INTRODUCTION

The Albert Kennedy Trust (akt) holds data which is personal and may be sensitive. We will take all appropriate steps to uphold a person’s confidentiality and information will only be used for the purpose it was collected for.


SCOPE OF POLICY

This policy outlines the circumstances in which information must remain confidential and when disclosure of information is allowed.  Where the word confidentiality is used it means “Confidential within the system”.  akt does not guarantee service users absolute confidentiality as it may often be necessary to pass information on to other akt staff in order to take appropriate action or seek advice on decisions.

Where we are required to do so by law; in cases of personal safety for example, and with the consent of the person (if possible), we may release information to a third party, for example under the Children Act (2004).  We will consider all circumstances before undertaking such disclosure. A safe method of exchange will be agreed before any information is released to a third party and checks will be carried out to ensure that the agreed method is being followed.

If a volunteer or member of staff has a duty of confidentiality, it means that they must not disclose anything learned from a service user, without their consent, that would allow another person to identify that service user.  This includes information of a personal nature, i.e. name, address, telephone number, biographical details or any other information which might result in the identity of the service user being disclosed without the expressed permission of the service user. 

The exception to this rule is where a service user is threatening to harm themselves or others, or is at risk from others. In this case the service user must be stopped if possible before the disclosure and warned that akt’s Confidentiality Policy ceases in these circumstances, and that if disclosure is made then akt will be bound by the Safeguarding Policy to report the matter to the appropriate authorities.

Personal details of service users are totally confidential; however the issues arising from working or volunteering with that service user may be discussed during support / supervision meetings only.

The Chief Executive has overall responsibility for ensuring that the akt complies with this policy.


SAFEGUARDING

akt has a duty of care to legally record and report any alleged abuse of a child under the age of 18 or a vulnerable young person (adult) over the age of 18.

We believe that if a child or young person has sufficient understanding and intelligence to be capable of making their own informed choices, then the young person’s views should take precedent. However, all incidents or concerns which pose an immediate or serious risk will be reported to the relevant authorities without consent.

akt will also report any safeguarding concerns relating to young people or children who are associates or related to young people working with akt, where we have concerns that abuse may be taking place.  

Click on the links below for further information on different types of child abuse and adult abuse:

Child Abuse

Abuse of vulnerable adults


INFORMATION MANAGEMENT AND MONITORING

What information do we ask for?

On the pre-chat form we ask visitors for the following information:

  • Name
  • Age or date of birth
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Postcode or area
  • Sexuality
  • Gender
  • Ethnic origin

Why do we ask for this information?

We ask for this information for different reasons:

  • Contact details – so that we can get in touch with you if you contact us when we are offline
  • Age or date of birth – so that we can check if you are within our age range (16 to 25) and if we need to carry out any safeguarding if you are under 18
  • Postcode or area – so that we know whether we can take on your case and which team to allocate it to (as we have teams in different locations). We are also interested to know when people from a particular area are contacting us as it may indicate that local services aren’t meeting the needs of young LGBTQ+ people
  • Sexuality, gender and ethnic origin – so that we can monitor and report on who is contacting us. This informs our service provision as we review what support we may need to offer. We also report this anonymously to our Campaigns, Policy and Research Lead who is responsible for speaking to MPs and decision makers in the government.

However, if you don’t feel safe or comfortable sharing this information with us then you don’t have to, as all fields on the pre-chat form are optional.

What do we do with this information?

We use your information to create anonymous reports for Senior Management, funders, commissioners and supporters.

akt strives to ensure that monitoring respects service user confidentiality. All reports will use anonymous data except where service users have given their express permission i.e. the use of personal testimonies.

INCIDENTS

The Chief Executive is responsible for encouraging staff to report any breaches of information security and for ensuring that any such breaches are fully investigated and resolved, although the investigation itself may be delegated to another member of staff or an independent party. 

The outcome of the investigation will be documented. Serious incidents will be reported to the Board of Trustees. If the incident has a potential or actual impact for another organisation then the Chief Executive will inform the most appropriate member of staff therein.