Confidentiality and Privacy Protections for Persons
Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry has a strict policy of adhering to the principles of privacy and confidentiality. The Agency abides by all applicable laws and regulations. No identifying client information will be released except when the client or the client's guardian has given express written permission. Exceptions to this policy are:
Those cases in which, in the opinion of the CEO or his/her designee, a client represents a danger to himself/herself or others; and the Agency, members of the Board, employees and/or volunteers are named as defendants in a law suit by a client or guardian of a client, or otherwise compelled through a judicial, administrative, or regulatory order or proceeding to provide testimony.
The Agency retains the right to consult with legal counsel or other professionals with regard to questions governing the confidentiality of records and conditions under which they are released. It is the responsibility of the CEO to review the subject case record and to determine that any disclosure of information is appropriate. All clients sign a Confidentiality Statement at the onset of services indicating that they have read their rights with regard to the exceptions to confidentiality.
In some circumstances, clients or former clients may be requested and/or may elect to assist the Agency with its fund development and/or public relations efforts. In the event that a client does participate in such activities, he/she is treated with respect and sensitivity. It is the client's or former client's prerogative to be identified or not.
A consent form is utilized and must be signed in this situation as well as those previously cited. In the case of a minor, the consent must be provided by the client and a parent or guardian. The well being of the client has higher priority over benefits that the Agency might derive as a result of the client's participation.
Clients' Rights and Responsibilities:
- All persons have a right to and shall be provided relevant information enabling them to make informed choices about services.
- All persons have a right to and shall be treated with respect and recognition of their dignity and need for privacy.
- All persons have a right to and shall, to the extent that they are willing and able, participate with practitioners in decision making with regard to their service/treatment plan. No person shall be forced into a service/treatment plan in which he/she does not elect to participate.
- All persons have the right to request to review their case records in accordance with JF&CS policies and procedures.
- All clients are expected to keep appointments and, if/when it is necessary, cancel appointments with sufficient notice (before 24 hours, unless it is an emergency).
- Clients are responsible for fulfilling the fee arrangement.
- Clients have a right to express their grievances with the Agency in accordance with the relevant policy and procedure of about which they are advised at the time of intake.
- Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry shall provide clients with established criteria pertaining to eligibility for as well as the discharge from services.
- Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry shall clearly document, for inclusion in the case record and communicate to the client, the basis for terminating a service.