PRIVACY AND DIGNITY POLICY

1. Purpose

This document outlines Out Loud DS Policy and Procedure relating to the privacy and dignity of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants and private clients. Out Loud DS will manage and ensure that we provide the participant access to services and supports that respect and protect their dignity and right to privacy.

 

2. Scope

This policy applies to all employees of Out Loud DS who provide work and/or a service as a direct staff member or independent contractor.

 

As Out Loud is a paediatric service we use family friendly language. The participant is referred to as the “child” and parents and carers as “family”.

 

3. Objectives

This policy aims to:

  • promote good, consistent practices relating to respecting and protecting family’s personal privacy and dignity;

  • direct workers in supporting families to understand Out Loud DS’ privacy policies (in the language, mode of communication and terms that they are most likely to understand); and

  • direct workers in supporting families to understand what personal information will be collected and why.

 

4. Policy

Out Loud DS is committed to protecting and upholding the family’s rights to privacy and dignity as we collect, store and handle information about them, their needs and the services provided to them. Out Loud DS requires Staff and management to be considered and consistent when writing documents regarding a child and when deciding who has access to this information.

 

Out Loud DS is subject to NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission rules and regulations. We will follow the guidelines of the Australian Privacy Principles in its information management practices. Out Loud DS will ensure that each family understands, and agrees to, the type of personal information collected and the reasons for collection. If material is to be recorded in an audio or visual format the family must agree to their and their child’s involvement, in writing, before any material can be collected. The family and child must also be informed at the time material is being recorded in an audio or visual format.

 

Out Loud DS will advise each family of our Privacy and Dignity Policy using the language, mode of communication and terms that they are most likely to understand (Easy Read documents are made available to all families). We will ensure that:

  • it meets its legal and ethical obligations as an employer and service provider, concerning protecting the privacy of families and organisational personnel

  • families are provided with information about their rights regarding privacy and confidentiality

  • families and organisational personnel are provided with privacy and confidentiality when they're being interviewed or discussing matters of a personal or sensitive nature

  • all Staff, management and volunteers understand the necessary requirements to meet their obligations

  • Out Loud DS will attempt to locate interpreters and will provide Easy Read documents.

 

This policy conforms to the Federal Privacy Act (1988) and the Australian Privacy Principles, which govern the collection, use and storage of personal information. This policy will apply to all records, whether hard

copy or electronic, containing personal information about individuals and to interviews or discussions of a sensitive personal nature.

 

 

5. Principles

Out Loud DS follows the Australian Privacy Principle and Australian Privacy Principle Guidelines as per the Privacy Act 1998.

 

6. Procedure

The procedure is detailed below.

 

6.1 Personal Information

In dealing with personal information, Out Loud DS Staff will:

  • Ensure privacy for the child and family, Staff, or management when they are being interviewed or discussing matters of a personal or sensitive nature

  • Collect and store personal information that is only necessary for the functioning of the organisation and its activities

  • Use fair and lawful ways to collect personal information

  • Collect personal information only with consent from the individual

  • Ensure that people know of the type of personal information collected; the purpose of keeping the information; the method used when information is collected, used, or disclosed; and who will have access to information

  • Ensure that personal information collected or disclosed is accurate, complete, and up-to-date and provide access to the family to review information or correct wrong information about themselves

  • Take reasonable steps to protect all personal information from misuse, loss and unauthorised access, modification, or disclosure

  • Destroy or permanently de-identify personal information no longer needed or after legal requirements for retaining documents that have expired

  • Ensure that families understand and agree with the type of personal information being collected and the reason/s for collection

  • Ensure family and the child are advised of any recordings in either audio or visual format. The child’s involvement in any recording format must be agreed to, in writing, before collection of material takes place.

 

6.2 Record Keeping

The child’s records will be kept confidential and only handled by Staff directly engaged in the delivery of service to them. Information about a child may only be made available to other parties with the consent of the family. While the majority of Out Loud’s information is maintained in an approved practice management system, hard copy files are kept in a secure locked filing cabinet in the office of the Operations Manager.

 

6.3 Media consent

Prior to any media images being taken of children, a consent to media form must be completed. This consent is stored on the child’s file.

 

6.4 Responsibilities for Managing Privacy

All Staff are responsible for the management of personal information to which they have access. The Director is responsible for the content appearing in Out Loud DS publications, communications, and on our website, and must ensure the following:

  • Appropriate consent is sought and obtained for the inclusion of any personal information about any individual, including Out Loud DS personnel (see 'Consent Policy and Procedure')

  • Information provided by other agencies or external individuals conforms to our privacy principles.

  • Our website contains a Privacy Statement that clearly outlines the conditions regarding any collection of personal information from the general public captured via their visit to the website.

 

The Director is responsible for safeguarding personal information relating to Out Loud’s Staff, management, and contractors. The Director will be responsible for:

  • Ensuring that all Staff are familiar with the Privacy and Dignity Policy and administrative procedures for handling personal information

  • Providing families with information about their rights regarding privacy and dignity

  • Handling any queries or complaints about a privacy issue.

 

6.5 Privacy Information for Participants

During the first interview, families are notified of the information being collected about them, how their privacy will be protected, and their rights concerning this data. Information sharing is part of our legislative requirements. Families must provide consent to any information sharing between our organisation and government bodies. The family is informed they can opt-out of any NDIS information sharing during audits.

 

6.6 Privacy Information for Interviews and Personal Discussion

To ensure privacy for children, their families or Staff when discussing sensitive or personal matters, Out Loud DS will only collect personal information which is necessary for the provision of supports and services and which:

  • Is given voluntarily

  • Will be stored securely on the Out Loud DS computer systems.

 

When in possession, or control, of a record containing personal information, Out Loud DS will ensure that the record shall be protected against loss, unauthorised access, modification, or disclosure, by such steps as is reasonable in the circumstances. If a record must be provided to a person in connection with the provision of a service to Out Loud DS, everything reasonable will be done to prevent unauthorised use or disclosure of that record.

Out Loud DS will not disclose any personal information to a third party without a family’s consent, unless that disclosure is required or authorised by, or under, law.

 

6.7 Issues with the management of privacy and dignity

Workers are to encourage children and families to make a complaint in line with the Feedback and Complaints Management Policy and Procedure if they are not satisfied with the way the organisation has maintained their privacy and dignity (including use of an advocate if they wish). This information is made available to families through Easy Read Documents.

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