Client Rights

Consent, Choice, Risk, Responsibility, Decision-Making, Regulation & Advocacy

SCCSS recognizes the individual’s or family/caregiver’s right to voluntary participation and that the individual or family/caregiver is central to any planning or decision-making process that affects them.

The Society ensures that our client’s rights to informed consent and choice are protected.

SCCSS obtains signed informed consent from persons served to provide service, to collect personal information, for input into service delivery team composition, to release and obtain personal information.

The Society does not currently involve individuals in any research projects.

SCCSS recognizes that individuals:

  • Have the right to make their own decisions and choices.
  • May require assistance to make decisions and choices.
  • Need information and opportunities to explore options in order to make informed choices.
  • May make inappropriate choices or change their mind about a choice they have made and may need support to make a different choice.
  • May make choices that present risks and they need to participate in planning to minimize those risks.
  • Have, along with rights, responsibilities which include participation in making decisions and choices and accountability for actions.
  • Where possible, will have input into the composition of the service delivery.
  • Have the right to access to legal representation if required.
  • Have the right to be free from abuse, neglect, retaliation, humiliation, financial or other ways of being exploited
  • Have the right to confidentiality and privacy

SCCSS complies with current governmental laws and regulations:

  • As defined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the BC Human Rights Act and Employment Standards.
  • As defined by the service principles or expectations outlined by the relevant funding body.
  • Under no circumstances does the Society involve individuals in research projects.

The Society provides information on rights and responsibilities to clients in ways that are clear and understandable:

  • At the beginning of services and annually if the individual is involved longer than a year.
  • Regarding the rights of all clients served by SCCSS, including conflict resolution process, and consent.
  • Legal rights including – Access or referral to legal entities for appropriate representation.

SCCSS provides opportunities for all individuals and families in receipt of services to enhance their advocacy skills.

  1. The Society obtains signed informed consent based on the program requirements as identified in program operating manuals. Consent procedures may vary amongst programs for reasons such as funding sources and legal requirements.
  2. Consent is sought voluntarily, without coercion or undue influence.
  3. Clients are fully informed of all aspects of the specific service and staff composition, as well as their right to withhold, give or revoke their consent. This is provided during the client orientation and/or via the client handbook.
  4. Consent to receive concurrent services is obtained.
  5. Consent is documented in client records.
  1. SCCSS ensure that clients have provided signed informed consent for SCCSS to gather and release information about them. Employees will not share client information except on a need to know basis with those individuals supporting the client and in keeping with the signed consent.
  2. Such a release is limited to the specific information and time period identified.
  3. The completed consent for exchange of information form is filed in the client’s file.
  4. The consent for the exchange of information is updated annually typically at the time when personal or child planning occurs.
  5. Whenever possible, clients/families/representatives are to provide information themselves.
  6. When sharing confidential information, employees will make sure they have the authority to do so. Staff will not make public statements about confidential information concerning clients. If staff is asked for confidential client information, they will explain that they are not authorized to release any information concerning clients without client authorization and will then refer the inquirer to the Executive Director.
  7. When staff is authorized to give information, they will do so in manner that conveys dignity and respect for the client and family.
  8. Information may be shared without consent in response to a medical or health emergency situation in which the client, family, or representative is unable to do so themselves.
  1. Employees may complete referrals on behalf of individuals and families in keeping with policy.
  2. Every referral initiated by SCCSS requires the informed consent of the individual, their representative or the family.
  3. Typically, the referral form will be used to document such consent.
  1. Employees will obtain specific informed consent from individuals or families for the use of any personal information outside the scope of service delivery.
  2. This includes the use of both images and information in any media or public relations event.
  • SCCSS provides clients with information on individual rights during program orientation sessions and as required while in receipt of service. Employees should:
    • Provide clients with information so that they can make informed choices.
    • Provide clients with experiences that allow them to explore options.
    • Involve clients in the planning of their services and activities.
    • Support clients when they change their minds or make inappropriate choices to explore other options.
    • Involve clients and others who know them well to look at risks and develop plans to minimize those risks.
    • Provide information and support to clients about their responsibilities as outlined in the program operating manuals and/or orientation material
  • Each program fulfils the above stated policy by:
    • Maintaining current information regarding rights.
    • Providing training and orientation to employees regarding client rights.
    • Providing orientation sessions and/or client handbooks for clients.
  1. Opportunities for developing advocacy skills may include in-service workshops, conferences, materials available on advocacy and training for Society employees on personal advocacy.
  2. Advocacy is discussed as part of the client orientation session and/or client handbook.
  3. Advocacy activities may be supported through the use of committees and consumer groups as is appropriate to each program area.
  4. Each program will develop and maintain specific advocacy activities to support the involvement of individuals in self-advocacy, support for advocacy activities, and relevant information about advocacy organizations.

Allegations of a breach or infringement of Client Rights or the Code of Ethics are investigated promptly and in accordance with Conflict Resolution Policy B IS 7.

  • Personal Advocacy: one-to-one advocacy support to ensure the rights of individuals are acknowledged and respected.
  • Self-Advocacy: enabling a person to speak on his/her own behalf.