Our Policy on confidentiality

Home-Start, through its volunteers, develops a very special and privileged relationship with a family.

By visiting a family regularly and informally at home, a volunteer becomes a friend, a trusted listener and supporter and is likely to be the recipient of personal and private information. Home-Start respects all information that is shared with a volunteer. Only where there is a concern about a child's or adult's safety or welfare will Home-Start share information with relevant agencies.

 

When we Talk to Other Agencies

It is Home-Start's practice to inform the person who referred and the family's health visitor that Home-Start support has been agreed and is being provided. We aim to complement the work of other agencies and some general information about the level and nature of Home-Start's involvement with a family might be shared. However, all personal and private information, which has no relevance to other agencies, will remain confidential. We will ask you to sign a form agreeing to this exchange of information. There may be occasions when other agencies formally request statistical and other information which could identify families e.g. names and postcodes. If such a request is made we will contact you and seek your permission in writing before the information is passed to the agency. Communication with outside agencies is the responsibility of the co-ordinator (not the volunteer).

 

Discussions within Home-Start

It is common practice in Home-Start for groups of volunteers to meet with the scheme co-ordinator to discuss issues arising from their work with families, to share experiences and learn from each other. In these sessions confidentiality is maintained and personal information about families is protected. Discussion about individual families is confined to one-to-one supervision sessions between the volunteer and co-ordinator.

 

Confidentiality at Family Support Groups

At Family Group meetings, families can choose whether or not to share their own information with other families. Whilst the Home-Start staff and volunteers are bound by Home-Start policy on confidentiality it must be emphasised that the families attending the group are free to establish their own boundaries.

 

Publicity

Occasionally, Home-Start Portsmouth will request that photographs taken at events and outings be used for publicity purposes. If such a request is made we will seek your permission in writing before using the photographs.

 

Safeguarding

The only time that we will break the confidentiality policy described above is if we think that there is a child protection issue; if we believe that you child is in danger of neglect or abuse, we will always discuss this with you and then take any steps that we feel are necessary to safeguard your child(ren) and this may include talking to the authorities about what we have seen / heard. 

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