This policy is current as at 26/06/2019 06:46am, AEST. Please refer to policy library website (https://education.nsw.gov.au/policy-library) for an updated version.

Student Counselling Files Policy

This policy sets out requirements for the establishment, use and storage of student counselling files.

1. Policy statement

1.1

Student counselling files are confidential Department of Education records relating to significant psychological interventions with individual students by school counselling staff. They are statewide rather than individual school records.

1.2

All records on students kept by school counselling staff, including case notes, are maintained on a registered student counselling file.

1.3

Information held on student counselling files may be released only in accordance with the provisions of the Department’s Privacy Code of Practice and the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002.

1.4

The presumption of confidentiality is overridden in circumstances where there is a legal or departmental requirement to disclose information or where one or more individuals may experience serious harm if someone with the power to act is not informed.

2. Audience and applicability

2.1

These requirements apply to all student counselling files.

3. Context

3.1

4. Responsibilities and delegations

4.1

School counselling staff are responsible for ensuring that all student records kept by them, including case notes, are maintained on a registered student counselling file.

4.2

School counselling staff  are required to pass on information to the principal where there is a legal or departmental requirement to disclose information or where one or more individuals may experience serious harm if someone with the power to act is not informed. These situations may include but are not limited to suspected child abuse or neglect, pregnancy of a student under 16 years of age, the student having a history of violent behaviour, improper conduct by a school staff member and use/and or possession of illegal substances. Information must be sufficient to inform action whilst maintaining the confidentiality of sensitive detail.

4.3

Principals are responsible for ensuring that access to student counselling files is restricted to school counselling staff.

4.4

Principals are responsible for ensuring the availability of secure storage for student counselling files.

4.5

School counselling staff  are responsible for the secure storage of student counselling files.

5. Monitoring, evaluation and reporting requirements

5.1

The Leader, Psychology and Wellbeing Services will monitor the implementation of the policy through regular audits of student counselling files and report to the Director, Student Engagement and Interagency Partnerships as required.

6. Contact

Leader, Psychology and Wellbeing Services (02) 9244 5197.

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