Participant Information

Our responsibilities to our Participants

Centacare recognises and upholds its responsibilities to clients. The agency will:

  • Advise clients of their rights and provide a written copy of such rights as requested.
  • Treat individuals with respect and preserve their rights to dignity and privacy.
  • Advise clients of Centacare’s confidentiality policy advise clients of the grievance and/or complaints policy and provide a copy upon request.
  • Refer and liaise with other services of Centacare and/or external agencies as appropriate.
  • Where appropriate, encourage service users and their carers to have the support of another person to act as their advocate and promote best practice and quality of service.
  • Ensure access to services is equitable.

Code of Ethics

All members of staff and volunteers of Centacare will adhere to policies, programs and procedures which:

  • Protect and uphold every person’s right to live with dignity.
  • Respect the fundamental and central role of the family in society.
  • Acknowledge the individual’s right to:
  • Live a full life without undue social control and unwarranted interference.
  • Participate in decision-making processes affecting their personal and community life.
  • Ensure services are available to all people whatever their race, ethnic background, creed, sexuality or disability.
  • Uphold confidentiality on information within the limits of the law.


What is Counselling?

Counselling is a confidential process which involves supporting people to find skills, knowledge and resources that can assist in addressing a range of different issues in their lives.

Who is a Counsellor?

A counsellor is a person who has been professionally trained to assist you with issues such as:

  • Relationships
  • Managing Emotions
  • Confidence/self esteem
  • Communication with others
  • Anxiety/Depression
  • Trauma
  • Bullying
  • School/ Work problems

Why go to Counselling?

Counsellors do not make judgments on who is right or wrong and they don’t tell you what to do. Working through issues with someone who has no involvement or investment in the outcome can usually help people get through difficult times.

Who can use the service?

The service is available to all families, individuals and children regardless of their culture, age, race, religion, relationship status, gender or sexuality.

What is Family Counselling?

Family Counselling is the name for counselling under the Family Law Act.  It can help people with relationship difficulties better manage issues relating to:

  • The care of your children
  • New living arrangements
  • Financial adjustments
  • Personal or interpersonal issues during marriage, separation and divorce.
  • When should I see a family counsellor?
  • Can I access these services?
  • You can go to family counselling as an individual, a couple or a family
  • It can be before marriage, during marriage or a de-facto relationship.
  • After separation or divorce or when you re-marry.
  • For issues affecting your children whether or not you have ever married or lived together.
  • If you are separated, whether or not you have started court action.

Why seek family counselling?

Family Counselling can help:

  • You work through emotional problems with your spouse or partner or reach agreement about your parental responsibilities;
  • Couples come to terms with the many changes that happen when a relationship breaks up;
  • Parents make decisions about arrangements for their children and how they will share parenting after separation;
  • Where there are disagreements about the division of property.

The Family Law Act encourages parents to sort out differences over their children themselves instead of going to court.

What if you are feeling unsafe?

The Family Counselling services have arrangements in place to protect the safety of clients and staff. If you have concerns about your safety or the safety of your children, you should let the Service staff know as soon as possible.

What information will a Family counsellor provide me with?

This depends on where you are in the relationship—are you in a new relationship, building your relationships, in a blended family, a grandparent or kinship carer, trying to reconcile or separate? We can provide you with:

  • Information, support and referrals
  • Parenting plans.
  • Psycho-educational group program
  • Short seminar or workshops
  • These will provide you with additional knowledge, strategies and the skills to strengthen your relationships or inform your decisions.

What is a Child Consultant?

Where appropriate, children are invited to meet with Centacare’s Child Consultant who will listen to the children’s feelings and views. With the child’s consent, the Child Consultant will provide feedback to parents or their significant others on a separate occasion to help them develop parenting plans that are in the child’s best interest.  Children’s feedback can usually help in the family dispute resolution process.

Is Family Counselling confidential?

Under the Family Law Act, anything said at a counselling session is confidential – except in certain circumstances, such as to prevent a serious threat to someone’s life or to prevent the commission of a crime.

What is said during family counselling cannot be used as evidence in any court. However, a family counsellor must report child abuse, or anything said that indicates a child is at risk of abuse and this may be used as evidence.

Where can I access the service?

You can contact any one of our four offices during office hours from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm for more information on the days, location and session availability.

We also outreach from community centres, and co-locate with other agencies.

Counselling can also be provided via Telephone or Skype if you are unable to travel to our offices or would prefer some anonymity.

How much will it cost?

Although, the Australian Government funds Centacare South West NSW under the Families and Children Programme, to provide Family Counselling Services, Centacare also relies on contributions from the community and the fees to continue delivering our counselling services.

Concessions are available on all charges.

Fees are listed on our fee schedule. If you are experiencing financial difficulties, please discuss this with our counsellors.

Organisations wishing to use our services for its clients will need to negotiate a corporate fee for services with the Family Services Manager on (02) 6923 3888.