Terms and Conditions

Confidentiality Values and Principles

Al Safina Foundation

 

This policy covers Al Safina Foundation’s principles for confidentiality and values.

 

Personal information is subject to a legal duty of confidence

The following guidance should be read along with Al Safina Foundation’s policy ‘Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults.’

 

Disclosure of confidential information is permitted in exceptional circumstances

Whilst the general principle is that information obtained about children and vulnerable adults must be shared with them and not with others, there are exceptions. The public interest in safeguarding the welfare of children overrides the public interest in maintaining confidentiality, and the law permits the disclosure of confidential information where this is necessary to safeguard a child or children and vulnerable adults. Effective information-sharing underpins integrated working and is a vital element of both early intervention and safeguarding.

Disclosure of confidential information will be justifiable in each instance such as but not limited to, providing information to professionals from other agencies working with the child, personal safety concerns, child welfare, and where possible and appropriate, the agreement of the person concerned would be obtained.

Even in these circumstances, disclosure will be appropriate for the purpose and only to the extent necessary to achieve that purpose.

There may also be situations where third parties have a statutory right of access to the information or where a court order requires that access be given.

The circumstances in which information held in records on children and families can and would be disclosed and shared with others with or without consent are set out in the following sections.

In all other cases, where third parties such as advocates, solicitors or external researchers request access to information, this would only be given if written consent is given by the person concerned or if a Court Order requires it.

 

Situations where disclosure is permitted should be shared with children or vulnerable adults involved

Children and their families, and vulnerable adults, will be informed of the circumstances in which information about them will be shared with others, and their consent to this sharing obtained. They would also be helped to understand that, in some situations, sharing information without consent could be justified – for example to safeguard a child or a vulnerable adult at risk. It would be made clear that in each case the information passed on will only be what is relevant and on a ‘need to know’ basis.

 

Information should be disclosed to colleagues and other professionals/agencies on a ‘need-to-know’ basis

Sharing information promptly with others working with the same child, or who may need to know, is invariably the key to safeguarding the child’s interests.

Any objections they have would be considered before responding to the person making the request.

Where information or records are passed to others it would be noted and confirmed in writing.

Information may also be disclosed to persons who have a statutory right of access to the information, for example:

  • Where the Court directs that records be produced or a Children’s Guardian is appointed;
  • Where information is requested by Inspectors of the Regulatory Authority (who have specific statutory powers that permit access to records).
  • Where information is requested by telephone or electronically, great care will be taken to ensure that the recipient is entitled to receive the information requested. Where there is any doubt, the information may not be provided without the approval of the Safeguarding Lead and the Board of Trustees.