NQDVRS protects and upholds the privacy and confidentiality of clients and employees. To protect and uphold privacy we:
- Have processes in place, so no personal information is collected, stored, used or shared with anyone, purposefully or by omission, unless the client provides informed consent, or we are required by law to do so
- Only collect the information needed to perform services
- Store all data securely as per legislation.
To maintain confidentiality, we:
- Uphold all legal and ethical obligations concerning handling confidential information
- Provide information to clients and staff about their rights regarding confidentiality and the processes used to protect these rights, and where any limits to confidentiality exist
- Avoid inappropriate verbal and written disclosure of information about clients and staff within and outside of the organisation
- Only share verbal and written information about a client with agencies and individuals external to NQDVRS with the written consent of the client, unless the circumstances are such that limits to confidentiality apply
- Take all reasonable steps to protect all information held (including personal information) from misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification, or disclosure.
Commitment to Privacy Legislation
NQDVRS processes for the collection, storage, use and disclosure of personal information comply with the obligations of the Privacy Act 1988, in accordance with the Information Privacy Principles set out in the Information Privacy Act 2009, Right to Information Act 2009 (QLD), and the Human Rights Act 2019 (QLD).
The Human Rights Act, Section 25 – Rights to Privacy and Reputation specifically protects rights to privacy and reputation. This right is based on Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This right protects the privacy of people in Queensland from ‘unlawful’ or ‘arbitrary’ interference. Arbitrary interference includes when something is lawful, but also unreasonable, unnecessary or disproportionate.
Collection and Storing of Personal Information – Clients
We only collect information that is necessary for effective service provision. When a client engages with the service, the brochure – ‘Your Rights, Responsibilities and Privacy’ and ‘Your Feedback is important to us’ are explained and the client advised of:
- Our commitment to maintaining the privacy and rights of clients accessing the services
- Their right to know how and why information is collected.
- How their information is stored electronically on case files and a client database which is safeguarded through password protection and a firewall system.
- Hard copies of documents are destroyed having been uploaded to the database.
- Client records are kept for seven years (children accessing the service information is kept for seven years after turning 18 years of age) and destroyed after that.
- How we use their information and when information may need to be released or disclosed without their consent.
- Their right to decline to provide information or consent, or their right to withdraw consent later.
- How they can access their personal information by request
- How they can make corrections to their personal information by request
- Limitations of confidentiality are explained to clients participating in a Perpetrator Intervention Program (such as a MenTER group).
- Their right to make a complaint about privacy and confidentiality at any time
- How to make a complaint.
- Signs are located throughout the premises detailing information on ‘Protecting Your Privacy’ and ‘Confidentiality and Safety’.
- Privacy notices are included on documents and forms and digital communication which collect information, setting out the relevant legislation, reason for collating the information and what the information will be used for.
NQDVRS will take all necessary steps to ensure clients are aware of their rights under this Policy & Procedure, and in circumstances where there are language difficulties, NQDVRS will use all resources available such as interpreters, and translation tools.
Sharing of Personal Information
Consent will be obtained to share information with others. A signed copy of the form – ‘Client Consent to Release Information’ will be uploaded to CRM against the client’s file. Verbal permission may be obtained where it is not possible to gain written consent. This will be noted on client file.
Information will only be released with the individual’s written consent, or consent by their appointed guardian, attorney or advocate. However, there could be occasions on which NQDVRS must release personal information to a third part and every effort should be made to explain this to the client before information is released. These occasions will include but not limited to:
- Legally obliged to disclose information such as a subpoena of information for court proceedings
- Duty of care or a significant safety risk for the client or others or reporting of suspected child abuse or neglect
- The existence of a coordinated community response to domestic and family violence, where information is shared across agencies (e.g. the DVIRG Program or High Risk Team).
- Discussion of the case in supervision (client information is limited).
NQDVRS complies with the privacy and confidentiality requirements of Part 5A of the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012, Domestic and Family Violence Information Sharing Guidelines (May 2017), and Section 159C of the Child Protection Act 1999.
- This site collects and analyses information from users.
- We record your visit and log information for statistical purposes including your IP address, the date and time of the visit, pages accessed and documents downloaded.
- This information may be analysed to determine our sites usage statistics and help us improve our services.
- Information collected through the Contact Us pages or through any of the forms available on this site will be stored on the NQDVRS databases. Your information may be disclosed to a third party in order to provide you with the full services from NQDVRS.