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The data protection act

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Introduction

Confidentiality A key component for relationship building and sustaining relationships is confidentiality. Confidentiality in any workplace is of utmost importance. It is an important right for every individual. Confidentiality creates trust, respect and shows sensitivity. These qualities are especially important in school as parents, staff and children need to feel safe and secure. Safety and security can only occur where trust, respect and sensitivity are present. Individuals may not feel valued or able to hold their self esteem if private details are passed onto others. Important information may not be passed on if a breach of confidentiality is made. A professional practice would maintain confidentiality at all times. It is a legal requirement to keep individuals details confidential. This is governed by the Data Protection Act 1984 and 1998, the Access to Health Records Act 1990 and the Health Records Act 1990. The Data Protection Act 1998 enforces eight principles of good practice concerning data: 1. Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully; 2. Personal data shall be obtained only for one or more specified and lawful purposes, and shall not be further processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose or those purposes; 3. Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose or purposes for which they are processed; 4. ...read more.

Middle

If schools knowingly contravens the act an individual suffering damage or distress may be able to sue the school. In some cases it may be the person who actually breaks confidentiality that is prosecuted, so it is essential staff are aware of the responsibilities they hold under the Act. In my role of ICT support in school, I regularly update our website which often includes uploading photographs of staff and children. Consent is always obtained previously. This consent has been written into the parent's handbook which is given to them when their child first attends the school. Parents have to sign the consent form acknowledging whether or not their child's photo is allowed on the site. The same form also covers media coverage. A few parents do object and a list of children whose photographs are not allowed onto the website is kept. Under no circumstances do I ever add last names or address's of the children. This relates to data protection and protects children from the threat of child abuse. As our means of communication is now predominantly E-mail we need to bear in mind the data protection issues. Any personal or confidential information must not be sent outside of the school unless the text is encrypted. ...read more.

Conclusion

A child care practitioner has a duty to protect children and in cases like this confidentiality should be ignored and the information passed onto the member of staff in charge of Child Protection. It would be a breach of confidence but would be in the child's best interest. A child (child A) may tell you someone has hit them in the playground and asked for you not to tell the child (child B) that they had told you. This could be dealt with by telling the child B they were seen hitting someone in the playground, this would be dealing with the problem without breaking child A's confidence and losing their trust. There will be times when someone speaks to you in confidence and you feel there may be a danger but are not sure, speaking to a colleague or manager and asking for their confidence would help in the decision making process. From researching confidentiality it has become clear how important it is to adhere to laws passed by various Acts. Staff should receive training and know who to speak to in the event of a confidentiality dilemma. At all times confidentiality should be maintained to offer a professional service to clients, children, parents, carers and colleagues. REF: AVCE Adavanced Health and Social Care- Heinemann - Editor Neil Moonie BTEC National - Health Studies- Heinemann - Editor - Beryl Stretch www.calderdale.gov.uk ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 28/04/2007 Tracy Wimbles HNC ...read more.

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