Advocacy

About your rights

All information, including advocates, nominations, rights, consents etc. 

You have the right to have an advocate represent your interests and assist you, when desired, to understand and manage situations associated with your access to GOCSA Community Care Services.
An advocate may be a relative, friend, neighbour or a person from an advocacy service.

Your nominated advocate will:
Provide support and encouragement when you are making decisions,
Act on your instructions,
Speak on your behalf to promote your rights, ideas and intentions, and
Work in your best interests.  

Nominating an advocate
Staff will explain your right to have an advocate when you first make contact with the Community Care Services and during the assessment process.
If you choose to nominate an advocate, their contact details will be recorded on your Consumer Assessment and Reassessment Form.
During reviews (reassessment) or when your needs change, you will again have the opportunity to:

Removing an advocate
Remove an advocate or
Update advocacy information already recorded.  
You can also do this at any time by contacting your Coordinator.

Carers and advocacy
Sometimes, if there is a difference of opinion about care and support needs or preferences between a carer and the person they care for, their needs will be given separate consideration and they may require separate advocacy support.If staffs become aware of a situation such as this, the matter will be referred to the relevant Coordinator – who will assist access to one or more external advocates or a mediator if required.


Aged Rights Advocacy Service (ARAS)
16 Hutt Street, Adelaide SA 5000 Phone: (08) 8232 5377
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Website: www.sa.agedrights.asn.au
ARAS is a free, confidential service and provides advocacy assistance to support older people uphold their rights and responsibilities.

Carers SA
66 Greenhill Rd, Wayville SA 5034 Phone: (08) 8291 5600
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Website: http://carers-sa.asn.au
Carers SA is the state-wide ‘voice of family carers’ and provides support and information about advocacy.

Office of the Public Advocate
Level 7, ABC Building, 85 North East Road, Collinswood SA 5082 Phone: (08) 8342 8200
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Website: www.opa.sa.gov.au/
The South Australian Public Advocate is a statutory official appointed by the Governor to focus on the rights and needs of mentally incapacitated persons.

Disability Rights Advocacy Services
Shop 4, 80 Henley Beach Road SA 5031 Phone: (08) 8351 9500
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Website: www.dras.com.au
Disability Rights Advocacy Service promotes the rights and interest of people with a disability, their families and carers. The advocacy service can support people with physical, intellectual, psychiatric, acquired brain injury, sensory, neurological or learning disabilities. It can also help people with disabilities or their carers from a non-English speaking background.

Compliments and Complaints

About your rights
You are encouraged to provide feedback on any aspect of your service and you also have the right to appeal any decision in regard to your service. You will not be disadvantaged in any way by lodging a complaint or appeal.
Information may be given in person, over the telephone, by email, in writing or via Community Care website.
A complaint will also be accepted anonymously, but will only be acted upon if the matter is relatively serious and there is sufficient information to enable an investigation.
If you need help to make a complaint, staff can provide information or assistance to access an advocate.

Any complaints submitted will be:
Handled in a private and confidential manner,
Dealt with fairly, promptly and without retribution,
Acknowledged and investigated, with feedback provided on progress or outcomes, and
resolved as soon as, possible.

Complaint management
All complaints either minor or major will be treated with the same importance.
A minor complaint is one that can be resolved at first point of contact with all parties agreeing to the outcome, while a major complaint is one that is not immediately resolved and requires further investigation.
A major complaint will be acknowledged in writing within three business days and the Coordinator or Manager, Community Care Services will endeavour to resolve the issue within 21 days. During this time, you will be kept informed of progress, actions taken and any outcomes achieved.
If the issue cannot be resolved, you have the right to refer the matter to an advocacy or mediation service and will be provided with support to do that if you prefer.

Appeals management
If a complaint remains unresolved, you can lodge an appeal to GOCSA’s general Manager, with the issue resolved through the organisation’s Complaint Handling Policy.
Your decision to complain and access your right of appeal will not disadvantage you in any way and you can still be represented by an advocate if you prefer.

Compliments management
The Community Care services staff member who receives the compliment will record the comment in your case notes and refer it to the appropriate Coordinator.

Service improvement
Compliments and complaints can contribute to service improvement in Community Care Services.
The Coordinators, use the compliments, complaints and appeals process to review existing management protocols and procedures and refer recommendations for change to the Manager Community Care Services. Feedback is also passed on to contracted providers or brokering agencies.
Any identified trends in complaints are monitored and analysed so that this information can be used to improve services generally.
More information about making a complaint or submitting an appeal is available from Coordinators or you could contact any of the Service Providers or Agencies listed here.

