The health, safety and well-being of each of our clients is our primary focus. Stardust Counselling has been established to support all in need of counselling and mental health support, and we are well trained in Trauma Informed Care to provide the safest, most supportive assistance possible. To ensure our clients receive the best care available, we have outlined below our complaints management and resolution policy and procedures, explaining how we encourage every individual to inform the staff and management of Stardust Counselling of any complaints, no matter how small they may seem, about the supports and services we provide, in a safe, supported environment without ramification or judgement; that an individual can express concern or make a complaint anonymously if they feel more comfortable in doing so; complaints can be made verbally, in writing, or by any other means appropriate in the circumstances; how complaints are documented and followed-up upon, and procedures for reporting incidents to the NDIS Commission if required.
This policy and procedures with be reviewed and updated on a regular basis, unless necessary at an earlier time. Every individual we offer support to is afforded the same level of respect, dignity and care. We will acknowledge, assess and resolve any complaints in a fair, efficient and timely manner, as well as taking appropriate action in relation to any/all issues raised within complaints. All reasonable steps will be taken to ensure that any person who makes a complaint to Stardust Counselling, and each person with disability affected by an issue raised in such a complaint, will be advised on how that complaint or issue may be raised with the Commissioner, as well as appropriate support and assistance in contacting the Commissioner in relation to a complaint. Stardust Counselling will make certain that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure that an individual who makes a complaint, or an individual with disability affected by an issue raised in a complaint, is not adversely affected as a result of the making of a complaint; and that all information provided in a complaint will be kept confidential and only disclosed if required by law, or if the disclosure is otherwise appropriate in the circumstances within the legal bounds of counsellor/client confidentiality. Persons making a complaint, and/or individuals with disability affected by the issues raised in a complaint, will be appropriately involved in the resolution of the complaint, and will be kept informed of the progress of the complaint, including any action taken, the reasons for any decisions made and options for review of decisions in relation to the complaint. Information on how to make a complaint about Stardust Counselling to a staff member or manager of Stardust, and how a complaint can be made to the Commissioner, will be easily accessible by the public on the Stardust Counselling website, www.stardustcounselling.com; as a hard copy directly from Stardust; or emailed on request. A hard copy of complaints management and resolution policy and procedures will be given to every individual with disability receiving supports and/or services from Stardust, their families, carers, assistants and/or advocates; each person employed or engaged by Stardust. Comprehensive records of all complaints will be kept in the confidential files of Stardust Counselling, including written complaints/reports, supporting documentation, follow-up reports, information regarding action taken to resolve the complaint, and the outcome of any action taken. These records will be kept for a minimum of seven years, or longer as State and Federal regulations require. We will use the information collected from any complaints of a statistical or system-related nature to better tailor our services to client needs, to review issues raised; to identify and address issues raised through the complaints management and resolution process; to report information relating to complaints to the Commissioner, if necessary.
It is the responsibility of the staff member, manager, or contractor of Stardust Counselling who receives the initial complaint to lodge said complaint with the managing director of Stardust and offer support to the individuals making the complaint. It is the responsibility of the managing director, Sonja Turner, to formally lodge the complaint within Stardust; collect information pertaining to the complaint and/or supporting documentation; report the complaint to the Commissioner if necessary; offer support to the person making the complaint, individuals with disability affected by issues raised in the complaint; take actions to resolve the complaint in a timely, efficient, and supportive manner. Every member of staff and/or contractor of Stardust Counselling is bound by our complaints management and resolution policy and procedures, and every individual engaged by Stardust will be trained in these procedures. All complaints, as required, will be referred to, or notified to, any other bodies where necessary under relevant Commonwealth, State or Territory laws, which may include, but is not limited to, Police and/or child protection agencies. Stardust Counselling takes all potential complaints or issues seriously, and we encourage all staff members, individuals and support workers to report incidents, no matter how minor they may seem, so that appropriate action can be taken to correct any possible issues, support complaints made, and most importantly, the individual.
Please use this Download button to access Stardust Counselling's complaint lodgement form.
COVID, Infection and Risk Management
The health, safety and well-being of each of our clients and all staff members is our primary focus. Stardust Counselling has been established to support all in need of counselling and mental health support, and we are well trained in Trauma Informed Care to provide the safest, most supportive assistance possible.
Outlined below are our risk management procedures, explaining how to identify and classify any risks or incidents, how they are documented and followed-up upon, and procedures to rectify risks before they become a hazard.
All staff members, managers and contractors are responsible for their own safety and well-being, as well as of those they interact with, and those with which they come into contact. Due to the nature of our work, we must remain vigilant to the mental health, and general health, of those we work with and support, staying on top of our profession with accreditation, ongoing personal and professional development, and further training, including clinical supervision. As such, any employee or contractor for Stardust Counselling agrees to never attend to any duties on behalf of Stardust under the influence of recreational/attention-altering drugs or medication, including alcohol; while injured or ill if there is any chance of contagion, risk of illness, injury or detrimental effect to a client or their well-being; where personal issues may impact on the client or quality of service provided; or under any other circumstances that could have a negative effect on a client.
