Routine information is collected when anyone attends the service, this may be provided to the funding body for the purpose of ensuring that service users are provided with a quality service.
Confidentiality of information and security of records is essential within the agency, given the nature of sexual violence and potential legal issues. All employees will respect the privacy of clients and hold information obtained in the course of professional service in strict confidence.
A client’s personal information will only be disclosed with client’s informed consent which shall be obtained in writing (where possible).
The exceptions are:
When there is a danger to the client or another person
If the police have a warrant to search and/or seize documents and records
When documents are subpoenaed by the court
Employees need to fully inform clients about the limits of confidentiality in the service, the purposes for which the information is obtained and how it may be used. This is set out in the “Confidentiality and Privacy Information for Clients” brochure which is given to each client at the commencement of counselling.
The client must sign a “Consent to Keep Records” form before notes can be kept. Any file notes, will be kept in a locked filing cabinet.
When making appointments for clients, only their first name and initial of their surname shall be recorded in the appointment book.
If a client so desires, reasonable access to their own records will be provided, upon receipt of a written request.