Client Participation Policy
This policy provides information about how Wayss will involve clients in the planning and delivery of its services.
Wayss is committed to involving clients in decisions about the services they receive based on their individual circumstances. Wayss recognises that client participation is a developmental process which may involve a variety of strategies for different groups and this may evolve over time.
Wayss values the voices of our clients and recognises that we deliver higher quality and safer services when we hear from people with lived experience. We are committed to providing opportunities for clients to participate and provide feedback on our service design, delivery, and evaluation.
This policy applies to all staff (including temporary or casual staff), volunteers, and students who may be on placement at Wayss for all programs and services provided.
Wayss will facilitate a client’s right to participate in the organisation’s decision making and will advise clients how they can contribute to organisational improvement. Wayss recognises that barriers exist which can limit the involvement of clients in the organisation and will endeavour to address these barriers when seeking client participation.
Staff will respect a client’s decision not to participate.
A past client of Wayss can request to join the Wayss Board of Directors. This person would be required to fulfil the roles and responsibilities of a Director as defined by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, and the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission. They will be afforded the same support and information given to any volunteer Board member.
4.2. Cultural Sensitivity
Wayss will seek feedback, collect information, hold client participation forums and actively encourage participation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients, clients from LGBTIQ and culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, accompanying children and young people, and clients with disabilities.
Client participation methods will be tailored and informed by an understanding of diversity and intersectionality.
Wayss may also seek client involvement on working parties or as part of a consultation on a specific issue. Clients will be reimbursed for costs relating to their participation.
Clients have the right to give feedback and make decisions about the services they receive from Wayss at any point whilst they are receiving service or on exit from the service. Clients will be able to easily access information about how to provide feedback or make a complaint. Clients will have an opportunity to provide feedback in a variety of ways and be assured of anonymity.
Client feedback will be reflected in the development and review of Wayss policies and procedures and planning and evaluation processes. Clients will be informed when giving feedback how their comments may be used within the organisation.
As part of the Wayss Accreditation review process clients may be asked to participate in an interview with an external assessor about their experiences with Wayss and the services they have accessed. Consent will be obtained, and clients will be compensated for their participation.
Client participation needs to be safe for all parties involved and this may mean that at times Wayss will seek to engage with clients on an individual basis, to understand and assess their needs, and identify appropriate services and support for the individual.
5.1. Staff, volunteers, and students
All Wayss staff, volunteers and students will enable clients to participate in organisational improvement.
Direct service staff will engage in shared decision-making with clients regarding the services they receive, collect feedback from clients on an individual basis and identify clients to participate in specific focus groups and interviews as part of Wayss accreditation process.
Managers will support client participation by encouraging staff to develop the skills required to seek and act on the voice of clients and are responsible for incorporating client feedback into organisational planning and service evaluation.
This policy will be reviewed every two years or sooner if there is legislative change or if Wayss receives feedback about service delivery that may impact on this policy.
7. Related Policies and Resources
- DHHS Standards
- Performance Standards for Registered Housing Agencies
- Client Participation Procedure
- Client Complaint Policy
- Client Feedback Policy
- Client Voice Framework