Privacy and Confidentiality

Confidentiality of your information and the security of your records are essential within this Centre. This document describes how CASV collects and manages your personal information. All CASV staff are bound by our Privacy Policy. Confidentiality is an obligation to respect your privacy and to keep private the information that is revealed as a result of your contact with us. 

What information is collected?

CASV collects personal information from you, in order to we can provide the best care and services for your needs. This may include your name, address, phone number, email, ethnicity and next of kin and whether you identify as having a disability.

Why do we collect information?

CASV collects and uses personal and health information for the primary purpose of providing a counselling service to our clients. This information is used to:

  • Make appointments and send reminders.
  • Keep your client record up to date.
  • Disclose health information to professionals in a medical emergency.
  • Communicate with a person’s nominated representative or next of kin where needed.
  • To forecast service delivery using nonidentifiable information.
  • To improve our service through quality improvement activities, audits, surveys and evaluations.

Limits to Confidentiality

Staff will not use or disclose your information for any purpose without your consent that is not related to your care and treatment, or that is not compliant with the Australian Privacy Principles 2012 or the Information Privacy Act 2009. There may be circumstances where disclosure of information is required, such as:

  • Lawful requests for a subpoena or a court order for records. CASV will ensure that you are referred to Women’s Legal Service Queensland, Counselling Notes Protect for legal support. CASV will oppose the subpoenaing of case notes wherever possible.
  • Disclosure permitted under the privacy laws, for example legislative requirements from Centrelink or the Department of Child Safety, Youth Justice & Multicultural Affairs.
  • If there is a believed risk of serious harm to you the client, or any other person CASV staff are required to take steps to protect the safety of all community members.
  • If there is a suspicion of child abuse, workers are obliged to report the information to the appropriate authorities.
  • If an employee is made aware of details of a serious crime that has been committed or is about to be committed, workers are obliged to report such information to the police if they have reason to believe that the details disclosed are accurate. 

Staff will always do their best to include you and any decisions about disclosing your information.

A change in the law means we are required to tell the police if we have information that a sexual offence may have been committed involving a person currently under 16 years by an adult 18 years or over and the offence has not already been reported to police or child safety services.

  • It is important to know that it is a sexual offence to engage in sexual activity with a person under 16 years of age, even if the person who is under currently 16 years of age agrees to that activity.
  • CASV staff will have to tell the police if they are provided with any information that leads to the belief that an adult has had sexual activity with someone who is under 16 years.

Other circumstances may require the sharing of client information with co-workers or with a supervisor. Your best interest is always considered when deciding to share information. You can consent to passing on information to other agencies/workers either by verbal consent or by filling in a consent form.

How to access your records

You can access your personal client file by completing a copy of the Client Request Form at any time. You will be required to attend the CASV at a specified time, with photographic identity and a copy of your file will be provided to you. Please be aware that if you are given a copy of your file, we can no longer be responsible for the privacy of that particular copy of your record.