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Advocacy Process Flowchart

Consumer/complainant[1] contacts advocacy service
HDC referral to advocacy
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Advocate is assigned to assist and contacts the consumer/complainant directly[2]
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Advocate listens to consumer's story, clarifies rights and outlines options in recognition that some consumers just need information to advocate for themselves[3]
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Consumer selects the option they feel would work best for them
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If the consumer wants the support of the advocate to resolve the matter, the advocate will assist the consumer to identify the key issues, and what the goals for resolution are
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The advocate also assists the consumer to focus on their own strengths and supports for dealing with the complaint as well as any barriers that are getting in the way
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Advocate assists consumer to identify the action steps towards resolution
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If the option selected is a face-to-face resolution meeting, the advocate will discuss with the consumer how to advise the provider/s including outlining what the issues are, setting the meeting up including the date, venue and support people attending[4]
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The advocate will have a simple resolution agreement form at the meeting in the event there is agreement to ongoing actions beyond the meeting[5]
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The matter is closed at advocacy when all or some of the goals have been met, the consumer withdraws the complaint or an unresolved matter is sent to the Commissioner.[6]


[1]or person acting on the consumer's behalf

[2] As an advocate is on the side of the consumer they will always contact the consumer even when the complaint is made by another person. The advocate will only work with someone acting on behalf of the consumer if the consumer supports the complaint. If there are issues of competency, the advocate will still make efforts to include the consumer in the process wherever possible. This is very important for people with a mental health crisis as well as for people with an intellectual or neurological impairment. Sometimes, if the person is unconscious for example, or in an advanced state of dementia, this will not be possible.

[3] Some consumers may just want to use the advocate as a sounding board or to check the letter they have written to the provider themselves

[4] Resolution meetings are organized on the basis of transparency and respectful dealings with all parties

[5] The resolution agreement is a one page form for the ongoing actions agreed to and the date this will be reported back to the consumer. All parties get a copy so they are clear about what has been agreed to. This is an expression of goodwill and is not a legal agreement.  The advocate will follow-up any actions that aren't reported on by the date specified.

[6] The options for resolution at advocacy are based on the consumer's goals for resolution and include  fully resolved, partially resolved, not resolved. With the exception of significant public safety issues, complaints  referred to HDC or withdrawn are at the consumer's request.

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