The organisation protects the confidentiality of information about clients and assumes a protective role regarding the disclosure of confidential information.
Interpretation: The organisation must carefully reconcile its policies, procedures, and practices with all applicable confidentiality laws and regulations including, but not limited to, laws and regulations governing information about youth involved with the youth justice system, mental health consumers, victims of domestic violence, drug and alcohol treatment, and HIV/AIDS.
The organisation’s procedures must reconcile legal restrictions on the release of identifying information about clients with mandatory reporting and duty to warn requirements. Written procedures should include guidance to personnel in determining the degree of danger a person may pose to him or herself or to the community.
The organisation informs the client, prior to his or her disclosure of confidential or private information, about circumstances when the organisation may be legally or ethically permitted or required to release such information without the client's consent.
When the organisation receives a request for confidential information about a client, or when the release of confidential information is necessary for the provision of services, prior to releasing such information, the organisation:
Interpretation: In the context of this standard, “valid” means justifiable, legitimate, convincing, legally permissible, and in the best interest of the client.
The organisation obtains legal counsel regarding the confidentiality of records and the conditions under which they may be subpoenaed. Unless otherwise required by law, authorisation to release confidential information is not necessary where the request for information is in relation to an emergency or pursuant to a warrant or court order. The organisation seeks additional legal counsel, as necessary, when others seek identifying information about an individual or family, or when the release of confidential information is necessary for the provision of services.
When the client is a minor or an adult under the care of a guardian, the organisation should follow any laws or regulations allowing or requiring the organisation to obtain the authorisation of clients' parents or legal guardians.
When permitted or required by law, regulation, or court order, confidential information may be released without the authorisation of the client and legal guardian. However, the client and legal guardian should still be informed that the information will be released.
Informed, written consent is obtained from the client, or a legal guardian, prior to recording, photographing, or filming.
Interpretation: When required by law, consent may not be necessary. However, it is still expected that the organisation inform clients prior to recording, photographing, or filming.
The release form for disclosure of confidential information includes the following elements:
Update: Added Third Interpretation - 06/01/10
Added Third Interpretation
Interpretation: Blanket release forms signed by clients when service is initiated do not meet the requirements of this standard.
Interpretation: When permitted or required by law, regulation, or court order, confidential information may be released without the authorisation of the person or legal guardian. In this case elements (b) and (i) will not apply. However, the organisation should still inform the person and/or legal guardian that the information will be shared, as referenced in CA-CR 2.01 and CA-CR 2.02.
Interpretation: Credit counselling organisations may provide a release at the initiation of service to allow for information sharing for the duration of the DMP, or as required by law.
The organisation offers a copy of the signed release form to the person or family authorising the disclosure of confidential information, and places a copy in the case record.
Interpretation: A copy of the completed release form should be offered to the person, and placed in the case record, even when it is permissible by law to release confidential information without the person's authorisation and signature.