General Data Protection Regulation May 2018
Privacy statement about personal information kept, stored and processed by Youthlife – May 2018
Any of your personal data provided to Youthlife through any means (verbal, written, in electronic form will be held and processed in accordance with the data protection rules in the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation 2018.
The personal information we will hold about you will only be for the purposes for which you have given consent, to provide the services you have requested from us, and/or to meet the legitimate interests of the charity.
This policy only applies to data collected by Youthlife staff, and via our own forms. If you have any queries concerning your personal information or any questions on our use of the information, please contact the Manager.
When you request counselling with Youthlife, join a project, become an employee or sessional worker with Youthlife, or otherwise provide your personal details to us, you will be asked to consent to our processing of your data under the terms of this policy.
What information do we collect?
- Counselling Referrals – Youthlife receives all referrals for support via our referral form. The referral form is posted, emailed or hand-delivered and has the following details about you:
Gender (or preferred identity)
Date of Birth
School attending or occupation
GP Practice and name of GP
Telephone numbers – your parent or carers if you are under 18
Permission to send SMS or leave voice message
Medical conditions relevant to any counselling or groupwork involvement
Name and position of the person making the referral
Your consent to this person making the referral to Youthlife
- Initial Assessment Appointments– At an initial appointment we ask about your current personal, social and medical circumstances. We may also ask about your background and family history, as well as the issues which are affecting you now. We require this information so that we can decide about our offer of counselling to you/your child, to assign a counsellor, and to manage the service we provide .
- Donors– The information you give us when making a donation may include your name, postal address, email address, phone number, amount donated, Gift Aid status, and messages.
- Website– We use Google Analytics to collect anonymous data relating to user behaviour and ‘web traffic’ statistics. The collection and use of this data by Google Inc. is subject to their own Privacy Policies.
- Other Forms– The information you give us on our forms (including all enquiry and application forms) may include your name, postal address, email address, phone number and other messages to us.
What do we use your information for?
We use information held about you in the following ways:
- To provide clients with the professional counselling service requested from us.
- To enable us to offer appropriate opportunities and support to our sessional counsellors, employees and volunteers.
- To offer suitable counselling appointments, and to allocate clients and counsellors for counselling.
- To notify you about changes to your appointments and other changes to our services.
- To seek feedback from you on your experience of counselling with us.
- To improve our service to ensure that it is provided in the most effective manner for you and for us.
- To administer our service, including the arrangement of appointments, the handling of donations, and for financial control, data analysis, research, statistical and survey purposes.
- To keep in touch with those who consent to this, for the purposes of organisational, service and professional development.
- To fulfil our administrative, legal and contractual obligations as an employer.
What information do we share?
We will not share any information about you with other organisations or people, except in the following situations:
- Consent – Youthlife may share your information with professional carers or others whom you have requested or agreed we should contact.
- Serious harm –Youthlife may share your information with the relevant authorities if we have reason to believe that this may prevent serious harm being caused to you or another person. We may have to do this without asking for consent from you first, in circumstances where there is a risk of harm to yourself or another person, or to prevent a crime.
- Compliance with law –Youthlife may share your information where we are required to by law or by the regulations and other rules to which we are subject.
Occasionally, Youthlife is asked by our clients or by external agencies such as Social Services or the NHS to write reports on the progress made in counselling. We are not normally in a position to do this because of our duty of confidentiality to our clients and because Youthlife counsellors are not trained in the specialist areas of diagnosis or social work assessment. However, we can in some circumstances, and on receipt of written consent from the clients who attended counselling (or those with parental responsibility for children), provide brief information about the dates and number of sessions attended.
We are sometimes also asked by clients, their solicitors, the police and the courts for access to the client records. Youthlife will not undertake to provide information to external parties such as solicitors, even when such information is requested by a counselling client or ex-client or their parent/carer. In accordance with the BACP Ethical Framework and our agency policy, we are unable to release client notes or provide a written report on a client’s engagement with Youthlife unless the subject of a court order, or to the police without a warrant signed by a circuit judge. Requests from solicitors indicating client consent for disclosure are not sufficient. We do this in order to protect Youthlife’s duty of confidentiality to all its clients and to preserve Youthlife’s reputation as the provider of confidential counselling.
How do we keep your information safe?
Youthlife counselling is a private and confidential form of help. We hold information about each of our clients and the counselling they receive in confidence. This means that we will not normally give your name or any information about you to anyone outside the organisation. However, there are exceptional cases where Youthlife might ethically or legally have to give information to relevant authorities, for example if we had reason to believe that someone, especially a child, is at serious risk of harm or to prevent a miscarriage of justice. We will discuss any proposed disclosure with you unless we believe that to do so could increase the level of risk to you or to someone else.
All information you provide to us is stored as securely as possible. All paper forms and correspondence are kept in locked filing cabinets on our premises. All electronic records are stored on our own on-site computer server, all access to which requires password-protected authentication.
Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is never completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your information using industry-standard protocols and encryption, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to us via email, including forms completed on our website which are transmitted by email; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.
Your identifiable personal information is kept separately from any session notes and other descriptive material. Client notes and other documentation are destroyed after 7 years or until the client reaches the age of 21 years. Donation declarations are destroyed/deleted after 7 years, and personal contact details are destroyed/deleted after 10 years of no contact or updates.
You have the right to ask us to provide a copy of the information held by us in our records. You also have the right to require us to correct any inaccuracies in your information. If you would like to do this, please contact the Youthlife Manager.
You may withdraw your consent for us to hold and process your data at any time. However, if you do this while actively receiving counselling at Youthlife, your counselling would have to end. You can withdraw your consent by contacting the Manager in writing.
You can request that your personal information be erased, though Youthlife can decline whilst the information is needed for us to practice lawfully and competently. If at any time you wish to exercise your right under the Act you should put your request in writing to the Manager, enclose a cheque for £10 and provide evidence of your identity such as a copy of your passport or driver’s licence and proof of your address. When the Manger receives your written request, the £10 fee and evidence of identity they will respond to your request within 40 calendar days. Youthlife’s response to a valid subject access request will normally be in the form of a schedule listing and describing the personal data we hold on the subject.
Changes to this statement
Youthlife may edit this statement from time to time. If we make any substantial changes we will notify you by posting a prominent announcement on this website.