Client Rights & Responsibilities
ASCO shall respect the rights of persons served. ASCO shall provide written material that outlines the rights and responsibilities of clients including, but not limited to, the right to be treated with dignity and respect and without discrimination; the right to privacy and confidentiality; the right to be served within a safe and secure service environment; the right to make a complaint about the services you receive and/or a suggestion that can help ASCO plan new services or review and improve existing services.
Clients may access services that are free from abuse, humiliation, exploitation, retaliation, and neglect. Clients have the responsibility to treat other clients and staff with respect.
Clients shall be asked to participate actively in the planning of services provided; to have access to their own records, if desired; and to tell us when they have to cancel an appointment or have decided to discontinue services. Clients shall be invited to complete a satisfaction survey during or after their service is completed to give us feedback on whether they found our services helpful, and how we might improve our services or provide new services.
What are my rights?
- You have the right to a substance free, smoke/vapour free and scent sensitive environment when you come to ASCO. On Occasion, ASCO may host a smudging ceremony with Indigenous peoples. If this is the case, a sign will be posted notifying you of this ceremony. Illegal substances are prohibited at all ASYR sites. Please refrain from bringing any/all drugs and/or medications onto ASCO property.
What are my responsibilities?
- We request that you abstain from drug and alcohol use prior to coming to ASCO.
- ASCO is a scent-free environment.
- Please remember to treat other clients and staff with respect.
- Please ensure that what you say and how you behave at ASCO are non-offensive and respectful of diversity (gender, socioeconomic status, ability/disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, religion, substance use goals, stage of change, etc.).
- Please remember to arrive on time. Ensure you let reception staff know you are here. Late arrival for appointment(s), may not be counted toward attendance.
- Please report any flu-like symptoms or fever to your counsellor before coming into ASCO. If a client comes to the office and has, or reports, flu-like symptoms or other infectious illness, he/she will be asked to reschedule their appointment.
- Make sure you are able to receive our phone calls and note that all ASCO calls display as “private number”. If we do not have your permission to leave a message, we will not leave a message and will stop calling if we are unable to contact you.
- Please remember to give your counsellor at least five (5) business days’ notice of your need for the letter. Please give your counsellor the name and address of the person/ organization you would like the letter for (we do not give “To Whom it May Concern” letters). You will be asked to sign a consent form when you request the letter.
What are my Counsellor’s responsibilities?
Your counsellor’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- providing client-centred services;
- ensuring the safety and security of all ASYR clients and staff;
- collaborating on the development of a treatment plan;
- providing an evidence-based treatment and education;
- providing referrals and resources.
What is ASCO’s complaints and appeals process?
Addiction Services Central Ontario (ASCO) believes in addressing all client and members of the public’s complaints in a timely manner by following ASCO’s Complaints Policy.
- Client complaints may be initiated verbally or in written form.
- Clients are encouraged to try to resolve the issue with the person of concern by finding a solution together after discussing the issue. In most cases, the complaint can be resolved through informal discussion.
- When resolution is unsatisfactory, supervisors and directors will become involved as per agency complaint policy.
- When clients are unable to participate in the above process, they should be encouraged to involve a trusted friend, family member or request an advocate to assist them.
- Clients can complete the Feedback form on ASCO's website, or call ASCO’s Ethics Hotline at 1.844.792.2278 or 416.369.3797 or email [email protected] to report any complaint should they wish.
- Staff supervisors and directors will provide the Complaint Form when it is requested. ASCO staff will encourage the client to document the complaint and provide assistance to complete the form, if required.
- All complaints will be investigated. The Executive Director will ensure that follow up is conducted with the client to inform them of the result of the investigation.
- ASCO will respond to all complaints as soon as the investigation is completed.
- Lodging a complaint will not result in retaliation or barriers to services.
- If the client is not satisfied with the results of the investigation, they may submit an appeal in writing.
- If the complaint is related to service provided by an ASYR staff member who is a member of a regulatory college, if, after investigation it is determined that the complaint is as a result of a professional conduct issue, ASYR will submit a complaint to the regulatory body.
- Clients may also make a complaint directly to the regulatory college. It is the staff member’s responsibility to advise the client/authorized representative which college they belong to and must facilitate the complaint process by providing contact information for the college.
- If the complaint is related to service provided by a student in placement at ASYR, ASYR will notify the educational institution if, after investigation, it is determined that it is a professional conduct issue.
- If non-clinical staff receive a complaint about clinical staff, they will forward the complaint to a director for follow-up.
- As part of ASCO’s commitment to quality improvement, complaints and actions taken will be incorporated into the Quality Improvement Plan.
Members of the Public
- Complaints may be initiated verbally or in written form.
- The Executive Director will be made aware of the complaint and is responsible for ensuring an investigation takes place.
- Procedures for complaints will follow the same processes as outlined above.
Addiction Services Central Ontario (ASCO) strives for excellence in client satisfaction and makes every effort to treat all complaints promptly and courteously in order to address the issue. Every client and member of the public has the right to appeal an agency’s complaint decision.
- A client and/or member of the public may appeal in writing, the decision made by ASYR concerning their complaint within one month of having received the decision.
- On receipt of a written appeal, a complete review of the individual’s complaint will be conducted by a Director. The Director will provide a brief written summary of the complaint, the original decision and any subsequent decision to the Executive Director within five (5) business days of receiving the appeal.
- The Director or Executive Director will send a written response to the complainant within two weeks after the investigation is completed.
- Should the client or member of the public not be satisfied with the results of the review of the appeal, they may appeal to the ASCO Board of Directors by sending an e-mail to [email protected]
- The Vice-Chair of the Board will be responsible for reviewing the original complaint, the decision and all appeals and decisions. The Vice-Chair will make a final decision on the appeal and will inform the Board.
- All decisions made by the Executive Director and/or the Vice-Chair of the Board are final.
- The Executive Director will provide the Board with a quarterly report on any appeals received and the results of the appeal.