When you contact the Tenant Advice Service operated by Enhance Care Inc in partnership with Tenants Queensland as part of the QSTARS program funded by the Queensland Department of Housing and Public Works you will be asked to provide the worker with information to allow them to provide you with appropriate advice and assistance.
This information is required for the purpose of maintaining your client file and providing you with advice relating to your specific issue and circumstances. Some information we may request is for statistical or data collection purposes as required by our partner organisation or the Queensland Department of Housing and Public Works.
The purpose of this policy is to provide staff, volunteers and students with standards for protecting the confidentiality and privacy of information collected by Enhance Care Inc.
ENHANCE CARE INC. aims to uphold the highest standard of staff, volunteers and clients rights to confidentiality and privacy in accordance with the principles embodied in the Commonwealth Privacy Act. ENHANCE CARE INC. respects that information shared by clients belongs to clients. It is important that ENHANCE CARE INC. is consistent and careful in the way it is decides who can see or hear this information, and protect and uphold the legal rights of clients to access their own records.
ENHANCE CARE INC. will only collect information for the purpose of providing services. Permission to collect and maintain information will be sought from the individual at all times. In seeking the permission ENHANCE CARE INC.
- Only collect information that is relevant to our primary function;
- Inform individuals why information is being collected, for what purpose it will be used and who will be able to access that information
- Inform individuals that their information will only be shared with others with their consent, except as specified in the Access to Confidential Information Policy.
- Ensure that the collection of information does not intrude to an unreasonable extent upon the personal affairs of the individual involved
- Keep staff, volunteer and client records in a manner that safeguards them against loss, unauthorized access, use modification or disclosure, and against other misuse;
- Provide individuals with access to their own records
All management committee members, staff, volunteers and students will read and sign a Code of Conduct on commencement with ENHANCE CARE INC. All newcomers to the organisation are trained in the induction process on the necessity of confidentiality in regards to ascertaining and maintaining information and location of service.
Staff, student and volunteer records
In protecting the privacy of the information of staff, students and volunteers, ENHANCE CARE INC. will ensure the following:
- All staff, students and volunteers will be allocated their own personnel file which will contain all personal information and be held in a secure location on site.
- All electronic records will be stored on a password protected computer
- Information recorded on the Tenant Advice Service database for the purposes of conflict checking will be password secure and only approved staff that have undergone service induction training will be allowed access.
- No personal information will be released to a third party including other volunteers or staff without the permission of the individual.
- Release of work related information such as work email address, current whereabouts etc must be authorised by the Executive Director or the Operations Manager, prior to releasing this information.
All personal information gathered by staff during the provision of services will remain confidential and secure except when:
- Required by law for example subpoenaed by a court of law
- There is a serious and imminent risk of harm to the client or another person and failure to disclose information would place that person at further harm
- Approval of the client has been obtained to release information to another party, or
- The case is being reviewed for the purpose of professional supervision ( in which case all identifying information will be removed prior to review)
In sharing information regarding clients, ENHANCE CARE INC. will ensure that the following steps are taken:
- Providing clients with a Confidentiality and Privacy Statement on commencement of services, in which they have to read and sign if appropriate. This statement outlines ENHANCE CARE INC.’s responsibilities in regards to their information, how this information will be stored and who can access it. It also outlines what circumstances in which their confidentiality may be breached;
- Having Consent for Information Sharing form which clients can sign on an as needed basis. Permission may also be given verbally in cases where the client is unable to sign Consent for Information Sharing form. Staff must explain this form to clients and how it will be used. Staff must not enter any new information on this form after the client has signed, unless permission is sought from the client and the client authorises the new entry by initialising it;
- Not removing any case files/notes from the office.
Client data which is used for statistical purposes and reporting to funding bodies will have all identifying information removed prior to being used.
A copy of this privacy statement is available as a printable PDF [Click here to open].