SECTION: 1.0 INTERACTION WITH CHILDREN AND YOUTH
POLICY: 1.4.3 Confidential Information
The organization protects the privacy of the children and youth and families involved in our programs. All confidential information pertaining to children and youth and their families will be kept secure at all times. This includes information about medical conditions, family status (including marital, financial and educational status), personal information (including telephone numbers and addresses), personal concerns or issues, or delicate matters regarding a child and his/her family.
See Administrative policy PIPEDA.
To keep personnel informed about the commitment of the organization with respect to confidentiality and to provide direction on how to protect the privacy and dignity of children and youth and their families.
Staff and volunteers are trained how to handle confidential information and the definition of what constitutes “confidential” information.
Procedures for protecting private information are documented and include:
- Restricting access to confidential filing systems, including computerized data banks through use of security passes and computer user passwords.
- Securing files, attendance forms, registration binders or any paper records that contain confidential information so they are not accessible or left unattended in program and public areas.
- Properly destroying and disposing of paper that contains confidential information through methods such as paper shredding.
- Refraining from engaging in casual conversations about children and youth and their families with third parties such as other children and youth and parents, teachers, personal acquaintances, staff and volunteers not directly involved in the leadership or supervision of the program.
- Use of polite discretion when dealing with third parties whom may wish to learn about confidential matters.
- Taking precautions such as moving participants when there is a need to discuss confidential information or a concern about a child or family with an appropriate person such as a co-leader.
- Prohibiting the removal of confidential records from the program premises unless required by the organization or officials with legal entitlement.
- In special circumstances where a release of confidential information has been formally requested by the organization, a parent/legal guardian or a third party, procedures for releasing information are in place. Parents/legal guardians are required to discuss the matter with the program supervisor and sign a “consent for release of confidential information” form which specifies the nature of the information that is to be shared.
- Managers/Coordinators should monitor staff and volunteer’s ability to handle confidential information appropriately.