Confidentiality in the School Setting Presented by: Emma Morales, LCSW Myrna Reynoso-Torres, LCSW Yolanda Vargas, LCSW Social Work in the School Setting Promotes Academic Success! NASW Code of Ethics VALUE: Importance of Human Relationships Social workers seek to strengthen relationships among people in a purposeful effort to promote, restore, maintain, and enhance the wellbeing of individuals, families, social groups, organizations, and communities. Confidentiality Confidentiality is fundamental to relationships with all clients The duty to maintain the privacy of information obtained in the course of the professional/client relationship Confidential information may be obtained from sources other than the client, such as the parent, or other professionals Confidentiality Matters Video Importance of Confidentiality It promotes trust It creates a safe counseling environment Not Confidentiality CONSENT Best practice suggests that parents be involved in the consent of students receiving mental health services. Therefore, you should get parent consent for all LAUSD students. Informed Consent At the beginning, discuss the rules in the relationship – Service you will provide – Confidentiality (child-therapist & parent-therapist) – Limitations to Confidentiality Confirm consent in writing and review written document with parent and student Los Angeles Unified School District School Mental Health Consent Form Our school is pleased to announce that we are offering individual, family, and group counseling to students. Your child, ____________________________, has been referred for this service in order to help him/her achieve greater success in his/her educational, social, and emotional growth. Services may include home visits, phone contacts, and referrals to additional resources. Services may also require collaboration with school staff and community agencies. In signing the bottom of this form, you as the parent or guardian are indicating that you understand that information regarding your family will be held in confidence with the exception of situations that may be harmful to the health and safety of others, including yourself and your children. It is your right to accept, refuse, or stop services at any time. If you have any specific questions or need any further assistance, please call _________________________ at _______________________. *********************************************************************** _____ I accept services. _____ I decline services. _____ I would like to receive a list of referrals to community resources. ___________________________________ Child’s Name _____________________________ Child’s D.O.B. ___________________________________ Name of Parent/Guardian _____________________________ Address ___________________________________ Home Telephone _____________________________ Work/Cell Phone ___________________________________ Signature of Parent/Guardian _____________________________ Today’s Date Confidentiality in the school setting EVERYONE wants to know what’s happening with the student. Providing Confidential Information Can you share information with colleagues at the school? YES, but it has to be: PURPOSEFUL BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD Before you share information THINK WHY are you sharing the information? WHAT information are you sharing? WHO are you sharing this information with? Can You Share Information with Outside Sources? Only if you have a signed release of information This applies to DCFS workers, outside community agencies (mental health, medical, legal, etc…) If you are unsure…. consult with your field instructor Los Angeles Unified School District School Mental Health Parent Authorization for Release/Exchange of Information Date: _____________________ To Parent/Guardian (s) of : _____________________________ We are requesting your written authorization for release/exchange of information from the individual, agency, or institution indicated below. The information received shall be reviewed only by appropriate professionals in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. TO: ________________________________ Name RE: ___________________________________ Pupil (Last name) (First name) ____________________________________ Agency, Institution, or Department Date of Birth: _______/_______/_______ Mo. Day Yr. ____________________________________ Street Address ___________________________________ Street Address ____________________________________ City State Zip ____________________________________ City State Zip I hereby give you permission to release/exchange the following information: _____ Medical/Health _____ Speech & Language _____ Educational _____ Psychological/Mental Health _____ Other-Specify ____________________________ The information will be used to assist in determining the needs of the pupil. THIS INFORMATION IS TO BE SENT TO: _____________________________________________________________________________ Name Position _____________________________________________________________________________ Address This authorization shall be valid until __________________________ unless revoked earlier. I request a copy of this authorization: _____ Yes _____ No Signature: _________________________________________ Parent/Legal Guardian Date: _____________________ Can you share information with Parents? Yes- Only if it pertains to Limits of Confidentiality It is best to encourage the client to communicate with parent about something parent might need to know Limitations to Confidentiality Abuse/Neglect Danger to self Danger to Others “Tarasoff” TARASOFF - “Duty to Warn” A California Supreme Court decision that held that a psychologist could be held liable for failing to take reasonable steps to protect the intended victim when a client threatens violence. This decision created the “duty to warn” a reasonably identifiable victim when a client threatens violence. NOTICE I am a Social Work Intern. Anything you share with me WILL NOT be shared with anyone else without your permission, except in the following three situations: I suspect that you are in DANGER OF HARMING YOURSELF. I suspect you INTEND TO HARM ANOTHER PERSON. I suspect that YOU ARE VICTIM OF ABUSE. By law, I MUST REPORT these three situations. However, I will also be available to help you through the process toward resolution. Exceptions Students 12 years of age or older that need “sensitive services” What are sensitive services? Pregnancy, contraceptive and abortion HIV testing and services Medical care of an STD Rape services In cases of rape or sexual assault, students can provide consent, but parents must be notified unless they are the perpetrators. Students age 12 or older can provide consent themselves for mental health services if they meet two criteria: Student is deemed mature enough to make an informed decision AND One of the two following apply: 1. Without mental health services, student would present a danger of serious physical or mental harm to self or others. 2. Student is an alleged victim of incest or child abuse. How many times can you meet with a student before getting parental consent? Once! But only……………………………. To receive a consent form to take home For a crisis situation What if parent refuses consent? You MAY NOT see the student Unless…… not receiving mental health services would pose a significant health or mental health risk to the student Your reasons for seeing the student must be documented. Vignette DCFS case manager is working with Tommy. The case manager asks the school mental health professional about Tommy, whether he seems happy, is making friends, etc. The case manager then says she wants to talk to Tommy’s teacher to find out if he is out ill often. What do you do? Other Things to Consider Regarding Confidentiality Leaving phone messages Emailing Running into clients in a public setting CLIENT RECORDS Progress Notes Keep track of significant events/dates/people These notes should remain general and neutral Document “as if” your records could be subpoenaed in a court of law and read in front of the client Do not leave notes or charts where others can see them Personal Notes Are designed to reflect your longer thoughts, reflections and observations Are to be kept separate from pupil records Process recordings fall under this category Personal notes remain personal as long as they are not shared in a public forum In Conclusion…… Be mindful of what you say and what you write Review limits of confidentiality before every individual and/or group session Get signed consent and release of information forms for every client QUESTIONS???