Please respond to the 2 people. Please make sure you have a reference for each.
How to Create Boundaries that Protect Client Confidentiality
Client confidentiality will be protected at all times by adhering to their right to privacy and secrecy. However, the right to privacy will be breached when and if the adhering to the right will put the client and others at risk. Also, the right to privacy will be breached if the guidelines of the agency state otherwise and or when there are stated conditions by the state or federal laws. Therefore, if it is anticipated that any form of harm may befall a client or other people as a consequence of the behavior of the client, a human services practitioner is justified for breaching confidentiality requirements if doing so will ensure the safety of those affected (NOHS, 2015). Before engaging with a client, a human service practitioner will inform the client of these boundaries to confidentiality and assure them that there will be no breach of confidentiality if the mentioned circumstances do not occur.
Three Ways to Protect Client Confidentiality
One of the ways client confidentiality can be protected is by storing confidential information in locked cabinet files. The approach means that a human services practitioner should never leave client files, which are often unsecured since any person can access them. Secondly, client confidentiality can be maintained by ensuring that computer monitors or home screens are not used to store client information. Instead, they should be stored within encrypted hard drives in the computer that can only be accessed using a password. Thirdly, client confidentiality can be protected by not discussing pertinent issues to a client’s case in public spaces. Client information should only be discussed in a location where unauthorized persons cannot listen to the details of the conversation.
NOHS. (2015). Ethical Standards for Human Services Professionals. Retrieved 22nd October 2019 from https://www.nationalhumanservices.org/ethical-standards-for-hs-professionals
Please respond to 1&2: Angela
Confidentiality means keeping the information on the employer and clients as secrets (Naagarazan 2006). It is an essential ethical standard in which all individuals should be aware of and practice daily. Breaking confidentiality can ruin an organization’s reputation with trust from current and potential employers. Jane must get a handle on this situation immediately. After Jane and her team implement a solution, a follow-up should occur to ensure no repeats of employer and client confidentiality gaps.
I would advise Jane to establish a detailed confidentiality agreement for the employer and client to review, discuss and sign before any other conversation occurs. The agreement should provide the employer and the client’s responsibilities to ensure clarity, which will help keep all personnel honest and accountable. Safe and secure information is a priority for clients and can determine how much information is shared.
Types of Communication to Avoid
Communication methods are vital because they can accidentally be viewed or released by other people besides the intended client. I would advise Jane to avoid the following communication types while in the office or community to prevent unnecessary conflicts. Social workers should avoid communications with clients using technology (such as social networking sites, online chat, e-mail, text messages, telephone, and video) for personal or non-work-related purposes (Reamer 2018). Technology has made communication more convenient but not necessarily safe and secure. This further stress why both the employer and client should be mindful of the information they share and how it happens.
How to Properly Store Client Information
I would advise Jane to review the current storing client information methods and make adjustments to correct the current issues. The employers should have individual logins to access the organization system and use it only when needed and not for personal use. If not already in place, there should be random audits to review client’s records to see who viewed and when. Each record should only be accessed by the employer who signed the confidentiality agreement with the client and no other employers. The agreement aligns with Saint Leo’s standards 3, 8, and 9. Human service professionals protect the integrity, safety, and security of client’s records. Client information in written or electronic form that is shared with other professionals must have the client’s prior written consent except in the course of professional supervision or when legally obliged or permitted to share such information Client National Organization of Human Services. (2016). Properly stored client information prevents issues and lets the clients know that trust is not a factor with the organization. Broken trust causes the client to go elsewhere and potentially leave a bad review.
Naagarazan, R. (2006). Textbook on Professional Ethics and Human Values. ProQuest Ebook Central https://ebookcentral.proquest.com
National Organization of Human Services. (2016). Ethical Standards for Human Service Professionals. Retrieved from: http://www.natinalhumanservices.org/ethical-standards-for-hs-professional
Reamer, F. (2018). Ethical Standards in Social Work. A Review of the NASW Code of Ethics.
The Importance of Client Confidentiality
As a human services practitioner, it is imperative the highest standards of ethical behaviors are being exercised, in particular, safeguarding client information and confidentiality. In the human services field, there may be an exchange of personal/private information from the client to the practitioner that has to be kept close hold to uphold the integrity of the professional relationship as well as to protect the client. The National Organization for Human Services outlines three standards that cover the topic of confidentiality:
STANDARD 3 Human service professionals protect the client’s right to privacy and confidentiality except when such confidentiality would cause serious harm to the client or others when agency guidelines state otherwise, or under other stated conditions
STANDARD 8 Human service professionals protect the integrity, safety, and security of client records.
STANDARD 9 When providing services through the use of technology, human service professionals take precautions to ensure and maintain confidentiality and comply with all relevant laws and requirements regarding storing, transmitting, and retrieving data.
Practitioners in the field can create boundaries with other clients or coworkers by not discussing personal information with others who do not have a legal need to know. The bottom line, practitioners need to remain professional both inside and outside of the office and not divulge (verbally, written, or electronically) with others.
According to Moore-Kirkland and Irey (1981), “confidentiality is regarded as essential to the process of change that takes place through the exclusive relationship between worker and client” (p. 319). Therefore, this exclusive relationship (which is privileged), needs to be nurtured in order to not break the trust and respect created overtime.
Ways to Protect Client Confidentiality
As a leader, I would advise employees to always ensure they have informed consent from a client if information is requested about them. Employees should err on the side of caution and never assume it is okay to release or discuss private information regarding a client. I would also tell employees to always protect the client information by ensuring files and documents are kept safe; either in a locked filing cabinet or password protected electronically. In addition, I would ensure regular training (initial and refreshers) regarding the importance of client confidentiality and ways to protect information are administered on an ongoing basis. Also, the organization would have written policies in place that were briefed to the staff at onboarding as well as during regular monthly or quarterly meetings to keep the information on the forefront.
Council for Standards in Human Service Education. (n.d.). Council for Standards in Human Service Education. https://cshse.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/CSHSE-National- Standards-Masters-Degree-Revised-July-2020.pdf
Moore-Kirkland, J., & Irey, K. V. (1981). A reappraisal of confidentiality. Social Work, 26(4), 319–323.