Maintaining an Individual’s Confidentiality and Disclosing Concerns

Describe the potential tension between maintaining an individual’s confidentiality and disclosing concerns.

Even though parents, children and practitioners have the right to confidentiality there are some occasions where maintaining confidentiality is not possible and must be broken. If there are concerns over a child’s wellbeing, this must be reported or if you are aware of a criminal offence, you are again obliged to report it to the correct authorities. If confidentiality is broken it must be done in the appropriate way and according to the policies of the setting. It can be a very difficult situation to be in, being made aware of abuse or risk to a child can make it difficult for the staff member, but by reporting any concerns in the correct manner you reduce to risk of further harm or danger to the child but also maintain as much dignity for the child and or family involved.

Sometimes in the setting, situations arise where, for example, one child has hurt another and the other children may have seen the incident and made their parents aware and they may want information from you or other staff members; this is a difficult situation because you can’t help children discussing things but you need to remember that you still need to maintain confidentiality and not discuss the matter with anyone besides this child involved parent or carer. Another further area that may cause tension is social networks such as Facebook or Twitter, there are now many problems caused by social networking because information can be passed around extremely quickly and without proper control or authority. It is important that any staff members who use these sites do not use their sites to divulge information or responded to any comments made via these networking sites. If they see any problems they should report it to the settings manager so they can speak to the party or persons involved to stop further problems arising.