Quality framework for telephone counselling and internet-based support services

Quality area 1: Clients

Page last updated: September 2008

Quality statement

Organisations will demonstrate a client-centred approach to ensure the needs and well being of clients are the focus for their activities.

Quality statement guidelines

1.1 Organisations will aim to reduce the impact of mental health issues and mental disorders on clients and their carers (when carers are not the clients) through provision of promotion, prevention, counselling, treatment or support services as early as practicable in the course of the problem or disorder
    1.1.1 The organisation's mission, vision and aims will be on all promotional material.
1.2 Organisations will deliver services that are non-judgmental, empathic and respectful of cultural, spiritual, ethnic, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation and socioeconomic background.
    1.2.1 Staff training will incorporate these values, practical application and monitoring through supervision and client feedback.
1.3 Organisations will have systems in place to ensure clients' privacy and confidentiality is respected, unless they are deemed to be at risk of harming themselves or others or there is a legal obligation involved.
    1.3.1 The organisation has a clear policy around privacy and confidentiality that is supported by staff training, supervision and organisational systems.

    1.3.2 Clients will be informed of the policy and how to access it. Clear messages around breaches of policy are also to be communicated to staff and clients.

1.4 Organisations will clearly document and inform clients of their rights and responsibilities as users of the service,
    1.4.1 Clients' rights and responsibilities are documented and made readily available.
1.5 Clients can expect to receive appropriate services, or be referred to appropriate services.
    1.5.1 Staff will be trained to supply appropriate services responsibly, or given appropriate links to services for clients. This links to the mission and aims of the organisation.

    1.5.2 Organisations will ensure that information or advice provided to clients is based upon the best available evidence.
1.6 Organisations will provide users with information about the key features of their service to empower them to make informed decisions.
    1.6.1 As part of effective service delivery, staff will approach the needs of clients in consideration of other issues that may be impacting on them at the time of accessing the service, and make appropriate referrals.