It is important for you to know you have many rights and responsibilities when you enter into counseling. The following list outlines them.
You Have a Right…
- To considerate and respectful care which includes freedom from any physical, sexual, fiduciary (financial), or psychological abuse including humiliating, threatening, and exploiting actions;
- To understand what your problem is, what treatment is recommended and why, who will give the treatment, and what outcome to expect;
- To be involved in a process of informed choice, informed refusal, and/or expression of choice related to preference of your treatment services, choice of service provider and participation in research projects;
- To expect that all communications and records pertaining to your care will be treated as confidential;
- To have continuity of care when you are referred for services outside this agency;
- To examine and receive an explanation of your bill.
- To participate in all aspects of your treatment, including development of your treatment plan.
- To have access to self-help and advocacy support services.
- To voice complaints or lodge an appeal without recrimination.
- To all legal protection and due process for status as an outpatient and inpatient, both voluntary and involuntary, as defined under Vermont law.
Your Responsibilities Are…
- To be honest in your presentation of your problems and to tell those working with you how you feel about what is happening to you.
- To be actively involved in the development of your treatment plan that will outline your problems, needs, goals, and expected outcome;
- To be considerate of others and their privacy;
- To present to your counselor any questions, complaints or concerns about your counseling plans or goals so that you may reach an agreement on any problem hindering your progress.
If you feel that any of your rights have been denied, you are requested to see your counselor about your complaint. If you feel that this has not resolved the problem, you may petition an inquiry from the agency by completing a Grievance and Appeal form and returning it to the receptionist for processing or by mailing it to us. A grievance may be filed at anytime and can be made orally.
UCS will provide assistance to any client who has a disagreement about its services. Individuals are encouraged to resolve issues in an informal manner with the parties involved. If this is not successful, you may make your dissatisfaction known also by using a Grievance and Appeal form.
As stipulated in the DD Act, every person with a developmental disability who receives services funded through the Division of Disabilities and Aging Services has the right to:
- Be free from aversive procedures, devices and treatments.
- Privacy, respect, dignity, confidentiality and humane care.
- Associate with individuals of both genders.
- Communicate in private by mail and telephone.
- Communicate in his or her primary language and primary mode of communication.
- Be free from retaliation for making a complaint, voicing a grievance, recommending changes in policies or exercising a legal right.
- Maintain contact with family, unless contact has been restricted by court order.
- Refuse or terminate services, except where services are required by court order.
- Have access to, read and challenge any information contained in their record and to file a written statement regarding any portion of the record with which the person disagrees.
In addition to the rights stipulated in the DD Act, UCS Developmental Services Division believes individuals have the following additional rights:
- Right to access and to be represented in the legal system.
- Right to buy, own, and sell property.
- Right to equal educational opportunities.
- Right to equal employment.
- Right to fair and equal treatment by public agencies.
- Right to protection and due process.
- Right to worship.
- Right to marry, reproduce, and raise children.
- Right to privacy.
- Right to vote and participate in the democratic process.
- Right to services provided in the least restrictive environment.
- Right to be free from physical, psychological, and fiduciary abuse.
- Right to be free from humiliation, neglect, and exploitation.
- Right to informed consent or refusal and expression of choice regarding service delivery, release of information, concurrent services, and composition of the support team.
- Right to access self-help and advocacy support services.
- Right to an investigation and resolution of alleged infringement of rights.
- Right to supports that are designed to be sensitive to the physical, developmental and abuse history of the individual.
Every family that receives services in the context of supporting a family member with a developmental disability has the right to:
- Receive services without relinquishing custody of a child or children except when custody is terminated in accordance with Vermont law.
- Privacy and confidentially
- Be free from retaliation for making a complaint, voicing a grievance, recommending a change in policy or exercising a legal right.