Participant Information & FAQs
At CatholicCare Sandhurst we deliver a broad range of services for children, families, individuals and communities. Whether we are working with you as an individual, or in a group or within your local community, we will at all times be focused on solutions, be strengths based and have you at the centre of our attention and practice.
So what do these terms mean? This may help to clarify how we work and what you can expect from us. Click here for more information.
Whether positive or constructive, we welcome your feedback.
Click here to access our feedback form.
To have input into our policy development and service direction
You can attend any of CatholicCare Sandhurst's user groups and consumer participation workshops. Contact us to find out more.
Working with you; Consumer Participation
What is it?
- Involving you in the way we do things at CatholicCare Sandhurst to make a better service for you.
- Getting your ideas on how we can do things better and your experience of the service at CatholicCare Sandhurst.
- Participating in activities, special functions and events.
Why have it?
- To make sure we are meeting your needs and the needs of others.
- We want to know what you think about CatholicCare Sandhurst, what is working and what is not, so we can make improvements.
- You are important to the service and we would like you to become involved.
How can you participate at CatholicCare Sandhurst?
Feedback Surveys – where we ask you for your ideas and your experience of our services.
Focus Groups – we ask for your ideas on a specific topic or issue in a group setting.
Media – we acknowledge and celebrate your involvement and seek your contributions through a range of media including newsletters, social media, websites etc.
Volunteering – opportunities to be involved across a number of programs.
Advisory Groups – some programs have consumer groups that meet regularly to contribute ideas and feedback to improve services.
All feedback obtained is confidential.
If you should participate in consumer activities at CatholicCare Sandhurst
- It is expected that participants show commitment, punctuality, respect and confidentiality.
- The staff at CatholicCare Sandhurst will in turn demonstrate punctuality and respect.
- You will be provided with a safe and confidential environment.
- CatholicCare Sandhurst will acknowledge your involvement in consumer participation.
- Your involvement in consumer activities may be supported with practical assistance including child care and transport etc.
CatholicCare Sandhurst values your participation in its Consumer Participation activities. Ask your worker if you want to know more about it.
What is Counselling?
Counselling is a confidential process which involves supporting people to find skills, knowledge and resources that can assist in addressing a range of different issues in their lives.
Who is a Counsellor?
A counsellor is a person who has been professionally trained to assist you with issues such as:
- Managing Emotions
- Confidence/self esteem
- Communication with others
- School/ Work problems
Why go to Counselling?
Counsellors do not make judgments on who is right or wrong and they don’t tell you what to do. Working through issues with someone who has no involvement or investment in the outcome can usually help people get through difficult times.
Who can use the service?
The service is available to all families, individuals and children regardless of their culture, age, race, religion, relationship status, gender or sexuality.
What is Family Counselling?
Family Counselling is the name for counselling under the Family Law Act. It can help people with relationship difficulties better manage issues relating to:
- The care of your children
- New living arrangements
- Financial adjustments
- Personal or interpersonal issues during marriage, separation and divorce.
- When should I see a family counsellor?
- Can I access these services?
- You can go to family counselling as an individual, a couple or a family
- It can be before marriage, during marriage or a de-facto relationship.
- After separation or divorce or when you re-marry.
- For issues affecting your children whether or not you have ever married or lived together.
- If you are separated, whether or not you have started court action.
Why seek family counselling?
Family Counselling can help:
- You work through emotional problems with your spouse or partner or reach agreement about your parental responsibilities;
- Couples come to terms with the many changes that happen when a relationship breaks up;
- Parents make decisions about arrangements for their children and how they will share parenting after separation;
- Where there are disagreements about the division of property.
The Family Law Act encourages parents to sort out differences over their children themselves instead of going to court.
What if you are feeling unsafe?
The Family Counselling services have arrangements in place to protect the safety of clients and staff. If you have concerns about your safety or the safety of your children, you should let the service staff know as soon as possible.
What information will a Family counsellor provide me with?
This depends on where you are in the relationship—are you in a new relationship, building your relationships, in a blended family, a grandparent or kinship carer, trying to reconcile or separate? We can provide you with:
- Information, support and referrals
- Parenting plans.
- Psycho-educational group program
- Short seminar or workshops
- These will provide you with additional knowledge, strategies and the skills to strengthen your relationships or inform your decisions.
What is a Child Consultant?
Where appropriate, children are invited to meet with Centacare’s Child Consultant who will listen to the children’s feelings and views. With the child’s consent, the Child Consultant will provide feedback to parents or their significant others on a separate occasion to help them develop parenting plans that are in the child’s best interest. Children’s feedback can usually help in the family dispute resolution process.
Is Family Counselling confidential?
Under the Family Law Act, anything said at a counselling session is confidential – except in certain circumstances, such as to prevent a serious threat to someone’s life or to prevent the commission of a crime.
What is said during family counselling cannot be used as evidence in any court. However, a family counsellor must report child abuse, or anything said that indicates a child is at risk of abuse and this may be used as evidence.
Where can I access the service?
You can contact us during office hours for more information on the days, location and session availability.
We also outreach from community centres, and co-locate with other agencies.
Counselling can also be provided via Telephone or Skype if you are unable to travel to our offices or would prefer some anonymity.
How much will it cost?
Although, the Australian Government funds CatholicCare Sandhurst under the Families and Children Programme, to provide Family Counselling Services, we also rely on contributions from the community and the fees to continue delivering our counselling services.
Concessions are available on all charges.
Fees are based on your income and capacity to pay. If you are a low income earner or are experiencing financial difficulties, you can discuss this with our counsellors so that this can be taken into consideration.