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Procedure Properties

Title: External Non-Government Service Providers
Category: Offender Management
Version: 01
Implement Date: 1 March 2007
Application: Custodial Operations/Probation and Parole
Availability: Public

Authority

Appendices and Forms

Procedures

Policies

  • Code of Conduct
  • Instrument of Delegation of Chief Executive Powers - Corrective Services Act 2006 (in-confidence)

Performance Measures

  • Annual hours curriculum
  • Correctional intervention services as a proportion of budget
  • Program completions

Procedure - External Non-Government Service Providers


Purpose
1.Funded service providers
1.1Service Level Agreements for funded service providers
1.2Engagement of funded service providers
2.Non-funded service providers
2.1Non-funded service providers - secure custody
2.2External Services Accreditation Panel
2.3Non-funded service providers - Probation and Parole
3.Entry to facilities for the purposes of service provision
4.Reporting requirements
5.Induction and training
6.Disciplinary matters
7.Security
8.Confidentiality
9.Injury
10.Completion

Purpose

To ensure that the interface between the operations of Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) and the work of external organisations providing services to QCS is effective and supportive of offender management and rehabilitation business processes.

1. Funded service providers

QCS funds a number of organisations to provide a range of services for offenders and their families. Each organisation has entered into an agreement with QCS and is usually non-government and community-based.

The agreements between the funded service providers and QCS are developed to complement current legislation, polices, procedures and QCS operations. They include reference to the QCS Code of Conduct, the Corrective Services Act 2006 and other guidelines when outlining the terms in which the services are provided and behaviour expected by providers.

Funded service providers may operate across a range of areas which may include, but are not limited to-

  1. offender services (eg. assistance with pre-release planning through the Transitions Program and Transitions Support Service);
  2. transport services (eg. transport of offenders upon release to an agreed location and assisting the families and friends of offenders visiting corrective services facilities);
  3. religious services (eg. pastoral care, spiritual formation, religious services and prayer meetings). Refer procedure - Religious Visitors; and
  4. indigenous services (eg. elder visitation programs and assistance with maintaining links between indigenous offenders and their relevant communities).

1.1 Service Level Agreements for funded service providers

Refer Corrective Services Act 2006 (CSA) ss 252, 253

The Service Level Agreement is the governing agreement between QCS and the funded external service provider which defines service delivery and financial reporting expectations in relation to grants of financial assistance (in accordance with Chapter 6, Part 1 of CSA)

These agreements are negotiated and managed by Offender Programs and Services Directorate. Only the Chief Executive or delegate has the authority to approve or amend a Service Level Agreement. Refer Instrument of Delegation of Chief Executive Powers - Corrective Services Act 2006 (in-confidence)

At the commencement of each funding period, the Executive Director, Offender Programs and Services will advise the general managers of each corrective services facility of the identity and contact details of the funded service providers servicing their facilities.

1.2 Engagement of funded service providers

The engagement of funded service providers is coordinated by the Offender Programs and Services Directorate. The service provider must advise the Directorate of all resignations or changes of staff relevant to the funding provided.

The Executive Director, Offender Programs and Services will arrange for all relevant security checks and other conditions of service, including identification cards if required. Refer procedure - Personal Identification

Once operating within a corrective services facility, funded service providers will come under the authority of the Manager, Offender Development or Assistant General Manager (or equivalent) and may be asked for advice on issues including-

  1. supporting an offender's through-care;
  2. pre-release planning;
  3. post-release support; and
  4. general rehabilitation to be provided by the Service Level Agreement.

A register of staff members of the funded service provider who access facilities to provide services will be maintained and provided to the Stakeholder Liaison Office on a regular basis. The register must include the staff member's-

  1. name;
  2. contact details; and
  3. the date of commencement as a staff member.

2. Non-funded service providers

Non-funded service providers are community-based, non-government organisations or individuals who are not funded by QCS. These providers may be engaged by corrective services facilities or probation and parole offices to provide a range of additional services in support of general offender management.

