Privacy and confidentiality is very important to WellStop and we keep all information you provide to us in secure cabinets or in a secure database and file storage.
We follow the rules set out by the Privacy Commissioner and ensure the information we collect is only used for the purpose that we collect it. Click here to find out more about the Privacy Code.
We ask all clients or their parents/caregivers to sign a confidentiality agreement. If we are releasing information, such as providing a report to a referrer or an external organisation (e.g. ACC, Corrections, Oranga Tamariki) we get permission first. Also, WellStop clients usually see any reports before they are sent.
Exceptions to Confidentiality
The main exception to complete confidentiality is if a client tells us they will seriously harm themselves or another person, or we believe the client is at risk of suicide. WellStop will take all steps to ensure the safety of the client and/or the other person.
This may include contacting family members, the other person, Oranga Tamariki or the Police, and/or Mental Health Crisis Services. Also if WellStop believes that a child client is in need of Care and Protection we will undertake to ensure their safety. This may mean making a report of concern to Oranga Tamariki. If a client tells us about serious harm to someone we may need to report it.
There are some exceptions to our confidentiality policy for clients attending WellStop due to Harmful Sexual Behaviour. If we find out that a client who has been referred for their own harmful sexual behaviour is having unsupervised access with a child, especially in breach of their safety plan, we will notify those who can keep the child safe. This may include Oranga Tamariki. If a Corrections client violates their court orders, we are also obliged to report this to their Probation Officer.
If we are told about sexual abuse that a client has done to an identified child who is still under the age of 16, and we understand that child does not have support, we will take steps to ensure the child’s family knows about the abuse, so the child can get help.
This may include contacting the child’s family and could include reporting the abuse to Oranga Tamariki. There is a risk that the child’s family or Oranga Tamariki could report this to the police.
Making A Complaint
If you think WellStop has breached your privacy in any way you can make a complaint. First step is to contact WellStop and outline what your concern is. You can ask to speak to the Privacy Officer, Vince Underwood.
All complaints will be taken seriously by WellStop and followed up. But if you are not happy with the outcome you can escalate your complaint to the CEO, the Chair of the Board, or complain to the Health and Disability Commissioner. For more information about how to do that, click here.
In New Zealand there is a Health and Disability Code of Rights. WellStop respects these rights which are:
The right to be treated with respect
The right to freedom from discrimination, coercion, harassment, and exploitation
The right to dignity and independence
The right to services of an appropriate standard
The right to effective communication
The right to be fully informed
The right to make an informed choice and give informed consent
The right to support
Rights in respect of teaching or research
The right to complain.
To find out more about your rights, click here.