The following is our formal policy regarding confidentiality.
[taken from the Alcohol and Drug Program (ADP) "Policy on Confidentiality"]
It is essential for the protection of the client and the credibility of the treatment services of the Place of Refuge Society that all matters pertaining to clients be kept in the strictest confidence. Therefore, no employee of the Place of Refuge Society shall disclose any information, verbal or written, which refers to a client or collateral without explicit, written permission.
(taken from the ADP "Policy on Confidentiality")
Staff who work for the Place of Refuge Society are to abide by the accepted professional ethics and standards of their discipline, including the ones referring to confidentiality. Employees should adhere to Part I, Section 42 of the Public Service Act which reads, in part: "...I will not disclose or make known any thing or matter which comes to my knowledge by reason of my employment therein, except insofar as my official duty requires me to disclose, make known, report upon, or take official action regarding the same, or except insofar as I may be duly authorized to disclose or make known the same." Breaches of confidentiality will be investigated by the Board of the Place of Refuge Society, which will take appropriate action and which will notify the Regional Manager, Alcohol and Drug Programs. All staff are advised that clients or collaterals may have recourse to legal action over a breach of confidentiality.
Implementation (taken from the ADP "Policy on Confidentiality")
Information on clients or collaterals may be disclosed under the following conditions:
- In cases of suspected child abuse, staff are obligated to inform appropriate staff in the Ministry of Human Resources.
- Upon subpoena to court and at the discretion of a judge, staff are required to testify. However, staff have the option of advising the court that the information is confidential and ask information not be published or that publication be restricted.
- Between staff within the security of the administration and treatment system of the ADP only when necessary to coordinate or plan or conduct the client's treatment. The exchange of information may be between employees of the Place of Refuge Society and employees of ADP agencies or funded agencies, or between employee of the Place of Refuge Society and employees of other agencies professionally involved with the client or collateral. Unnecessary and casual exchanges of information are to be discouraged. Access to client files and information on clients is to be restricted within the Place of Refuge Society's service for the purposes of treatment and supervision only. This provision includes other clinical staff, secretarial staff, and members of the Board as well as other social or health service agencies with whom the client may be involved.
- With the proper release of information from the client as to time limits, type of information, and recipient of information.
- Files are not to be transferred, though summaries may, with the written consent of the client.
- Non-client identifiable data may be available for research under conditions outlined in the appropriate section of the Society's policy manual.
- Requests for information which do not meet the above criteria are to be referred to the Program Director, who will inform the Board Chair of the Society at the earliest possible moment of any variance from the above.
Release of information by a client will be on a standard form signed by the client which states what information will be released, to whom, and for what purpose,
within a specified time frame.