Every employee, volunteer, and Board member of Holston Home is responsible for assuring confidentiality of youth information when communicating with persons both inside and outside of the agency. This responsibility is defined by licensing regulations, by agency policy, and by legal and ethical standards. Violation of youth confidentiality can result in sanctions and legal action against the agency and individuals.
A. Scope and Definition
In the strict definition, all information about a youth is considered confidential. This includes name, birth date, county of origin, case specifics, and whether a youth has been served by or is residing or has resided at the agency. Information must be exchanged in the process of serving a youth; however, this exchange is restricted by the principles of right to know and need to know certain information.
B. Privacy vs. Disclosure
Each individual has a personal right to privacy, which is grounded in the Constitution and extends to minors. However, under general principles of civil liability, there is the requirement that professional/agencies comply with mandatory reporting laws and protection of the youth and community when the youth may be endangered and/or may be harmful to others. Any staff person who believes a youth is in danger of harming self or others must pass this information on to immediate supervisors and administrators.
C. The agency maintains written procedures defining:
- Persons authorized to access confidential youth files;
- Release of information;
- Youth record security.
All personnel receive training in Confidentiality Policy and Procedure during
CORE Orientation and on-the-job training.