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Personal information

WHAT HAPPENS TO INFORMATION ABOUT ME?

When you become a client of this service a client file is created. It includes your name, address, contact details and relevant information about your life. Every time you attend, or have contact with us, new information is added to your client file. This allows all workers involved with your care to access your information easily and quickly when it is needed.

Your client file is stored securely at this service. We will keep your file for a minimum of seven years after your last visit.

The record will then be disposed of securely, as required by law.

Why is this information necessary?

Initially, we need to collect and keep this information to provide you with an appropriate service. Your client file can help us to quickly identify which course of action is likely to be effective for you.
It will also lessen the need to collect the same information repeatedly. Some information or data may also be used for research and planning, to help us provide better outcomes and improve service delivery. In this case, any identifying information, such as your name and contact details, will be removed before the information is used.

What rights do I have to access my information?

You can ask to see any information held on your client file. This may include viewing the information, getting a summary or in some cases a fuller copy of your record, or having information explained to you if you wish. Some limits may apply where particular circumstances prevent us from releasing information.

If any limits apply to your record, this will be explained to you.

You also have the right to correct any information in your client file that you believe is incorrect, incomplete, out of date or misleading.

How will my information remain confidential?

We have strict policies about who can see and use your personal client information. Your privacy is also protected by law. All our staff members must treat your information confidentially.

Generally, we only share personal information about you with people who are directly involved in your ongoing care, for the purpose of a particular care service.

If we need to share your information for this purpose or any other purpose we will ask for your written or verbal consent before doing so (unless otherwise required by law).

What if I am unable to give consent?

In some cases, people may not be able to give consent because they are legally unable to make a decision about the release of their information For example, young people (children), people with a severe physical or mental illness or major injury, or other impairment.

In such cases, a decision will be sought from the person’s authorised representative. People who can act as authorised representatives in these circumstances are specified by law.

Your worker can give you more detail about this.

Who may have access to information about me?

We may recommend that other services outside this agency become involved in your care. In that case, you will be asked to give consent for us
to disclose any necessary information from your client file to other services, to help them assess your needs and provide you with relevant care. Sharing information in this way helps us to provide you with effective services, and lessens the need for you to repeat your personal information to each new service provider.

You have the right to refuse or withdraw consent if you wish. If you have any concerns or questions about the sharing of information, please speak to one of our staff.

When can information be disclosed to other people without my consent?

There are very few situations when your information may be shared without your consent. For example, in an emergency situation, we would have to release medical information about you to aid emergency treatment if we are unable to contact your next of kin/ guardian or carer.

Also in certain circumstances, this service may be required by law to release personal information about you.

Examples include:

  • Suspected child abuse – child at risk
  • Providing information to a court when required in relation to legal proceedings
  • Providing personal records to a law enforcement agency (eg. police) in response to a search warrant
  • If staff believe you are at risk of harming yourself or others
  • If any of these circumstances apply, we will advise you as close as we can to the time when the information is released, if it is appropriate to do so.

What do I do if I have any complaints?

If at any time, you have a question about the way your personal information is being managed, or you have a complaint in relation to privacy or confidentiality of your information, please contact us and ask to speak to a Brophy Executive Manager.

You may also request to see our privacy policy.

If you are not satisfied with the way we handle your information or deal with your concerns, you may make a formal complaint to the Health Services Commissioner on 1800 136 066.

Who do I contact for more information?

Executive Manager – Child and Family Services
Brophy Family & Youth Services 210 Timor Street Warrnambool VIC 3280
Ph 03 5561 8888