Consulting with clients and others
It is important to involve your clients in any decisions that are being made to assist them. Your clients may be able to identify their need, particularly if they are voluntary clients. If your client is an involuntary client, you may need to establish formal mechanisms that will assess their needs, such as case conferences and interviews.
These mechanisms may be outlined in law or in your agency's policies or procedures. If you need to consult with others about your client, you need to have their consent to do so.
Consulting with others about a client
You may need to consult other family members, other service providers and other workers. It is important that you only disclose information about your client on a need-to-know basis. This will help you respect your client's right to confidentiality. Make sure you cater for any additional needs when carrying out an assessment.
Examining reports, individual plans and case notes
If you are able to access case plans, action plans or court reports, you may be able to identify client needs, based on the information the reports contain. There is usually a lot of information in a case plan, ranging from concerns people have regarding the client through to strategies to reach desired outcomes. Looking at reports and case plans may help you meet the information needs of the client.
Statutory obligations may help determine the information needs of your client. If your client is on a court order, there may be requirements or responsibilities that the client has to meet. You or the agency may be operating under statutory guidelines. These guidelines may direct the manner in which information needs are assessed and responded to.
Resource files and directories
Access to up-to-date resource files that contain information about organisations is important in providing information to clients, including
- types of services available
- eligibility criteria
- hours available
- contact name and phone numbers
- available formats for information, e.g. video, audio, multiple languages.