Useful contacts
Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner (HCSCC)
PO Box 199 Rundle Mall, Adelaide SA 5000 Phone: (08) 8226 8666
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Website: www.hcscc.sa.gov.au
The HCSCC assists service users, carers and service providers to resolve complaints about health and community services in South Australia. The office encourages and assists consumers to resolve complaints directly with the service provider, but can assist with dispute resolution when direct interaction has not been effective.

Aged Rights Advocacy Service (ARAS)
16 Hutt Street, Adelaide SA 5000 Phone: (08) 8232 5377
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Website: www.sa.agedrights.asn.au
ARAS is a free, confidential service and provides advocacy assistance to support older people uphold their rights and responsibilities. The ARAS website provides more information about how ARAS can advocate on your behalf if you have an unresolved complaint.

Disability Advocacy and Complaints Service of South Australia (DACCSA)
470 Marion Road, Plympton Park SA 5031 Phone: (08) 8297 3500
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Website: www.dacssa.org.au
DACCSA provides support, information and advocacy for all people with disability, their families, friends and carers.

South Australian Ombudsman
Level 5 East Wing, 50 Grenfell Street, Adelaide SA 5000 Phone: (08) 8226 8699
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Website: www.ombudsman.sa.gov.au
The Ombudsman is independent and investigates complaints about South Australian government and local government agencies. The Ombudsman will expect you have attempted to resolve the issue directly, but can provide assistance with conciliation or conduct an investigation if required.

Privacy, Confidentiality and Access to Personal Information
About your rights

The Community Care Program manages personal information according to Australian Privacy Principles (APP).
This means you have the right to privacy, dignity and confidentiality in regard to the
collection, storage, use and disclosure of your personal information.
You also have the right to access your recorded personal information and correct or update
details if required.

Collection, recording and storage of information
Personal or sensitive information is only collected to confirm eligibility, develop individualised
service plans and determine priority of access. Non-attributed information is also collected
for statistical or auditing purposes and to improve the quality of programs.
Once recorded, personal information is:
Kept in a locked area if paper based,
Password protected if an electronic record,
Not shared without your permission (or the permission of another person for whom you have specifically given consent to do so),
Only used for the purpose for which it is collected, and
Destroyed or de-identified when it is no longer needed for your care.

Access to information
You decide who can access your personal information by signing a Consumer Consent Form.
You, or someone nominated on the consent form, can ask to see the recorded information by using a Request for Information Form, which is available from Community Care staff and also on our website.
Any information found to be incomplete, incorrect, misleading or outdated can then be amended.
Relevant information could be released without your specific permission if there was a serious threat to life, health or safety – but you would be told about this as soon as possible.
GOCSA also has a legal responsibility to comply with the Freedom of Information Act 1991. If a person does not have your permission to access your information, they will need to submit a Request for Information Form to the Manager
Community Care Services, who will assess its appropriateness under the Act and comply accordingly.

Consent
Your written consent about who can access your personal information is obtained during
the assessment process and again, if relevant, when new information is added (during a reassessment or review).
You have the right to withdraw this consent or change the people nominated on the Consumer Consent Form at any time.
In an emergency, relevant information may be released to your nominated carer, advocate, legal guardian or medical professional(s) as recorded on the Consumer Consent Form.

Concerns
If you have any concerns about the way your information is being collected or managed,
please speak to your Coordinator in the first instance.
If you feel you would like to make a complaint about the way your personal information is
collected or managed, ask your Coordinator, for a copy of the Community Care Services
Compliments, Complaints and Appeals policy which provides useful information to help you do this.
If you feel an issue regarding privacy or management of information or access to
information is not satisfactorily resolved within 30 days, you can contact the Office of the
Australian Information Commissioner. This office prefers complaints to be made in
writing, but you can contact the Enquiries Line on 1300 363 992. More information is
available on their website.

Useful contact
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
GPO Box 5218, Sydney NSW 2001 Phone: 1300 363 992
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Website: www.oaic.gov.au
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) is an independent
statutory agency in the Attorney General's portfolio with three key functional areas:
Privacy, Information and Freedom of Information (FOI). The OAIC provides information
and advice and can also initiate an investigation if required.