Confidentiality

 

When you accept the placement of a foster child in your home you are accepting the responsibility to maintain confidentiality in regard to the information pertaining to the child's history and the child's natural family.

As a member of the placement team, the Agency entrusts you with this informa­tion specifically for the purpose of helping you fulfill your role as a resource parent.

Throughout the child's placement in your home, there will be other profession­als who will need information about the child and his history so they can provide appropriate service to the child. For example, a physician may need to know a child's medical history, a therapist may need to be aware of the family history, a school teacher may need to be aware of potential behavioral changes surrounding visitation.

It is logical and acceptable to share such information with other profession­als. A good rule of thumb in sharing confidential information with other professionals is to ask yourself, "Is it essential to share this information with this professional so he can provide optimal service to the child?"

If you have any doubts about disclosing specific information about the child to another professional, it would be wise to contact your caseworker for clarification.

It is not appropriate to share information about the child's history with non-professionals (i.e. friends, neighbors, relatives, etc.) who have no need to possess this information. These persons may easily misunderstand, misconstrue, or inappropriately share the information with other uninvolved parties to the detriment of the child.

The Agency understands that resource parenting can be a difficult task and at times you will need support from others. You may talk to other resource parents about a child in your home if it is done in a supportive role. Sharing information with other resource parents needs to be done on a need to know basis. You may share the information you need to in order to gain the support that you need. If you are unsure if you can share certain information with another resource parent please discuss it prior to talking to another resource parent with your Resource Family Coordinator.