Entry to Program
The definition of disability as per the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, is:
- total or partial loss of a person’s bodily or mental functions; or
- total or partial loss of a part of the body; or
- the presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness; or
- the presence in the body of organisms capable of causing disease or illness; or
- the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the person’s body; or
- a disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction; or
- a disorder, illness or disease that affects a person’s thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgment or that results in disturbed behaviour; and includes a disability that:
- presently exists; or
- previously existed but no longer exists; or
- may exist in the future; or
- is imputed to a person.
Consistent with the contractual obligations and purpose of the agency, Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy will advocate for people with intellectual disability or multiple disabilities including intellectual disability as defined above.
People with disability who receive advocacy support through Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy must also live in the Sunshine Coast Regional Council area.
When deciding on eligibility for entry into Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy, we will adopt, apply and promote non-discriminatory entry rules in respect of age, gender, race, culture, religion or disability, consistent with the contractual obligations and purpose of our agency.
Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy will assess the eligibility of people with disability who:
- are identified through any recruitment and promotional activities of our agency
- contact our agency directly
- are referred to our agency
To ensure that our agency addresses the needs of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) and Indigenous clients at the point of entry, our agency will:
- ensure that appropriate translating or interpreting services are provided, if required, to assist the client during the assessment of eligibility and entry process
- ensure that any recruitment or promotional activities of Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy are targeted so as to be accessible to those of CALD or ATSI background. This may include the provision of information in languages other than English, particularly for languages spoken widely in the Sunshine Coast Regional area. Where possible, Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy will periodically compare client data with available demographic data for the catchment area to assess whether the needs of minority groups are being met by the program.
Once entry eligibility has been established, Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy will:
- describe to the person what the program does and how advocacy will be undertaken
- describe to the person any relevant specific program information, and provide written material relating to relevant specific advocacy activities
- discuss Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy’s privacy, dignity and confidentiality policy
- provide a consent form for signing if appropriate.
If resources are currently unavailable, Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy will:
- provide interim information and/or referral, as appropriate.
If the person is not eligible, Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy will:
- provide the person with the reason
- document the reason
- provide information and/or referral as appropriate
- provide information about complaints and disputes.
Priority of advocacy Provision
When Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy assesses applications, priority will be given to the following:
- those identified through the current protégé recruitment plan
- the urgency of the issue affecting the person
- the actual or potential risk to the person (identified by the Coordinator)
- the lack of alternative assistance to resolve the issue
- the probability of successful outcome for the person in relation to:
(a)available resources and (b)other high priority advocacy matters.
Highest priority will be given to advocacy requests where there is an urgent and serious risk of harm – including physical or psychological harm to the individual and exposure to a harmful situation, such as jail or homelessness.
Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy will also take into account ethical issues, especially potential conflicts of interest.
When Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy assesses applications, priority will also be given to the seriousness of the person’s disability in terms of the way it affects his or her ability to deal with the problem they are facing.
When a person with a disability is referred (or self refers) to Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy, is assessed as needing advocacy support, and is not able to be recruited into the program, a referral to alternative advocacy services will be offered.
When a person with a disability is inappropriately referred to Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy for advocacy services, referrals will be offered to:
- appropriate disability or generic services
- complaints resolution processes
Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy will develop and maintain up-to-date information about a comprehensive range of agencies and services within the region to ensure appropriate referrals can be made.
When making a referral, Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy will:
- provide the person with information to facilitate informed choice and decision making regarding referrals
- provide collaboration and seek permission before referral is made
- (when possible) contact the referral agency with the person present
- support referrals if necessary
At Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy, client exits will occur:
- at any time when the protege makes an informed decision that they will no longer continue to require advocacy; or
- when the problem/ issue for which advocacy was sought has been resolved; or
- when Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy can no longer assist the client, because:
- the protégé displays unsafe or unacceptable behaviour and all steps have been taken to address the effects of this behaviour
- Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy reasonably believes that our agency, in its capacity to provide advocacy for people with disability, will be negatively impacted if the advocacy is pursued
- when the protégé moves from the Sunshine Coast Regional area.
Where a protégé is moving to another area, Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy will investigate referral options on behalf of the client.
Accessibility of information on our advocacy agency
Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy will ensure that written and audio materials about our eligibility, entry requirements and activities are available to people with disability, their families and carers.
These materials will be:
- written in a style that will be easily comprehensible for people with disability, for example, plain English
- provided for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) populations.
- Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy will use available demographic information to assess which CALD population groups should be targeted.