Veritas House is committed to protecting, respecting and upholding the right to privacy of service users and their families, Foster/Kinship carers, staff, volunteers, Board members and representatives of agencies we deal with. In particular Veritas House is committed to protecting and upholding the rights of our service users to privacy in the way we collect, store and use personal and sensitive information about them, their needs and the services we provide to them.
Veritas House is committed to transparency in its operations and to ensuring it is open to public scrutiny. It must also balance this with upholding the rights of individuals to privacy and of the organisation to confidentiality on sensitive corporate matters.
Veritas House requires staff, carers, volunteers and Board members to be consistent and careful in the way they manage what is written and said about individuals and how they decide who can see or hear this information.
Veritas House will:
- only collect information with prior knowledge and consent;
- only collect information for a lawful purpose, related to the function of Veritas House to provide its services;
- only use the information provided for the purposes for which it was collected;
- not disclose information to a third party without consent;
- not disclose information to other services without consent or if required by law;
- store and archive information to maintain confidentiality;
- prevent unauthorised persons gaining access to an individual’s confidential records and permit individuals access to their own records when this is reasonable and appropriate;
- secure access to Veritas House documents and records and only share confidential information based on the ‘need to know’ principle
- inform service users of their right to apply for access to information held about them.
Veritas House is subject to the Privacy Act 1988 and, as such, the organisation will follow the guidelines of the Australian Privacy Principles in its information management practices, including notification of the individual service user and The Australian Information Commissioner of any data breaches that are likely to result in serious harm.
Veritas House will ensure that:
- it meets its legal and ethical obligations as an employer and service provider in relation to protecting the privacy of service users and staff;
- service users are provided with information about their rights and limitations regarding privacy;
- service users, carers and staff are provided with privacy when they are being interviewed or discussing matters of a personal or sensitive nature;
- all staff, carers, Board members and volunteers understand what is required in meeting these obligations and to upholding the rights of service users to confidentiality and privacy.
This policy applies to all internal records, service user records and unpublished materials of Veritas House. It includes both hard copy and electronic data, containing personal information about individuals, and to interviews or discussions of a sensitive personal nature.