; Confidentiality and Data Protection

Document Icon A Confidentiality Policy can have many implications for an organisation or group, so it's worth thinking about everyone that it might affect and what sort of procedures may need to be put in place to support the policy. There could be several strands to your confidentiality policy:

  • Young people - have a right to a youth club or group that is safe space where they can express their feelings or concerns and have their privacy protected. However, this right to privacy and confidentiality must be balanced with workers  needing to act on valid child protection concerns
  • Workers - need to understand that young people will develop trusting relationships with them, and disclose information that the worker feels should be reported. Also, adults that work with young people are obliged to disclose information about themselves that they may wish to remain confidential (e.g. conviction information)
  • Parents - details regarding a young person's domestic arrangements, their medical history or other personal information may be given in confidence to you by the young person's parent or guardian (as well as the young person themselves)

Offering confidentiality will require a method for storing different types of information (i.e. consent forms, medical information, personnel files, contact information) so you need to be clear about what sort of information you store, who it is shared with, how long it is stored for and where it is kept. Whilst most voluntary organisations are exempt from registering with the Information Commissioner, all organisations that handle personal information are required to comply with the eight principles of Data Protection. The principles state that personal information should be:

  • Fairly and lawfully processed
  • Processed for limited purposes
  • Adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • Accurate and up to date
  • Not kept for longer than is necessary
  • Processed in line with your rights
  • Secure
  • Not transferred to other countries without adequate protection

Regularly reviewing the information you have will help your organisation comply with the principles.

Information Icon The Information Commissioner's Office website contains more information.

youth scotland