentiality.

When might Encircle breach confidentiality?

Only if Encircle reasonably believes that the disclosure is necessary to lessen or prevent risk of harm to yourself or others, or if it is legally obligated to provide information (e.g. subpoena).

The Solicitors of our Pine Rivers Community Legal Service adhere to the Australian Solicitors Conduct Rules, in particular Rule 9 regarding confidentially.

What information will be collected?

Only personal information that is necessary and directly related to the service being provided by Encircle will be collected from you. Encircle will collect sensitive information such as, health information, racial or ethnic origin only with your consent and if it is needed for the purpose of providing services to you.

How is my information stored?

All personal and sensitive information is securely stored in locked cabinets and/or password protected databases. Access to these records is restricted to those who require access to work with you and carry out the services of Encircle. Encircle will never disclose your personal or sensitive information to overseas recipients.

Can I access my own information?

Individuals have a general right of access to their own personal information after their identity is confirmed, and have the right to have that information corrected if it is inaccurate, incomplete or out of date. The request to access your personal and sensitive information is to be put in writing using the Client Request to Access Information Form.

The request will be considered by the Manager and, if there are no legitimate barriers to accessing the information, the information will be made available to you. If retrieval from archived material is required a cost may be incurred. If the request is denied, Encircle will provide a written reason for the refusal and advise of available complaint mechanisms.

What if I think my Privacy has been breached?

If you believe your privacy or confidentiality has been breached, please ask to speak to a manager. You can also complete a Complaints Form.

I would like to know more about Privacy and Confidentiality

Please ask if you would like a copy of our full Privacy Policy. Or read the Privacy Act and Australian Privacy Principles here.