Confidentiality

Periodically, windows of opportunities arise for providing inservice at schools about mental health and psychosocial concerns. When such opportunities appear, it may be helpful to access one or more of our Center's Quick Training Aids.

Each of these offers a brief set of resources to guide those providing an inservice session. (They also are a form of quick self-tutorial.)    

Most encompass    
  • key talking points for a short training session    
  • a brief overview of the topic    
  • facts sheets    
  • tools    
  • a sampling of other related information and resources
  • In compiling resource material, the Center tries to identify those that represent "best practice" standards. If you know of better material, please let us know so that we can make improvements.

    Guide for Suggested Talking Points

    1. Brief Overview
    2. Three questions to be covered:
       
      1. Why is confidentiality important?
         
        1. Reasons for Protecting the Privacy of Children and Families - Excerpt from: "Critical Issue: Addressing Confidentiality Concerns in School-Linked Integrated Service Efforts," North Central Regional Educational Laboratory. (http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/envrnmnt/css/cs3lk2.htm).
           
          • Cover the list of eight reasons why confidentiality is important.
             
        2. Understanding Confidentiality - Excerpted from: "Confidentiality: Protocol for Handling Issues of Confidentiality in Public Schools." Prepared by The Manitoba Teachers' Society (http://www.mbteach.org).
           
          1. Confidentiality is the obligation not to disclose willingly any information obtained in confidence. There are 4 basic principles upon which confidentiality is based.
             
          2. Cover the guidelines for school staff to follow in protecting confidentiality.
             
          3. Records must be kept and protected and procedures established for responding appropriately to requests for information.
             
      2. What are the limits of confidentiality?
         
        1. About the Limits of Confidentiality and Its Limitations on Helping - Excerpted from: "Reframing the confidentiality dilemma to work in children's best interests" by L. Taylor & H. Adelman. Published in Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, v. 20, pp. 79-83, 1989. Also excerpted in the Center Introductory Packet on "Confidentiality and Informed Consent."
           
          1. Confidentiality is an ethical concern reflecting the right to privacy. It differs from privileged communication which is a legal concept.
             
          2. As part of informed consent for an intervention, professionals must provide information about exceptions to the promise of privacy.
             
          3. In addition to limits on confidentiality, there are times when keeping info confidential can seriously hamper helping an individual.
             
        2. Limits to Confidentiality for the Teacher and Student - Excerpted from: "Guidelines: The Dilemma of Confidentiality" by Rachel Kessler, The Passageways Institute (http://www.creducation.org/resources/Confidentiality.pdf)
           
          1. Limits for school staff include situations where there is suicide threats or ideation, abuse, and drug/alcohol use on campus.
             
          2. Students involved in confidential group interventions often find it difficult to refrain from breaking confidentiality and students need to learn about the problem and what to do.
             
      3. How should confidentiality dilemmas be addressed & info shared appropriately?
         
        1. Confidentiality and School Social Work: A Practice Perspective - Practice update from the National Association of Social Workers
           
          • Cover the twelve practice steps.
             
        2. Excerpts from: Confidentiality in the Treatment of Adolescents - Stephen H. Behnke & Elizabeth Warner, APA Monitor, Volume 33, No. 3, March 2002.
           
          • This piece addresses the specific question of how to deal with disclosures regarding involvement in illegal and/or sexual activities. Can be used as a stimulus for discussion and to explore the implications for working in schools.
             
        3. The Confidentiality Dilemma - Excerpt from: "Reframing the confidentiality dilemma to work in children's best interests" by L. Taylor & H. Adelman. Published in Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, v. 20, pp. 79-83, 1989. Also excerpted in the Center Introductory Packet on "Confidentiality and Informed Consent."
           
          • The dilemma is how to avoid undermining confidentiality and still share info when it is in the best interest of a student to do so. Three points related to this involve (1) enhancing a student's motivation to share info when it is in her/his best interest to do so, (2) empowering students to do so, and (3) minimizing negative consequences of disclosure.
             

    3. Fact Sheets /Guidelines
      1. Information Sharing and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, July, 1996, OJJDP Fact Sheet #39).

        • Highlight the ways in which schools and the juvenile justice system need to work together in sharing info and protecting confidentiality for juvenile offenders.
      2. Limits of Confidentiality
      3. Guidelines for Protecting Confidential Student Health Information
        (Excerpt from: American School Health Association, 2000).

    4. Tools/Handouts
    5. Here are some sample consent and release forms for use within schools and for exchange of information between agencies/institutions.

      1. Consent to Exchange Confidential Information - (From the Center for Mental Health in Schools Intro Packet on Confidentiality and Informed Consent.)

      2. Authorization to Release Information - (From the Longfellow Elementary School Interagency Project SMART Program in English and Spanish)

      3. Consent to Treatment and Release of Confidential Information - (From the Bluegrass Interagency Mobilization for Progress in Adolescent and Children's Treatment)

      4. Sample Request of Non-Parent for Access to Education Record - (From the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Prortecting the Privacy of Student Records.)

      5. Sample Request (of Parent) to Review an Education Record - (From the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Protecting the Privacy of Student Records)

    6. Additional Resources
    7. Originals for Overheads
    8. The following can be copied to overhead transparencies to assist in presenting this material.

    This material provided by: UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools/Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563
    (310) 825-3634/ Fax: (310) 206-8716/ Email: smhp@ucla.edu

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