Social service organization policies on confidentiality in St. John's, Newfoundland

Fulcher, Connie E. (1984) Social service organization policies on confidentiality in St. John's, Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

Surprisingly, little is known about the attitudes and practices of the Canadian social work profession with respect to confidentiality. This study documents and evaluates formal and informal confidentiality policies of a group of social service organizations in St. John’s, Newfoundland. -- The study sample is comprised of 14 social service organizations. Each organization submitted documentation about their formal policies on confidentiality and also responded to a questionnaire concerning informal practices on confidentiality. Background data on the participating organizations were also collected by means of a questionnaire. -- The study found that only six organizations had formal policy documents on confidentiality while all the organizations had informal policies. The formal policies were, on the whole, not comprehensive or highly protective of client rights to confidentiality. An examination of the informal policies revealed that client rights to confidentiality were generally well protected. -- A relationship between the content of the policy and the administrator's formal training in social work, policy-making responsibilities and interest in confidentiality issues was noted. Policies more supportive of client rights to confidentiality were most frequently found in organizations where the administrator lacked formal training in social work and was personally responsible for, and interested in formulating confidentiality policies. On the other hand, policies which were less supportive of client rights were more frequently found in organizations where the administrator had formal training in social work, did not hold personal responsibility for formulating policies on confidentiality and claimed little interest in the subject area. -- It is apparent from the study sample that there is a need for more definitive policies on confidentiality and in particular, more formal policy documentation. The study concludes with suggestions as to how a developmental process can be used to raise the awareness of both administrators and workers regarding confidentiality issues.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5930
Item ID: 5930
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 55-60.
Department(s): Social Work, School of
Date: 1984
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Confidential communications--Social case works--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's; Public welfare administration--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's

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