Information for Approved Counsellors


     

     

     

    Resources for Approved Counsellors

    Becoming an Approved Counsellor

    Thank you for your interest in joining Victims Services' Approved Counselling Service as an Approved Counsellor.

    The 2018 intake period for new applications is now closed. We will now only accept applications from counsellors in the following areas:

    ​Bourke
    ​Lightning Ridge
    ​Broken Hill
    ​Parkes
    ​Goulburn
    ​Walgett

    Please return later for news on the next intake for the Approved Counselling Service for new Counsellors.

    If you have applied in the May 2018 recruitment round the recruitment timeframes are as follows:

    ​March - May 2018

    ​Applications Lodged

    ​May - July 2018

    ​Approved Counselling Programs Team Review Period

    ​August - September 2018

    ​Professional Advisory Panel Review Period

    ​October - November 2018

    ​Commissioner of Victims Rights Final Decision

    ​December 2018

    ​Communication of Decision


    If your application is successful, your practice details will be registered on the Approved Counselling Service directory. Victims Services will create a professional profile for you to assist Victims Services staff when making client referrals to you. Once a referral is made, your client will be provided with your contact details, so he/she can contact you to request an initial appointment. You will also be notified in writing of any client referrals.

    Victims Services is not able to guarantee client referrals to Approved Counsellors and you should not rely upon this as your primary or main source of income.

    If your application is unsuccessful, you will receive specific feedback on your application and any area where you may need to develop your skills and knowledge. You may wish to reapply after a period of 12 months.

    Becoming an Interim Counsellor

    Do you have a client that is a victim of crime, but you are not a Approved Counsellor with Victims Services? 

    This application will allow you to seek approval to provide an interim counselling service to a specific client under the Approved Counselling Service. Approval will only be given if you have a pre-existing therapeutic relationship with the client and/or another compelling reason that would prevent the client from using an existing Approved Counsellor.

    Interim Counselling (limited referrals) form (PDF, 375Kb)

    Becoming a Specialist Counsellor

    To be eligible to apply for accreditation as a Specialist Counsellor under the Approved Counselling Service, applicants MUST meet the following:

    • Be fully registered as a psychologist with the Psychologist Board of Australia and have the area of practice endorsed; or be a member of the Australian Association of Social Workers.
    • Be an Approved Counsellor with the Approved Counselling Service providing continuous services to victims of crime for at least 3 years.
    • Demonstrate ongoing and regular Clinical Supervision for a period of 12 months.
    • Demonstrate continuous Professional Development in the area of Trauma.
    • Possess a Post Graduate Degree at Masters level or equivalent in an area deemed relevant by Victims Services including, but not limited to:
      • Social Work
      • Clinical Psychology
      • Clinical Neuro Psychology
      • Counselling Psychology
      • Forensic Psychology

     

    The Post Graduate Degree MUST include components of professional training and supervised experience and must be of at least two years full time duration or equivalent. Qualifications should be accredited by the appropriate body or deemed equivalent of an overseas qualification by the Australian professional body or registration body.

     

    To apply to be a specialist counsellor please contact the Approved Counselling Program at vs@justice.nsw.gov.au

    Report Templates

    ​Initial Report (PDF, 223Kb)

    ​Allocate 2 hours for the initial assessment appointment (90 minutes to be spent with the client and 30 minutes allocated to report writing). 

    The initial report should be provided on the template which we hope to place online in the new year.

    Final Report (PDF, 137Kb)

    ​Submit a final report when the client has completed counselling.

    A final report should be completed:

    • when 21 hours have been completed and no further hours have been requested
    • you and/or the client indicate that counselling is no longer required 
    • you are unable to continue with the client such as when the client needs a specialist referral or there is a breakdown in the therapeutic relationship
    • 6 months has lapsed from the last appointment and there has been no client contact 

    Please note: where the client has not used all their approved counselling hours they can still access this at a later stage.

    Ensure the client has at least 30 minutes of hours left, to enable you to claim the 30 minutes allocated to report writing.

    Over 22 Hours Reports (PDF, 114Kb)

    ​Assess whether more than 22 hours of counselling is needed and if the client consents to further counselling, submit an over 22 hours report. 

    If additional hours are provided you need to provide a final report when additional hours are used and counselling completed.

    Rates of Pay

    As of 1 August 2018 all invoices for payment must be made online at:

    https://www.victimsservices.justice.nsw.gov.au/Pages/vss/vs_approvedclaim/Approved-Claims.aspx

    All invoices must be lodged within 4 weeks of the appointment. Fees for the provision of counselling services provided under the Approved Counselling Service:

    ​Generalist Counsellor

    ​​$120/hr (plus GST if applicable)

    ​Specialist Counsellor

    ​​$144/hr (plus GST if applicable)

    ​Psychiatrists

    ​​$256/hr (plus GST if applicable)


    Invoices are not able to be paid until all required reports are received.

    Payment for reports will be limited to 30 minutes for writing the required reports.

    Flexible service delivery for clients

    Victims Services works with clients and Approved Counsellors to ensure flexible and responsive services are available to clients with varying needs.

    While clients are attending counselling, they may also be working through their justice journey and may request support from Approved Counsellors with various facets of this journey, such as debriefing after contact with Police and other agencies in relation to the crime, or to help prepare a Victims Impact Statement, or to provide support at court. Some clients may require telephone/online counselling for a brief period, particularly where the client's lifestyle may be in a period of transition, or those in rural or remote areas.

    Court support available for clients:

    In the District Court the Witness Assistance Service can help

    Other court support services include:

    Mission Australia Court Support Services:

    Victims & Witnesses of Crime Court Support

    Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service

    Information on the court process can be located through the Justice Journey

    For more information on Victims Impact Statement see:

    https://www.victimsservices.justice.nsw.gov.au/Documents/bk03_vis.pdf

    http://www.odpp.nsw.gov.au/victims-witnesses/victim-impact-statements

    If no appropriate referral can be made and you wish to provide court support, please contact the Approved Counselling Programs team at vs@justice.nsw.gov.au.

    Change of your details

    To facilitate appropriate referrals and responsive services, Approved Counsellors must notify Victims Services if there is a change to their practice location, contact information and availability. Updated information on the completion of relevant ongoing professional development and experience with different client groups is relevant to making appropriate client referrals.

    https://www.victimsservices.justice.nsw.gov.au/Documents/acs_change-of-details_fill.pdf

    Contact us

    Further information may be obtained by contacting Victims Services and asking to speak with the Approved Counselling Programs Team:
    Phone: 1800 633 063
    Email: vs@justice.nsw.gov.au