CONFIDENTIAL CLIENT & VOLUNTEER RECORDS
for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Michigan to provide a responsible and
to clients it is necessary for volunteers, clients and parents or guardians of
clients to be asked to divulge
extensive personal information about themselves and their families. The agency respects the confidentiality of
client and volunteer records and, with the exception of the situations below,
shares information about clients and volunteers only among the agency
professional staff. (Note: These files are handled by clerical staff,
both paid and volunteer.) The right to confidentiality applies not only to
written records, but also to video, film, pictures, and use of client or
volunteer’s name in agency publications.
records are considered the property of the agency and not the agency worker,
clients, or volunteers themselves. In
order to provide a service that is in the best interest of the children served
by the program, information from outside sources, including confidential
references, must be assessed along with information gained from the clients or
volunteers themselves. Records are,
therefore, not available for review by the clients or volunteers.
and volunteers will be provided, at the time of application, a copy of this
statement on confidentiality along with the exceptions which define the limits
of confidentiality. A client or
volunteer shall sign a statement that he/she has read and understands the agency
policy on confidentiality and agrees to program participation under the
guidelines it sets forth.
from client or volunteer records may be shared with the individuals or
organization specified below and under the following conditions:
1. Information will be released to other
individuals or organizations only upon presentation of an authorized “consent
to release information” form appropriately signed by the client or volunteer.
information (including photographs, videos, etc.) regarding clients and
volunteers may be used in agency publications or promotional materials if the
client or volunteer has given permission.
3. For purposes of program evaluation, audit, or
accreditation, and with the prior approval of the Board of Directors, certain outside
bodies may need access to client and volunteer records. These outside organizations shall be required
to respect the agency policy on confidentiality. Outside parties shall be
required to use information only for the purposes(s) stated in the approved
action of the Board of Directors. Known
violations of the agency’s confidentiality policy will be reported to the
supervisor of the individual involved and appropriate disciplinary action shall
of the Board of Directors have access to client files only upon authorization
by formal motion of the Board of Directors.
The motion shall identify the person(s) to be authorized to review such
records, the specific purpose for such review and the period of time during
which access shall be granted. Members
shall be required to comply with the agency policies on confidentiality and may
use the information only for purposes stated by the approved action of the
Board of Directors. Known violations shall
be reported to the Board President. A
violation of the agency’s confidentiality policy by a Board member shall
constitute adequate cause for removal from office.
shall only be provided to law enforcement officials or the courts pursuant to a
valid and enforceable subpoena.
shall be provided to an agency’s legal counsel in the event of litigation or
potential litigation involving the agency. Such information is considered
privileged information and its confidentiality is protected by law.
7. State law mandates that suspected child abuse
will be reported to the appropriate authorities. All workers are responsible for staying
abreast of such reporting requirements of their respective jurisdiction and
shall always comply with mandated procedures.
an agency worker receives information indicating that a client or volunteer may
be dangerous to himself or herself or to others, necessary steps shall be taken
to protect the appropriate party. This may include a medical referral or a
report to the local law enforcement authorities.
the time a child or volunteer is considered as a match candidate, information
is shared between the prospective match parties. However, the identity of the
prospective match mate shall not be revealed at this stage. Names are share
with match mates only after the involved parties agree to the match.