Employers often threaten support workers with confidentiality by telling them that if they discuss anything about their clients with anyone, they will have to face a disciplinary process for breaching the client’s confidentiality. This is often backed up by very strongly worded procedures or policies.
It stands to reason that workers cannot go around talking about their clients’ behaviours and health issues with random people, but the line starts to get a little blurred when it comes to discussing the client with another support worker who works with the same client and also with the client’s family or power of attorney when questioned by them on particular issues.
Support workers are often asked questions or required to provide information about their clients because they deal with their clients every day and are the “go to “people. To protect yourself, perhaps the best bet is to direct those asking to speak to the office or employer in the first instance.
If you are ever called to a meeting due to breach of confidentiality, make sure you contact HACSUassist – we can ensure that you’re not being accused of providing information to someone you have the right to share information with.