Respect Family Privacy and Confidentiality

Practice Area 5

Your program has policies, guidelines, and expectations related to confidentiality, privacy, and ethical practice. These are in place to protect you and the families you serve. You will want to study every policy, guideline, and expectation well, reference them when needed, and follow them closely.

Examples of How to Use This Practice

  • Explain to families how you will use information from your conversations with them about their well-being. Also, explain how you will not use information from these conversations.
  • Give families time to ask questions about privacy and confidentiality. For example, welcome their questions about who will have access to the information and what form it will be in. Let families know if they will be identified (and to whom).
  • As you seek their approval, discuss with each family any reason for sharing their information outside of your program. Explain how their information will be shared and used. Understand that some communities of color have historically had their information shared without their knowledge or permission and in a negative light. Respond to situations like these with respect and compassion.

Reflection Questions

  • How will you talk with families about the privacy and confidentiality of their information?
  • How will you identify and respond to families' concerns and preferences about information sharing and privacy?
  • How do you plan to address family concerns about how their information may be shared or used?
  • How will you seek support from your supervisor or colleagues about privacy and confidentiality policies, as needed?