Women’s Crisis Support Service Inc. recognises the importance of maintaining client, staff and management confidentiality and is committed to protecting the privacy of all people associated with the service.
When collecting information, employees must explain the primary purpose for collecting that information from individuals. We will only use your information for its intended purpose unless we are required otherwise by law. In most cases this is to ensure delivery of services that are tailored to the needs of the individual.
Web Privacy Statement
The Privacy Act 1988 defines ‘personal information’ as meaning information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable: whether the information or opinion is true or not; and whether the information or opinion is recorded in a material form or not.
This website is maintained by Women’s Crisis Support Service administration. We take our obligation to protect your privacy seriously.
The Privacy Act 1988 is designed to protect your rights and prevent misuse of your personal information collected by organisations such as ours.
We may collect personal information from you when you visit this site. You can generally visit this site without telling us who you are, unless you choose to provide such information on our ‘Contact Us’ page.
Our website contains links to other websites. We are not responsible for the content and the privacy practices of other websites and we encourage you to read each sites privacy statement.
- Australian Privacy Principles
- Privacy Act 1988
- Human Services Quality Framework
- DFV Investment Specifications
- Service Delivery Policies
client data collection
Staff routinely collect and use personal and sensitive information to ensure delivery of appropriate, timely and quality services to its clients.
WCSSI is obligated to protect the confidentiality and privacy of all individuals who entrust their personal information to the organisation.
We identify how we manage and protect the information provided it us in accordance with both the Privacy Act and Domestic Violence Sector standards.
Types of Information
To enable delivery of services, the following types of personal information are routinely obtained:
- Name and previous address of client
- Health Status
- Relevant demographic and social information
- Name and contact details of person to contact in case of an emergency
- The frequency and type of service provided to clients
- Case notes of support work whilst engaged with the service
Storing Client Files
- Client files are to be kept in a locked filing cabinet when not in use. Keys are not stored with cabinet.
- Clients are not to be left unattended in the office or on the desk.
- Files are not left in vehicles or taken home.
Files may leave the office for a genuine work- related purpose. In these instances, files are carried in a secure fashion in a non-identifiable format and never left unattended.
When client files are taken out of the office, it is recorded so other staff are aware of the file location. Files are returned to office storage as soon as possible after use. Records are made that the file has been returned.
DISCLOSURE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION TO OTHER SERVICE PROVIDERS
There are several instances under which WCSSI needs to provide personal information to other agencies:
- When WCSSI needs to provide another agency with information to enable services to be delivered to the client. The client’s consent must be sought prior to the release of information (see policy “Consent to release Information”)
- The service is obligated to provide information under subpoena and the Privacy Act establishes guidelines for the release of information under these circumstances
- In all other situations, the release of personal information relating to the client may only occur with written consent of the client or legal guardian of the client
- The client has the right to withdraw consent to release personal information at any time. Ideally such communication would be in writing
WCSSI is obligated to report to various funding bodies and government departments that provide funding to the organisation
- These reports usually provide non-identifying information, and staff will routinely be required to provide this type of information to either the Management Committee or directly to the funding body/government department requesting the information. Non-identifying information cannot be linked directly back to an individual
- If staff receives any request to provide information that directly identifies individual clients they are to seek immediate guidance from the Manager or Management Committee PRIOR to providing any such information.
Legal requirements for release of information
The Privacy Act states that, in the absence of the consent of the person to whom the information refers to, or a person authorized to act on their behalf, information can only be released to another if:
- There is a statutory obligation to disclose certain information. (e.g subpoenas, warrants, coronial inquires, provisions of the Freedom of Information Act and Guardianship Act)
- The public interest requires the release of confidential information
- In all instances where either of the above apply, or appear to apply, staff will seek the immediate advice of the coordinator and/or the Chairperson of the WCSSI (who may seek legal advice) prior to releasing the requested information
- If the Chairperson is not available, then the coordinator must consult with another Committee of Management Executive member (who may seek legal advice) prior to releasing the information.
Use of contractors/relief staff
We occasionally uses contractors who proved services to the shelter. Our contractors are required to abide by the same confidentiality and privacy requirements as WCSSI employees and this must be clearly stated to the contractor.
Keeping information up to date and accurate
WCSSI makes every effort to keep personal information up to date and accurate. This may mean that at times WCSSI staff will review the personal information held and request verification as to its accuracy
BreacH OF POLICY
Any material breach of this policy will be considered gross misconduct and may result in:
- Staff- termination of contract of service/ disciplinary action
- WCSSI Management Committee member- censure by the committee
- It shall be the responsibility of the Management Committee and Manager to ensure that the requirements of these procedures are complied with. This policy and these procedures shall be reviewed every year by the Manager, Management Committee and Staff Member to ensure that it continues to comply with relevant state or federal legislation or regulation.