COVID and infection risk. Stardust Counselling take COVID and infection risk extremely seriously. Our policy is to protect our clients, carers and support staff, where all Stardust Counselling staff members and contractors are:
*trained in COVID and infection awareness, and hand hygiene techniques.
*follow all NDIA, government health recommendations regarding hand hygiene, sanitisation of work surfaces, use of masks/gloves/PPE, social distancing, self -isolation,
and infection control.
*required to advise other staff members, contractors, and relevant clients/carers of potential exposure to infections, and are required to self-isolate until it is safe to return
to the work space.
*required to be fully vaccinated against COVID and its variants, as well as yearly influenza boosters.
In the case that a staff member tests positive for COVID or has COVID or influenza-type symptoms, they are required to self-isolate, advise clients/carers who would have appointments during the isolation term, and arrange for alternative appointments. These may include, if approved by the client/carer and all parties are well enough to participate, online/remote session via Skype/Zoom or similar at a date/time agreed to by all parties. If online sessions are not possible, sessions can be rescheduled, or alternate counsellors can be arranged where appropriate.
Any incidents involving possible exposure to COVID or other infectious diseases, colds/flu, or general health concerns that may affect clients must be advised to management. Clients who may have consequently been exposed to, or could potentially be affected by, after initial quarantine periods, must be advised and it is their decision when to resume sessions at a time that they feel safe and supported to do so. All staff members of Stardust Counselling adhere to the Australian Government, NSW Government, local government, and NDIS guidelines and protocols regarding COVID, quarantine times, vaccinations, lockdowns, and hygiene advice.
Emergency and Disasters. Weather/environmental hazards must be taken into consideration to protect our clients and staff members. Severe storms, heavy rain deluge, flooding, heavy snow, extreme temperatures, bush fires, rockslides, etc. must be taken into consideration when organising sessions that may be impacted by such conditions. The safety of our clients/carers is our biggest priority, therefore, in any instances where their safety may be compromised by weather/environmental hazards, emergencies or disasters, staff members will contact clients/carers to assess their vulnerability and safety concerns, rescheduling sessions where necessary, or offering alternate forms of counselling (telephone or online forms) during the periods of danger. Stardust Counselling will also offer clients/carers additional supports/counselling to assist with emergency and disaster recovery. Emergencies may also take the form of medical or family emergencies. If a member of Stardust Counselling cannot attend a session due to illness, medical or family emergency, affected clients/carers will be contacted with as much notice as possible, and offered supplemental supports until regular appointments can resume.
Business Continuity. If, for any unforeseen reason, Stardust Counselling is not able to continue supports to a client, carer, or must cease operation, any affected clients/carers will be advised with as much notice as possible. Stardust Counselling will assist clients/carers in researching/sourcing other counselling services, provide referrals, and assist all relevant parties through the transition, insofar as the client/carer requests.
Identification, recording and reporting of risks and/or incidents-
Regular, periodic risk assessments will be conducted by the manager of Stardust to assess the safety of staff members, clients, and/or carers. These will be conducted with a physical inspection of any property where consultations occur, using an appropriate checklist. An initial inspection will be done at any property used prior to an initial consultation.
Checklists are to be completed and any risks defined, prioritised and actioned upon. Any potential risks must be documented, photographed where necessary, and rectified immediately, ensuring the safety of all involved.
Any incidents must be documented on the relevant form and logged on the WHS Risk Assessment Log. Any actions that need to be taken to correct issues must be completed immediately.
Regular feedback and reflection exercises will be undertaken with all clients to ensure the support they receive from Stardust is not causing stress, anxiety, or further mental health concerns. Trauma Informed Care guidelines must be used at all times in consideration of all clients, carers, family members, staff members and employees. Any known triggers for trauma responses must be avoided as much as possible and must never be used to manipulate or control another’s behaviour.
Any incidents that involve a client must be reported to the manager immediately, and documentation lodged following NDIS guidelines. The manager will follow up all incidents and reports with the client and/or their carer, advise any regulatory or required bodies, and offer support to the individuals involved through the entire process.
Corrective actions and/or further training will be conducted-
Where an incident may have been prevented, or the impact of the incident could have been reduced, by a certain action or inaction.
If there is an ongoing risk to individuals.
Where said action could prevent or minimise risk of reoccurrence.
Such actions would include, but are not exclusive to, re-training or further training of staff members; improvements to company practice, procedures and policies; and/or changes and enhancements to the environment and/or way supports or services are provided.
Stardust Counselling takes all matters of possible risk and/or harm seriously, and we encourage all staff members, individuals and support workers to report risks or incidents, no matter how minor they may seem, so that appropriate action can be taken to correct any possible issues, support claims and most importantly, the individual.