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Discretion and confidentiality are critically important to our service. The client’s privacy is paramount and clients can be assured of confidentiality. All our staff members and volunteers sign confidentiality agreements, in addition to adhering to the Charities Regulatory Authority Code of Practice. In addition all Counsellors adhere to the IACP Code of Ethics and Practice.
What you say to the support worker or counsellor will remain confidential. There are a number of occasions, however, when this cannot happen:
- If children, or other vulnerable members of society are in danger.
- If you are a danger to yourself or others.
- Where the support workers notes or testimony are subpoenaed to appear in court, or as part of an investigation by An Garda Siochana.
- Where the Counsellor is receiving clinical supervision
Limits of confidentiality also operate within the law. It is mandatory for us to report:
- All reports of child abuse and neglect - present and historical.
- Involvement in criminal activity.
Where these circumstances arise you will be informed and made aware of the situation through discussion with the volunteer or member of staff you are talking to. Your support worker or counsellor will keep written notes of the sessions and will be obliged to record any disclosure or statement of facts.
What this means for helpline and messaging support service users;
In a situation where we feel that you are in danger or need medical attention, we may have to ring the emergency services such as An Garda Siochana or an Ambulance. Your details will be passed on to them, so they can help.
If you have told us a child or vulnerable adult is in danger, we will have to pass this information to An Garda Siochana, or to Tusla to see how they can help.
If you are under 18 and tell us you have been or at risk of being hurt, abused or neglected, we will contact Tusla or An Garda Siochana so they can help you.
In these situations we may ask for information such as:
- First and last name,
- your address or location
- your telephone number
These are not decisions we take lightly, and the measures are only taken in emergency situations.