Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Anyone with a disability can access this independent service.
If you live in the South West we can help. Our main office is in Bunbury, there are outreach offices in Collie, Manjimup, Margaret River and Busselton, or we can make arrangements to visit you in your town.
It is a FREE service.
- To be treated with fairness and respect (freedom from abuse);
- To make your own decisions about your advocacy support;
- To be fully informed in a way that you can understand;
- To have your information treated privately and not shared without your permission;
- To feel safe about complaining if you are not satisfied with your advocate;
- To have an advocate who is independent from disability service providers.
- To treat your advocate with respect;
- To understand that advocates try to do what you ask for but cannot do things that are illegal or may cause harm to you or others;
- To let your advocate know everything you know about your issue;
- To give at least 24 hours notice if you need to change an appointment;
- To make sure your home is safe if your advocate is visiting
- To understand that due to limited resources that advocates must help clients who have the greatest need first.
AWA employs experienced and qualified Advocates.
The first two things that an Advocate will ask you is
‘What result do you want?’
‘What do you want to see changed?’
It is very important that you tell us what you want to happen, as we are guided by your wishes. It is also important that you contribute towards getting the result you want if you can so the Advocate will also ask you what you can do.
AWA endeavours to be as independent from service providers and government agencies as possible. If there are any possible conflicts of interest between advocates, other clients or management, AWA has policies to address this in an open and transparent way. For example we cannot advocate for two clients in the same matter if they have different points of view about the best outcome. AWA does not accept gifts or favours from services providers or clients.
If you are not happy with any part of our service you have the right to tell us. We welcome any complaints or suggestions, because it helps us provide a better service. Remember you can complain or give feedback at anytime via our website www.asw.org.au or by coming to the office or calling (08) 97216444 . Everything you say will be private and will only be discussed by the people who are involved. If you would like someone to be with you or speak for you, you may ask someone you trust to help you. Whether you have a big or small problem you have the right to talk to someone and have it addressed. IF YOU WANT TO MAKE A COMPLAINT
- Talk to the Advocate or person you have the problem with. When you do this, you can bring a friend, family member, carer, or someone you trust;
- If things don’t work out, you can talk to the AWA Executive Manager;
- If your want to take your issue further you can ask for the contact details of AWA’s Board of Directors;
- If you are not happy with the decision made by AWA, you can contact the Complaints Resolution & Referral
AWA could discontinue advocacy if any action or request may cause harm to you or us; or if there is an alternative service that will better meet your needs. Also, if a client threatens or scares staff we can no longer advocate for that client. AWA has limited resources and we must ensure the safety of staff while providing the best service for clients.
We will tell you why, and we will recommend other services wherever possible.
AWA collects information about the people who use our service. We do this to make sure that we record the work we do for you and to keep track of all the activities undertaken.
We keep basic personal information, along with other information about your problem. We record the results you are hoping for and take notes on what we have been doing.
We also put reports together from this information to show that we are doing our job. These reports do not identify anybody.
WHO CAN SEE THIS INFORMATION?
The only people who can look at your information are the advocates who work for AWA and are assisting you. We will always ask your permission before talking to other people about your issue unless:
- A law court orders us to provide information in a client’s file;
- A law says we must report any information we know about a child whose safety is at risk;
- We may have to release information in an emergency situation where there is a serious risk to a person’s life, health or safety or threat to public health or safety;
- People such as NDS Standards Auditors who have signed an Agreement not to tell anyone about information in the files may look at some of them to make sure we are providing good quality advocacy (you can sign a note to say you do not want your file to be included in the audit if you wish).
Can I See My Own File? Yes. If you want to see your file, all you have to do is ask. You can take a copy, but the file belongs to the Service.
How Secure is My File? When not in use, your file is kept in a secure cabinet and computer system. Our computers have strong security passwords.
Anyone who uses the services of AWA can choose to become a member. Simply fill out the following application form