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Volunteer Confidentiality Policy

The Principle of Confidentiality

Beat Volunteers should treat in confidence information about both clients and workers. The confidentiality principle helps to create an environment in which enquirers can speak freely and workers can work in safety.

Practical Aspects of Confidentiality

All Beat workers are given a copy of the Confidentiality Policy as part of their induction and are required to sign and agree to abide by it. Managers are responsible for ensuring it is understood and adhered to.

Workers should only discuss enquiries within Beat. Care should be taken that such discussions cannot be overheard by anyone outside the service e.g. other users or office visitors. No written information about individual webchats or e-mails should be shared outside of Beat.

Information about an enquirer, including the fact that they have made contact, should not be disclosed to a third party, even to a partner or family member, without the expressed consent of the enquirer. Care should be taken not to give identifiable information about an enquirer unless permission has been given.

Workers operating outside the Beat office should not discuss enquiries with people outside the organisation that could reveal information that may identify the enquirer.

Volunteers must ensure that their workspace from home is fit for purpose and does not compromise the confidentiality of the service user.

When would Beat break Confidentiality?

The principle of confidentiality is fundamental to the work of Beat and breaking confidentiality is a serious matter. Beat workers must be prepared to account for such action.

The only circumstances in which a breach of confidentiality may be justified are:

  1. Where there is a danger to the caller/service user or others in their care (includes Child Protection Issues)
  2. When not to do so would be breaking the law

If a volunteer had any reason to believe that one of these circumstances applied, they would speak urgently to their supervisor who will follow the Confidentiality Policy and consider appropriate action.

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