In the normal course service to Chattanooga Endeavors, personal and private information may be disclosed to volunteers, board members, and employees. Some of this information may be necessary to provide services to a client and formally requested by the organization. Other information may be shared in the context of a professional relationship when consulting with a colleague about a client or in the context of a helping relationship when there is a presumption of confidentially by the client. Not only is it potentially unlawful to disclose this information to an unauthorized third party, it is likely to damage trust and undermine the ability of the organization to achieve its mission.
Volunteers, board members, and employees of will not disclose personal or private information belonging to, or obtained through their affiliation with Chattanooga Endeavors to any person, including their relatives, friends, and professional associates, unless required to do so by law or specifically authorized in writing.
Board members, volunteers, and employees are cautioned to demonstrate professionalism, good judgment, and care to avoid unauthorized or inadvertent disclosures of confidential information obtained in the course of their service to Chattanooga Endeavors.
For the purpose of this policy, confidential information includes: (a) identifying information, such a client’s name, address, or social security number; (b) personal information, such as a clients age, race, gender, religion, or education, (c) family information, such as marital status, identity of dependents, or child support obligations; (d) medical or mental health information, such as symptoms, assessments, diagnoses, or treatment; (e) details of a client’s criminal history or conviction/s that are not public record; and (f) psycho social information, such as a history of abuse, neglect, poverty, substance use, prostitution, etc.
In fact, it is wise to treat all information about every client — past, present, and future — as confidential.
- When discussing your experience with Chattanooga Endeavors, you may tell your story but you may not tell the story of others.
- If you need to process a difficult experience with a client, do so with a supervisor or someone your trust who is currently bound by this same policy.
- Only request confidential information if there is a need to know.
- Always store confidential information in a locked cabinet or in password protected folder.
- Refrain from leaving confidential information contained in documents or on computer screens in plain view.
- Do not discuss confidential information with anyone who is not currently bound by this same policy, including unauthorized law enforcement or criminal justice professionals, a client’s current or potential employer, helping professionals at other organizations, pastors (even under the protection of the confessional), social media connections, and loved ones — both yours and the clients.
- Obtain permission in the form of a written release form before disclosing confidential information to any third party.
- Consult with a supervisor if you believe that there is an obligation to report confidential information based on the state’s mandatory reporting laws.
- Inform a supervisor immediately if you have reason to believe that there has been a violation (unintentional or otherwise) of this policy.
- Return all documents, papers, and other materials, that may contain confidential information to the organization upon separation.
Violation of this policy will lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of service with Chattanooga Endeavors.