Frequently asked questions
What is Financial Counselling?
Financial counselling is a combination of counselling, information about financial matters including options for dealing with debts, advocacy or negotiation where appropriate and referral to other services.
Does Care Financial Counselling Service provide emergency relief?
(eg; money or vouchers) We do not provide money or other forms of emergency relief but are able to refer people to services that do.
Will a financial counsellor manage my money for me?
We do not manage or control people’s money but rather assist our clients to gain control of their own financial situation. We do this by supporting them to find solutions to the financial issues they are facing. We can provide options for dealing with debt, advocacy with creditors if required and support for clients while they choose their preferred options.
Why do people contact us?
They're in debt and not sure what to do or how to negotiate with creditors.
They need information about financial matters such as concessions, rebates, superannuation, etc.
They want to talk through their budget and see where the money is going.
They want to talk through the stresses of living on a low or restricted income.
Their personal circumstances have changed (ie work, relationship, housing, health status etc) and this is affecting their ability to pay their bills now (or in the future).
They have been referred by another service
Who can use Care's services?
Everybody can use Care's information services. People on a low to moderate income are eligible for Care's casework services.
Is there a cost to use Care's services?
Our services are
free, there is no charge to use Care's services.
Will any information that I provide to a financial counsellor be shared with other services?
All of Care’s services are confidential. Unless a client has provided written permission the matter will not be discussed with any other service or individual. Clients sign a Letter of Authorisation if they want their financial counsellor to advocate with creditors or others on their behalf.
There are some circumstances under which confidentiality is limited or revoked due to legal or personal protection requirements.
Is there a waiting time to see a financial counsellor at Care?
You may have to wait for up to two weeks for an appointment with a financial counsellor. For more urgent information you can attend our after-hours drop in service on a Wednesday evening (4.30pm – 6.30pm).
How do I refer a client/ family member/friend to Care?
Sometimes it can be stressful watching a client or family member struggling with debt and we often receive calls from service providers or family members wanting to book appointments for other people. It is important that clients come to Care because they want to and we therefore do not make appointments via a third party. This allows us to ascertain how we might best assist the client. If you know someone who wants assistance from Care, you can give them our contact details.
Alternatively call when they are with you so that we can speak directly to them or get their permission to talk to you in their presence.