Such organisations or individuals may be utilised for purposes including, but not limited to-

  1. meeting the specific needs of offenders in defined and agreed areas in a group or individual context;
  2. improving through-care and service delivery to offenders by providing increased opportunities for localised support and participation either in custody or in the community;
  3. extending the scope of services offered by QCS; and
  4. referral to meet conditions of court orders related to assessed risk and needs of offenders under community supervision.

2.1 Non-funded service providers - secure custody

All employees of non-funded service providers providing services within corrective services facilities are required to complete Form 27(a) - Application to Visit - Professional, Official or Other Business Purposes. This form must then be returned to the Offender Programs and Services Directorate for consideration by the External Services Accreditation Panel (refer section 2.2 of this procedure) and, if approved, co-ordination of subsequent appointment as a professional visitor.

The conditions of service provision will be governed under either a Service Level Agreement or a letter of appointment outlining the location of delivery and parameters of service provision.

The Executive Director, Offender Programs and Services will arrange for all relevant security checks and other conditions of service, including identification cards if required. Refer procedure - Personal Identification.

A register of members of the service provider accessing facilities to provide services will be maintained by Offender Programs and Services (refer appendix - Instructions for Identification Card Applications) and provided to facilities on a regular basis.

Once operating within a corrective services facility, non-funded service providers will come under the authority of the Manager, Offender Development or Assistant General Manager (or equivalent). Client identification, assessment, and referral processes must be negotiated and established in consultation with the relevant corrective services facility prior to the provision of services.

2.2 External Services Accreditation Panel

The External Services Accreditation Panel, chaired by the Executive Director, Offender Programs and Services, are responsible for the consideration and approval of professional visitor's applications.

The following standards will be considered by the Panel when deciding whether to approve a professional visitor. All applications (refer Form 27(a) - Application to Visit - Professional, Official or Other Business Purposes) must demonstrate how the proposed service meets these standards-

  1. External agencies must clearly and adequately describe their services in terms of purpose, intervention targets, duration and frequency, and outcome goals.
  2. Service providers must ensure that their counsellors and support workers are appropriately qualified to practice in the field of relevance and provide evidence of professional qualifications in respect of every practitioner engaged to deliver services within corrective services facilities.
  3. Clinical counselling interventions including specialist counselling (eg. sexual abuse counselling), psychotherapy, and generic counselling interventions may only be delivered by practitioners satisfying the following certification requirements-

    1. eligibility for membership of the Queensland Counsellors Association (QCA) and inclusion in the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) register of members; or
    2. currently registered with the Psychologists Board of Queensland; or
    3. possession of a degree in a cognitive behavioural sciences field plus being supervised for professional development purposes by a counsellor or psychologist recognised as being appropriately qualified to provide such supervision.

  4. Non-clinical counselling services including, for example, transitional support and accommodation assistance may be delivered by practitioners satisfying the following certification requirements-

    1. possession of a tertiary degree in a cognate behavioural sciences field; or
    2. experience deemed by the Panel to be equivalent of above. .

2.3 Non-funded service providers - Probation and Parole

Non-funded service providers are to be sourced and accessed as per approved referral procedures for the management of offenders on community-based orders.

Non-funded service providers operating in conjunction with probation and parole district offices will be managed by the relevant Regional Manager.

3. Entry to facilities for the purposes of service provision

To provide a central coordination point and a record of all requests and visits to a corrective services facility, external non-government service providers must liaise with the Manager, Offender Development or Assistant General Manager (or nominee) regarding how agreed service provision will be undertaken prior to entry of a facility.

Once approved, facility management is responsible for advising other facility staff of the approval, location and details of the agreed service provision. All external non-government service providers must comply with the conditions of their Service Level Agreement, QCS policies and procedures, and the directions of facility staff, which may be made in the interest of the security and good order of the facility.

External non-government service providers (both funded and non-funded) may be appointed to one or more corrective services facilities, however, they are not permitted to attend a corrective services facility, other than those nominated in either their Service Level Agreement or letter of appointment, in their capacity as a service provider.

