Confidentiality is the preservation of your private information which has been disclosed during your participation in one of the Golden Family Center’s counselling or support programs. With some exceptions (see below) your personal information is kept strictly confidential within our team and will not be shared without your consent, per the policy of The Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia.
Exceptions to confidentiality
- When information you disclose indicates that there is clear and imminent danger to yourself or to others – in this situation the counsellor or support worker is ethically bound to take necessary steps to prevent such danger.
- When information you disclose indicates that a child ( defined in BC as a person under the age of 19) is at risk and is in ‘need of protection’ – the counsellor or support worker is required (as is the general public) to inform staff at the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD).
- For case consultation – within our team only – to ensure the provision of quality services.
- When disclosure of your information is for the purpose of complying with a subpoena, warrant or order issued or made by a court, person or body with jurisdiction to compel the production of personal information.
Confidential services for youth
When working with youth, it is best practice to work with the youth and their family together, involving everyone in the counselling process. Under certain conditions though, youth (aged 12/13-18) seeking counselling or support services have a right to confidentiality: a youth (under the age of 19) is permitted by the common law to give legally binding consent to a counsellor without the need for the counsellor to seek the consent of that youth’s parent(s) or guardian(s). But, before obtaining or relying on that consent, the counsellor must determine three things:
- That the youth understands and appreciates “the nature of the treatment or counselling services being proposed, and any reasonably foreseeable risks thereof. This necessarily involves the counsellor ascertaining that the child has sufficient intelligence to have such an understanding”.
- That the youth has the capacity or the ability to give or express his or her consent.
- That the proposed counselling service is in the youth’s best interest.
With information from: Obtaining Consent from Children BY George K. Bryce, BCACC legal counsel – Vol. 12:2 of Insights (Summer 2000)
Access to my information
As a client, you have the right to be provided with access to information in your file upon written request, per the policy of The Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia. Requests for access to, or correction of, personal information are governed by privacy legislation. Privacy legislation requires that we respond to a request within 30 days.