Financial Counselling Program Update 2 - March 2015

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An update on refinements to the service model to assist with the delivery of the Financial Counselling Program (FCP).

1.1 Information and referral

Consumer Affairs Victoria Funded Services have done some analysis of the first six months data. It is evident that some agencies are allocating extensive time to the information and referral service types (the maximum was more than 2000 minutes!).

This service type is intended to assess vulnerability and disadvantage and to determine if they are eligible for casework or provide information if this is the service the client requires.

Information and referral only is provided when:

  • the matter can be simply resolved
  • the matter is better dealt with by another service type
  • a client is ineligible for financial counselling casework

Information and referral service in such circumstances should not exceed 60 minutes.

Information and referral with casework is provided when a client is assessed as financial disadvantaged and eligible for sessional casework.

Information and referral service in such circumstances should be of limited duration, averaging 15 minutes. Other service hours should be allocated to casework.

For information, view our Client services - Financial Counselling Program page.

1.2 Assessing and recording financial disadvantage

When assessing a client for financial disadvantage please use the following three field values:

  • on a Centrelink payment or
  • has insufficient income - the Client is unable to sustain their personal financial commitments and has defaulted or is at risk of defaulting, or
  • has no income

Please do not use ‘financial hardship’ as this is not a valid field for assessing financial disadvantage in the FCP.

To access a copy of the Financial Counselling Program Client Data Template Reporting Guide, visit and log in to the Funded Services Data Reporting website.

1.3 Unable to contact a client that has been referred from MoneyHelp to your agency

If you have received a referral priority (1 or 2) client from MoneyHelp, and have been unable to contact them after three attempts, you should notify MoneyHelp in case the client calls again.

It is preferable to notify a client via text message rather than leaving a voice message on their mobile phone, as clients don’t always have enough phone credit to access their voicemails.