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Are services confidential?
Yes, services are confidential with the exception of situations which are outlined in the NCS Welcome Letter, e.g. harm to self or others, child abuse/neglect, etc.
Does NCS offer childcare?
No, NCS does not offer childcare.
Is there free parking for clients?
There is no free parking for clients at NCS but there is limited metered parking on Lake Street and in the neighbourhood.
Does NCS charge for client services?
There is no charge for services at NCS because they are funded by government ministries.
What is the geographical catchment area for NCS?
Nelson and surrounding area.
Who has access to client records?
Client records are audited for accreditation purposes by NCS staff and by the accrediting agency.
What does NCS have to report to the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD)?
When a MCFD social worker is the referring person, reports as requested by MCFD are required. The client will be aware of what information is requested.
NCS staff are required by legislation to report incidents of suspected child abuse and neglect to MCFD.
What happens if a client's record or counsellor is subpoenaed to court?
NCS is required by subpoena to release the client record to the court and/or for the counsellor to testify at the court hearing. You will be notified if this occurs.
What RIGHTS do I have as a client?
As a client of Nelson Community Services you have the following rights and responsibilities:
- To be provided confidential and timely service
- To be made fully aware of the limits of confidentiality, as per legislation
- To be treated in a respectful and non-discriminatory manner
- To have full and active participation in the service you receive
- To be provided with sufficient information to make an informed choice about using NCS services
- To refuse any technique, activity, or service and to be informed of the consequence of such refusal
- To receive services that are respectful of, and responsive to, cultural and linguistic differences
- To be aware that services provided may not include all that you expected or requested
- To provide NCS with relevant information as a basis for receiving services and participating in service decisions
- To not being a threat to anyone while receiving services at NCS
- To reschedule your appointment if you or your child is ill
- To file a grievance without interference or retaliation
- To be aware that should an emergency arise while in the presence of NCS employees, emergency services will be made available
- To be aware of and respect that NCS is a scent-free, pet-free environment
Employees of NCS adhere to the following CODE OF ETHICS
- Regard the well-being of the persons we serve as our primary professional obligation.
- Be competent in the performance of the services and functions we undertake on behalf of the persons we serve.
- Not knowingly counsel a client who is in counselling with another person/agency, without consulting the other counsellor/agency.
- Protect the confidentiality of all professionally acquired information and disclose such information only when properly authorized or when obligated legally or professionally.
- Ensure that outside interests do not jeopardize our professional judgment, independence, or competence.
- When the counselling or support request is beyond the competence and scope of the agency’s personnel, client consent will be obtained to consult, collaborate with, or refer the client to another appropriate service provider.
- Take responsibility for and be supportive of Nelson Community Service’s programs and our colleagues. Deal internally with issues which create obstacles to this attitude in a direct manner through discussions with individuals, the team, my Supervisor, and the Executive Director.
- Work for the creation and maintenance of workplace conditions and policies consistent with the above.
Refer to NCS Policy Manual: 4001–Standards of Conduct,
What is the CLIENT GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
Should you find cause for complaint or grievance against a service provider of Nelson Community Services, we encourage you to:
Step 1: Speak to your counsellor or support worker directly to try to resolve the concern.
Step 2: If a resolution is not reached with Step 1, write to the Program Supervisor.
Step 3: If a resolution is still not achieved, write to the Executive Director.
The Executive Director may be reached by calling (250) 352-3504, by mail at #201 – 518 Lake Street, Nelson, BC, V1L 4C6,
or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Complaints will be responded to at each level in a timely manner, normally no longer than five working days. You have the right to file a grievance without interference or retaliation. When a complaint has reached the Executive Director level, you will be sent a reply in writing, and a copy will be maintained in your client file.
Our CONFLICT OF INTEREST Policy
When representing NCS, all agency personnel will respect the interests of NCS and will not use their position or influence for personal, social, organizational, financial, or political gain.
A conflict of interest occurs when the self-interests of NCS personnel are in conflict with the interests of NCS or its clients. Conflicts of interest include the following situations:
- where personnel’s private out-of-agency interests, connections, affairs or financial interests are in conflict with his/her work duties, responsibilities and obligations, or may result in a public perception that a conflict exists; or
- where employment at NCS would impair their ability to act in the public interest; or
- where personnel’s actions would compromise or undermine the trust which the public places in Nelson Community Services.
Personnel of NCS are not permitted to serve as directors of the Nelson Community Services Board of Directors.
- NCS personnel or contractors may not have direct or indirect financial interest in NCS’ assets, leases, business transactions or professional services offered by NCS.
- NCS prohibits direct referral to private practice. Exceptions may be made only if it is clearly in the client’s best interest and the Executive Director has given prior approval. Employees must not steer or direct referrals of applicants or persons served to a private practice in which a relative is engaged.
- Transfer of cases to personnel leaving NCS for private practice will be allowed only when exceptional circumstances justify that it is in the client’s best interest to do so and the Executive Director has given prior approval.
- Personnel will not place themselves in situations where they are under obligation to any person who might benefit from or seek to gain special consideration or favour. The honesty and impartiality of personnel must be above suspicion.
- No NCS personnel shall accept compensation or rewards from individuals or agencies because of the position they occupy in NCS. Money or other gifts offered should be firmly but kindly refused. If a client or his/her family insists and the gift is of a minor nature, it may be accepted with the prior approval of the supervisor or Executive Director. If a problem arises, personnel must discuss it with their immediate supervisor.
- NCS personnel will not accept payment, gifts, or other considerations for referring applicants to another service provider. Likewise, the NCS personnel will not make payment or other considerations to any source for providing referrals.
- No NCS personnel shall sell goods or services to a client nor accept money or loans from a client.
- NCS policies and procedures will apply equally to all its personnel.
- Personnel are responsible for monitoring this policy and for reporting any apparent violations or conflicts of interest in a timely manner to his/her supervisor and/or the Executive Director and/or Board of Directors, as appropriate.
Refer to NCS Policy Manual 7002 – Conflict of Interest – Personnel
What is the purpose of counselling for children?
Goals of counselling typically include a focus on helping children to feel good about themselves, to make sense of intense and confusing feelings and experiences, to identify emotional needs or concerns that the child might have and to help enhance their skills for coping with feelings or stress.
Can the information from counselling be used to assist me in court regarding custody and access issues?
To create a safe space, the NCS counsellors explain to parents and children that they stay out of any custody issues or court processes, that counselling is not for the purpose of getting information for a judge or for the other parent. The role of the counsellor is to allow the child to have a neutral place to connect with their feelings, to express them as they are able, to adapt to any changes in their lives; and to support both parents in keeping the focus on the child’s needs.
Does my ex-partner have to be involved in this process?
When parents have shared custody, the counsellor prefers to have permission from both of them to meet with their child. Initially, the counsellor will meet with the parents separately to discuss the child’s history, concerns, and ways of coping. The counsellor will talk with both parents again after she gets to know the child a little bit (after 4 or 5 meetings usually), to make sure that they are on track, to find out more about needs or concerns of the child, and to talk about how the parents can further support their child and ensure that their child’s emotional needs and development are being supported as best possible.
Does NCS provide services outside the scheduled office hours?
The Aimee Beaulieu Transition House is a 24/7 program. Family Support Workers and other outreach workers have some flexibility to work outside regular work hours in order to best meet the needs of current clients. For immediate critical support call the Regional Crisis Line at 1-888-353-CARE (2273) or Ministry for Children and Family Development after hours at 1 800 663 9122 (Provincial Centralized Screening).