Creativity From Within offers its clients the highest level of confidentiality consistent with the law and the codes of the British Association of Art Therapists. This protects a client from the voluntary disclosure of confidences without the client’s permission unless legally or professionally required to do so.
Creativity From Within offers confidentiality within its service. This means that information given will not go outside of the clients care team. Respecting client confidentiality is a fundamental requirement for keeping trust. The professional management of confidentiality requires the protection of personally identifiable and sensitive information from unauthorised disclosure. Creativity From Within must be willing to be accountable to their clients and to their profession for their management of confidentiality in general and, particularly, for any disclosures made without their client’s consent. The obligation to maintain confidentiality also continues after the therapeutic relationship has ended. Creativity From Within undertakes to ensure that all client records are kept secure so that only authorized persons can gain access to them
There are situations in which Creativity From Within may be required by law to submit client notes for investigation. However, The Police and Criminal evidence Act 1984 provides explicit and wide-ranging protection for therapeutic records during police investigations. Section 12 of the Act specifically defines personal records. These are excluded from the powers of the magistrate to issue search warrants, which must be issued by a circuit judge. The aim is to preserve confidences from invasion of privacy by the police.
A solicitor’s letter requesting disclosure of client information is not sufficient to obtain disclosure of confidential client records or therapist information. A court order is required before disclosure of such material can be obtained.
There are circumstances in which Creativity From Within cannot legally or ethically maintain confidentiality within the service. Wherever possible, Creativity From Within will make every attempt to communicate first with the client explaining the reasons for the need to pass on information and to whom this will be given. These exceptions are listed below and would qualify as areas of authorized disclosure:
Child Protection: If information is disclosed that a child is at risk of significant harm Creativity From Within has a duty under the Children Act to pass on this information to Social Services or the Police in order to do what is possible to see that child protected.
Serious Harm: If planned serious harm to the life of self or another person is disclosed we have a duty to pass this on to the appropriate authority (GP, Police, etc.) in order to do all that is possible to see that person protected.
Offences under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1987: If information is given on any planned act of terrorism, Creativity From Within is by law, obliged to report this to the Police without informing the person who gave that information.
Court Cases: In the event of a Court case, the Judge has power to subpoena a client’s therapy notes, or request that a therapy report is provided as evidence for the case.
Drug Money Laundering: Creativity From Within has a duty to disclose any information given in regards the laundering of drug money.
Road Traffic Accidents: Creativity From Within does not have a duty to take initiative in disclosing information known in regards road traffic accidents. However, if the Police contact us as part of such inquiries, we have a duty to pass on any information relevant to that road traffic accident.
If a Therapist is formally accused of wrongful conduct, then the need for the Therapist to divulge information about a client is recognized in order for the matter to be investigated. The breaking of confidentiality will be kept to a minimum, in consultation with advisors. The Therapist will continue to have regard for the well-being of the client.
In some Circumstances, Creativity From Within is only able to offer Art Therapy if a client provides the contact details of their General Practitioner or agreed alternative medical back up. With the client’s permission, Creativity From Within’s usual practice is to inform the GP of the commencement of Art Therapy with this Service. No other personal information about the client would be passed on, unless the client gave direct permission. If requested, Art Therapy can be offered without a letter being sent to the GP, provided GP contact details are given by the client for any possible future emergency situation.
Confidentiality of Creativity From Within’s Address
Creativity From Within operates from a confidential address in order to provide maximum security and confidentiality for its clients and Therapist. Everyone who is given access to this address is required to maintain this confidentiality.
What are the exemptions to confidentiality?
Confidentiality is not absolute and there are circumstances in which information can or must be released. For example,
If I am subpoenaed and ordered to testify in a court of law and their objections are overruled. This happens in very few instances and typically occurs in legal proceedings involving child custody, law suits in which services you received are considered to be evidence in a court of law, or charges involving certain types of criminal behaviour.
If I believe that abuse or harm has been done to a child or to a vulnerable person. This would involve situations where they find it is necessary to report this information to proper authorities.
If I believe that you are dangerous to yourself, or another person, and it is necessary to take steps to protect you or the safety of others.
If during a medical emergency I need to reveal information that is necessary to protect or insure your health and safety or that of another person. (If you are a minor, or a minor that is not emancipated, I may need to involve your parents or guardian in your treatment.)