National Aged Care Advocacy Program Service Charter

Our Charter

The National Aged Care Advocacy Service Charter is a statement about the Program and the standard of service you can expect to receive. The Charter also explains how you can provide feedback or complain about the service.

Who we are

The National Aged Care Advocacy Program (NACAP) was established under the Aged Care Act 1997 and the Aged Care principles that flow from the Act. The Australian Government funds independent community based organisations (in South Australia the Aged Rights Advocacy Service (ARAS) through the NACAP to provide a free and confidential service promoting the rights of people receiving Australian Government subsidised aged care services.

The Program Aim is:

To contribute to improving the quality of life of consumers of aged care services and to the protection of their rights.

Who our clients are

Advocacy Services are available for people receiving Australian Government subsidised aged care services. This includes people who:

  • live in an aged care home or hostel;
  • receive a community aged care package (support at home);
  • receive flexible care;
  • have been assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT);
  • used to receive aged care services; or
  • are representing the interests of a person receiving aged care services.

What we do

Advocacy Services are independent and confidential services delivered for the benefit of people receiving Australian Government subsidised aged care services.  In advising clients and representing their interests, Advocacy Services aim to provide high quality consumer-focused practices that are delivered in a professional manner.

Advocacy Services can:

  • provide clients with information and advice about their rights and responsibilities
  • support clients to be involved in decisions affecting their life
  • assist clients to resolve problems or complaints in relation to aged care services
  • promote the rights of older people to aged care providers

How Advocates work

An Advocate is someone who works solely on behalf and at the direction of the client. They listen to their concerns, give information and speak up for the client if requested to do so. Before taking action, they will seek the client’s permission.

Advocates can:

  • support the client to speak out on their own behalf
  • speak for the client to aged care service providers and other agencies
  • refer the client to other agencies where needed

Contacting Advocacy Services

In South Australia ARAS can be contacted by phoning:   

(08) 8232 5377 or Toll Free 1800 700 600 (country callers only)

(Please note toll free calls are not available from mobile phones)

Our Code of Conduct

Our Code of Conduct requires that in providing services Advocates will:

  • conduct themselves with honesty and integrity;
  • act with care and diligence;
  • treat everyone with respect and courtesy and without harassment;
  • comply with all applicable Australian laws;
  • maintain appropriate confidentiality;
  • interact sensitively, effectively and professionally with people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds or with special needs.

Our Service Standards

Advocacy Services working under the National Aged Care Advocacy Program aim to:

  • recognise that the  interests of the person receiving aged care services must be considered of paramount importance if a conflict of interest arises in the assistance given by the advocacy service;
  • ensure that clearly stated standard s of service are available and applicable to all members of the client group;
  • ensure maximum participation of people receiving aged care services in the advocacy process so that they continue to be optimally involved in decision making about their quality of life;
  • include open and constructive communication, consultation and feedback mechanisms and clear points of contact; and
  • maintain a positive relationship with key stakeholders which allows for collaborative approaches to improving quality of life and quality of care for people receiving aged care services.

Our Practices

Advocacy Services working under the National Aged Care Advocacy Program will:

  • provide a Service Charter which is a public statement of the services and quality of services clients can expect to receive from an advocacy service;
  • act for people receiving aged care services upon their instructions or the instructions of their representatives;
  • have access to such documentation as is available to the person receiving aged care services only with the permission of that person, or his/her representative;
  • maintain mechanisms for dealing with complaints from people receiving aged care services regarding the advocacy service and inform clients about those redressing mechanisms;

Privacy and Confidentiality

Privacy will be respected and all information provided treated as confidential, unless the client gives permission for disclosure or disclosure is necessary e.g. threat to safety, alleged criminal behaviour. The Information Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act 1988 apply to information collected by Advocacy Services.

Our Commitment to improvement

We are committed to improving our procedures and service. Feedback is important towards achieving these aims. Feedback can be provided through the satisfaction surveys that clients may be asked to complete.

If you are dissatisfied with the service

If a client is unhappy with the service for any reason, each Advocacy Services has an internal system for handling complaints. Details of the Internal Complaints processes are available from Advocacy Services.

Complaints which cannot be resolved by the Advocacy Service Internal Complaints process, or complainants who do not wish to use the internal system, can be referred to an External Complaints process for resolution.

Further Information

More information about Advocacy Services and aged care rights, including the Charter of Residents’ Rights, is available in English and other languages from the Aged Care Information Line or the website:  1800 500 853 (TTY National Relay Service - ask for 1800 500 853)

www.health.gov.au/agedcareadvocacy