Confidentiality

Confidentiality and protection of children and vulnerable adults policy

Family Rights Group has significant contact with families. We have a rigorous recruitment strategy which includes enhanced Disclosure and Barring service checks for all staff and contractors.

Confidentiality will normally be assured to anyone seeking advice or advocacy or with whom we have contact. Workers who are employed in any capacity by Family Rights Group will not pass on information to other agencies without the direct permission of the client. In most situations this permission will be requested in writing, unless it is agreed that there is a matter of urgency and then verbal permission will suffice in which case written confirmation will be sought as soon as possible.

However, there are two exceptions to this general principle:

  • Firstly, if information is disclosed or circumstances arise in which a worker thinks that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm and that the relevant statutory agencies are unaware of this information, then the worker will encourage the client to pass this information to the relevant statutory agency. If the client is unwilling to pass on this information themselves, then a decision needs to be taken whether to break confidentiality and inform the relevant agency. This must be discussed between the worker and their line manager, or if they are not available, another member of the management team, and a record of the discussion will be maintained. The only exception would be in an absolute emergency where there is immediate threat to life or limb. The worker will inform the client of the information they have passed on.
  • Additionally, if any person carrying out work for Family Rights Group has reason to believe that another adult is at serious risk of harm, then that worker will encourage the client to pass this information to the relevant statutory agency. If the client is unwilling to pass on this information themselves, then a decision needs to be taken whether to break confidentiality and inform the relevant agency. This must be discussed between the worker and their line manager, or if they are not available, another member of the management team, and a record of the discussion will be maintained. The only exception would be in an absolute emergency where there is immediate threat to life or limb. The worker will inform the client of the information they have passed on.

In circumstances where a decision is made to break confidentiality, Family Rights Group will continue to be available to offer advice and advocacy to the family, or if this is not appropriate, will refer the family to a solicitor. Any referral to Children’s Services will be either made or confirmed in writing and a copy given to the client. Our policy will be made clear on publicity materials relating to the advice and advocacy service. In addition it is our practice that as soon as a client gives any information which raises concerns about the safety of a child or an adult, we will ensure that the caller is aware of this policy, before continuing the conversation.

This agreement will describe the confidentiality policy and set down the following arrangements for storing documents and records:

  • Documents will be returned as soon as the immediate work has finished OR will be destroyed after six years;
  • All written files which include personal information will be kept in locked cabinets when not in use. Family Rights Group also adheres to the Data Protection Act with regard to all personal information kept on computer files.

Research surveys

When completing online research surveys for Family Rights Group, most surveys will be anonymous. However depending on the nature of the research to be carried out, Family Rights Group from time to time will ask for your contact details i.e. name, address, organisation, telephone number and email address. Surveys are currently completed via a secure external online survey called Survey Monkey which is password protected. In compliance with the Data Protection Act, Survey Monkey complies with the EU-US Privacy Shield Program and will take all steps, reasonably necessary to prevent the loss, misuse or alteration of personal information. The data collected through these surveys will be used for research analysis for Family Rights Group and its associated projects only. 

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