Client Rights & Responsibilities
Client Rights & Responsibilities were established with the expectation that observance of these rights will contribute to more effective client care and greater satisfaction for the client, family, clinician and agency. Clients shall have the following rights without regard to age, race, color, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, culture, physical handicap, personal values or belief systems.
- Receive the professional care needed to regain or maintain his or her maximum potential.
- Expect clinical staff who provide service to be friendly, considerate, respectful and qualified through education and experience and perform the services for which they are responsible with the highest quality.
- Expect full recognition of individuality, including privacy in treatment and care, with confidentiality kept in regards to all communications and records.
- Complete information, to extent known, regarding diagnosis and treatment.
- Be fully informed of the scope of services available at the agency, emergency resources, and related fees for services rendered.
- Be a participant in decisions regarding the intensity and scope of treatment. If the patient is a minor, or unable to participate in those decisions, the patient’s rights shall be exercised by the patient’s legal guardian.
- Refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and be informed of the consequences of such a refusal. The client accepts responsibility for his or her actions should he or she refuse treatment or not follow the treatment plan agreed on.
- Approve or refuse the release of records to any individual outside the agency, except as required by law or third-party payment contract.
- Be informed of research/educational projects affecting his or her care or treatment, and can refuse participation in such research without compromise to usual care.
- Express and / or file grievances/complaints and suggestions at any time, without interference or retaliation.
- Change primary clinician if other qualified clinicians are available.
- Be fully informed and involved before any transfer to any other service provider or organization.
- Express those spiritual beliefs and cultural practices that do not harm others or interfere with agency.
Clients also have:
- The right to be free from unnecessary or excessive medication (see N.J.A.C. 10:37-6.54)
- The right to not be subjected to non-standard treatment or procedures or research, psycho-surgery, sterilization, electroconvulsive therapy or provider demonstration programs, without written informed consent, after consultation with counsel or interested party of the clients’ choice
- If the client has been adjudicated incompetent, authorization for such procedures may be obtained only pursuant to the requirements of N.J.S.A. 30L4-24.2(d) 2
- The right to treatment in the least restrictive setting, free from physical restraints and isolation, provided, however, that a client in inpatient care may be restrained or isolated in an emergency pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A.30:4-24.2d(3)
- The right to be free from corporal punishment
- The right to privacy and dignity
- The right to the least restrictive conditions necessary to achieve the goals of treatment/services.
- Being considerate of other clients and personnel and for assisting in the control of noise, smoking, eating, and other distractions.
- Respecting the property of others & the facility.
- Reporting whether he or she clearly understands the treatment plan and what is expected of him or her.
- Keeping appointments and, when unable to do so for any reason, notifying the facility 24 hours in advance.
- Recognizing that the given appointment time is dedicated to the client, and arriving on time for that appointment.
- Providing the clinician with the most accurate and complete information regarding present concerns, past history, hospitalizations, medications, changes, or any other client health or circumstance matters.
- Observing the rules of the agency during his or her treatment and, if instructions or agreed plan is not followed, forfeits the right to care at the agency is responsible for the outcome.
- Promptly fulfilling his or her financial obligations to the agency.
- Reporting any change in insurance, financial ability, and status.
If a client feels he/she has a grievance, attempts should be made to resolve the concern with the counselor. If this does not resolve the issue, the client may ask to see the Program Director. In consultation with the VP, the Program Director will respond to the complaint within ten days. The decision is made in writing with copies going to the client.
If there is still no resolution, the client may appeal directly to the Vice President and/or CEO/President of the Agency, who is responsible to address the complaint within fifteen working days. If the decision does not meet the needs of the client, the client may then request in writing a conference with the Executive Committee of the Board, who will arrange a conference within fifteen working days. While these hearings are informal, the client may bring a person of their choice with them to assist in presenting the concern. At a grievance conference, the client, witnesses & staff shall have equal opportunity to:
*Present and establish relevant facts *Discuss, question or refute material *Examine relevant records available
The Executive Committee’s decision is made in writing, and copies go to the client, CEO, and on file with the Committee. The Agency will maintain confidentiality in all client grievance procedures and information.
At any point, the client may contact an outside agency to respond to concerns or provide praise for services. A list of resources is listed in the box to the right.
Revised: 2019 July 25
Community Health Law Project
Station House Office Bldg.
900 Haddon Avenue, Suite 400
Collingswood, NJ 08108
Mental Health Advocate of the Prosecutor’s Office
Camden Co. 856.225.8400
Gloucester County MH Administrator
West Deptford, NJ 08096
Mental Health Advocate of the Prosecutor’s Office
Gloucester Co. 856.384.5500
Atlantic County Mental Health Administrator
NJ State Wide
Mental Health Services
Margaret Molnar, Special Assistant for Consumer Affairs, DMHAS
5 Commerce Way, Suite 100
Hamilton, NJ 08691
1.800.922.7233 and 609.292.9742
Division of Mental Health Advocacy
Justice Hughes Complex,
25 Market St.
Trenton, New Jersey 08625
NJ Dept of Consumer Affairs
NJ Div of Mental Health Services
Mental Health Assoc. in SW NJ
NJ Div of Addiction Services
Division of Child Protection and Permanency
1.877.NJ ABUSE (652.2873)
24 hours a day - 7 days a week
Adult Abuse Reporting:
Camden Co. Board of Social Svcs
600 Market St.,
Camden, NJ 08102
Gloucester Co Divn of Soc Svcs
400 Hollydell Dr.
Sewell, NJ 08080
Other Services and Resources: Dial 211