The Importance of Confidentiality The Role of Confidentiality on the COST team Helping Teachers/Staff without Disclosing Conclusion and Final Agreements
Government Policy: ◦ Federal Educational Records Privacy Act (FERPA) “An educational agency or institution may disclose personally identifiable information from an education record to appropriate parties in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.” ◦ Improving America’s Schools Act (IASA) Amended FERPA to promote “active information sharing by educators.” IASA permits educators to share information with juvenile justice system personnel on juveniles prior to adjudication pursuant to State statute.”
Government Policy Continued: ◦ Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Governs medical information that may be collected by outside medical and mental health providers, does not govern school personnel.
Definition: ◦ Obligation not to disclose willingly any information obtained in confidence. Therefore, information disclosed in response to a search warrant, subpoena, or a legal requirement for mandatory reporting is not a breach of confidentiality. Child protection Potential harm Legal action
4 Basic Principles ◦ Respect for an individual’s right to privacy ◦ Respect for human relationships in which personal information is shared. ◦ Appreciation of the importance of confidentiality of both individuals and society ◦ Expectations that those who pledge to safeguard confidential information will do so.
Protect from Avoid prejudice or embarrassment differential treatment Prevent discrimination Encourage individuals to seek Security other services ◦ Personal ◦ Family Facilitate ◦ Job communication
Duty to Warn- harm to self or others ◦ Family of an individual who intends to harm her-or himself ◦ Others the individual’s actions may harm ◦ Appropriate authorities and emergency responders Other limits to confidentiality include: ◦ Abuse ◦ Substance use on campus
Providers and school staff may consult or collaborate with other professionals for purposes of more effectively helping a student. Tell the student’s name only when necessary. ◦ i.e., Consultation with COST team members ◦ Only persons clearly concerned with the case (APA, 1981, p.636)
All parties sign confidentiality agreement Share as much information as possible verbally rather than in writing (though keep record of agreements). Make sure information is accurate and unbiased. Don’t share in the halls, staff rooms, or other public places. Don’t leave reports, records, computer files etc. where others can access them. Avoid emailing identifiable student information