External non-government service providers are only permitted to move within a corrective services facility in accordance with the conditions imposed by the Chief Executive or delegate on the provider's access approval (or as operational requirements permit. Refer CSA s 156(5); Instrument of Delegation of Chief Executive Powers - Corrective Services Act 2006 (in-confidence)

4. Reporting requirements

Information about client contact must be provided to the relevant facility's Senior Psychologist or Manager, Offender Development on a regular basis if requested. While acknowledging the legitimate boundaries imposed by confidentiality and ethical practice standards, client contact information must be sufficient to allow for appropriate post-intervention case management by QCS staff.

Service providers must establish in collaboration with each relevant facility, a process to ensure that any risk of self harm or suicide, identified during or arising from counselling sessions can be assessed and appropriately managed by QCS staff.

Details of the provision of services must be systematically reported to QCS on a basis agreed between QCS and the service provider. These details are to be outlined in writing in either the Service Level Agreement or letter of appointment.

External non-government providers are encouraged to liaise with relevant managers if they are unclear of an issue which is causing concern or distress to an offender.

If external non-government providers wish to advocate on behalf of offenders in relation to a major systemic issue, they should raise their concerns first with the relevant manager and if the issue is unable to be resolved at a local level they should then raise their concerns through the Executive Director, Offender Programs and Services.

5. Induction and training

Funded service providers are required to undertake the formal induction training as provided by the QCS Academy.

Requirements for non-funded service providers to attend formal induction training will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by the Executive Director, Offender Programs and Services and any requirement to do so will be noted as a condition in their letter of appointment.

Corrective services facilities and probation and parole offices will provide facility/district office induction training to new service providers as appropriate. Facility/district office management should encourage the participation of service providers in staff training where appropriate.

6. Disciplinary matters

As per section one, where the professional conduct or behaviour of an non-government service provider is in contravention of the conditions of the Service Level Agreement or letter of appointment which include reference to the QCS Code of Conduct and Corrective Services Act 2006, attempts should be made to address the issue at the local level in the first instance, through discussion with the relevant local manager.

Should local resolution not be possible or appropriate, a formal complaint will be made to the Executive Director, Offender Programs and Services. The Executive Director may at his/her discretion, suspend a non-government service provider from his/her duties and temporarily prohibit their access to facilities/probation and parole offices. In such instances, advice must be provided to the relevant general/regional manager as soon as practicable.

7. Security

External non-government providers must not take any prohibited or unauthorised articles into a corrective services facility. Refer CSA s 123(1); Corrective Services Regulation 2006, s 20; procedure - Visitors to a Facility (Excluding Personal Visitors); appendix - Prohibited Things).

In instances where external non-government providers are required to work directly with offenders, consideration must be given to the potential risks associated with such work and these risks should be managed appropriately.

8. Confidentiality

Refer CSA s 341

External non-government service providers must observe the need to maintain confidentiality relating to-

  1. corrective services facilities;
  2. probation and parole offices;
  3. the operations of facilities/offices; and
  4. personal offender information.

External non-government service providers are to be provided with an appropriate area to meet with offenders which ensures the confidentiality of the conversation, but considers the personal safety of the service provider.

All visits with offenders accommodated in a Maximum Security Unit will be monitored and recorded (refer CSA s 169(3) and procedure - Maximum Security Units (in-confidence)

9. Injury

External non-government service providers who sustain an injury in the workplace must complete administrative form - Custodial and District Office Incident Report and submit this form to the relevant manager and the Executive Director, Offender Programs and Services immediately after an incident occurs.

External non-government service providers who sustain an injury, while performing, or as a result of performing duties that he/she is authorised to perform, may make a written application to QCS for compensation advising of the injuries sustained and enclosing copies of medical expenses incurred. Applications for compensation are to be submitted to the Executive Director, Offender Programs and Services, who will forward them to the Human Resources Services Branch.

QCS will arrange for a medical examination upon receipt of an application. Recommendations will be made to the Minister in respect of compensation and the Governor in Council may award compensation of an amount deemed appropriate.

10. Completion

Any agreement regarding service provision (either funded or non-funded) may be terminated at any time (subject to conditions of reasonable notice in any contractual agreements) by either of the parties.





F P Rockett
Director-General





Version History

01/03/2007 Version 01