Developed by Enhance Your Future

Developed by Enhance Your Future

CHCLEG001

WORK LEGALLY AND ETHICALLY

 

 

 

LEARNER RESOURCE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 2 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S

TABLE OF CONTENTS ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 2

UNIT INTRODUCTION ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4

ABOUT THIS RESOURCE …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4 ABOUT ASSESSMENT ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5

ELEMENTS AND PERFORMANCE CRITERIA …………………………………………………………………………………………. 7

PERFORMANCE EVIDENCE AND KNOWLEDGE EVIDENCE ……………………………………………………………………… 9

PERFORMANCE EVIDENCE ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 9 KNOWLEDGE EVIDENCE ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 9

ASSESSMENT CONDITIONS ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 11

PRE-REQUISITES …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 11

TOPIC 1 – IDENTIFY AND RESPOND TO LEGAL REQUIREMENTS ……………………………………………………………. 12

IDENTIFY, ACCESS AND INTERPRET SOURCES OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS THAT

APPLY TO THE WORK ROLE ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 12

CONFIDENTIALITY ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 12 LEGISLATION GOVERNING CONFIDENTIALITY ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 13 THE PRIVACY ACT ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 15 CODE OF ETHICS/CONDUCT …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 16 REGULATIONS ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 16 WHAT ARE YOUR DUTIES / RESPONSIBILITIES AS A COMMUNITY SERVICE WORKER? ……………………………………………………. 17 DIGNITY OF RISK …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 19 INFORMED CONSENT ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 19 MANDATORY REPORTING ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 19 PRACTITIONER/CLIENT BOUNDARIES ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 28

IDENTIFY THE SCOPE AND NATURE OF OWN LEGAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES ………………………………. 29

WHAT IS THE DUTY OF CARE? …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 29

ADHERE TO LEGAL REQUIREMENTS IN WORK PRACTICE ACCORDING TO WORKPLACE POLICIES AND

PROCEDURES AND SCOPE OF ROLE …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 32

CONFIDENTIALITY ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 32 IMPORTANCE OF CONFIDENTIALITY …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 33 LEGISLATION GOVERNING CONFIDENTIALITY ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 34

Health Administration Act 1982 …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 34 EXCEPTIONS TO THE GENERAL RULE OF CONFIDENTIALITY …………………………………………………………………………………. 34

RECOGNISE POTENTIAL OR ACTUAL BREACHES AND REPORT ACCORDING TO ORGANISATION PROCEDURES36

BREACHES OF CONFIDENTIALITY ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 36 BREACHING PROCEDURES ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 36

TOPIC 2 – IDENTIFY AND MEET ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES …………………………………………………………………. 38

IDENTIFY, ACCESS AND INTERPRET SOURCES OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES THAT

APPLY TO THE WORK ROLE AND IDENTIFY THE SCOPE AND NATURE OF OWN ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES …. 38

WHAT DO WE MEAN BY WORKPLACE ETHICS? ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 38

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 3 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

MEET ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES ACCORDING TO WORKPLACE POLICIES AND PROTOCOLS, AND SCOPE OF

ROLE AND RECOGNISE POTENTIAL ETHICAL ISSUES AND DILEMMAS, AND DISCUSS WITH AN APPROPRIATE

PERSON ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 40

Position Descriptions ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 40 Reviewing Work Performance ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 40

PRINCIPLES OF ETHICAL DECISION-MAKING ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 41

RECOGNISE OWN PERSONAL VALUES AND ATTITUDES AND TAKE INTO ACCOUNT TO ENSURE NON-

JUDGEMENTAL PRACTICE ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 42

USE EFFECTIVE PROBLEM SOLVING TECHNIQUES WHEN EXPOSED TO COMPETING VALUE SYSTEMS ………… 43

RECOGNISE UNETHICAL CONDUCT AND REPORT TO AN APPROPRIATE PERSON ……………………………………. 45

RECOGNISE POTENTIAL AND ACTUAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST AND TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION ……………. 47

What is a conflict of interest? ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 47

TOPIC 3 – CONTRIBUTE TO WORKPLACE IMPROVEMENTS ………………………………………………………………….. 48

PRO-ACTIVELY SHARE FEEDBACK WITH COLLEAGUES AND SUPERVISORS……………………………………………… 48

WHAT IS FEEDBACK? …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 48

IDENTIFY AND TAKE OPPORTUNITIES TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE REVIEW AND DEVELOPMENT OF POLICIES AND

PROTOCOLS AND IDENTIFY SITUATIONS WHERE WORK PRACTICES COULD BE IMPROVED TO MEET LEGAL

AND ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 50

REVIEWING WORK PERFORMANCE …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 50 REVIEWING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 50 WHO CAN CONTRIBUTE? ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 51 HOW CAN THEY CONTRIBUTE? ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 51

SUMMARY ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 52

REFERENCES ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 53

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 4 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

U N I T I N T R O D U C T I O N

This resource covers the unit CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically.

 

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to identify and work within the legal and ethical frameworks that apply to an individual job role.

 

This unit applies to community services and health workers who play a proactive role in identifying and meeting their legal and ethical responsibilities.

 

The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian/New Zealand standards and industry codes of practice.

 

ABOUT THIS RESOURCE

This resource brings together information to develop your knowledge about this unit. The information is designed to reflect the requirements of the unit and uses headings to makes it easier to follow.

 

Read through this resource to develop your knowledge in preparation for your assessment. You will be required to complete the assessment tools that are included in your program. At the back of the resource are a list of references you may find useful to review.

 

As a student it is important to extend your learning and to search out text books, internet sites, talk to people at work and read newspaper articles and journals which can provide additional learning material.

 

Your trainer may include additional information and provide activities. Slide presentations and assessments in class to support your learning.

 

 

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 5 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

ABOUT ASSESSMENT

Throughout your training we are committed to your learning by providing a training and assessment framework that ensures the knowledge gained through training is translated into practical on the job improvements.

 

You are going to be assessed for:

 Your skills and knowledge using written and observation activities that apply

to your workplace.

 Your ability to apply your learning.

 Your ability to recognise common principles and actively use these on the job.

 

You will receive an overall result of Competent or Not Yet Competent for the assessment of this unit. The assessment is a competency based assessment, which has no pass or fail. You are either competent or not yet competent. Not Yet Competent means that you still are in the process of understanding and acquiring the skills and knowledge required to be marked competent. The assessment process is made up of a number of assessment methods. You are required to achieve a satisfactory result in each of these to be deemed competent overall.

 

All of your assessment and training is provided as a positive learning tool. Your assessor will guide your learning and provide feedback on your responses to the assessment. For valid and reliable assessment of this unit, a range of assessment methods will be used to assess practical skills and knowledge.

 

Your assessment may be conducted through a combination of the following methods:

 Written Activity

 Case Study

 Observation

 Questions

 Third Party Report

 

The assessment tool for this unit should be completed within the specified time period following the delivery of the unit. If you feel you are not yet ready for assessment, discuss this with your trainer and assessor.

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 6 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

 

To be successful in this unit you will need to relate your learning to your workplace. You may be required to demonstrate your skills and be observed by your assessor in your workplace environment. Some units provide for a simulated work environment and your trainer and assessor will outline the requirements in these instances.

 

 

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 7 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

E L E M E N T S A N D P E R F O R M A NC E C R I T E R I A

1. Identify and respond to legal requirements

 

1.1 Identify, access and interpret sources of information about the legal requirements that apply to the work role

1.2 Identify the scope and nature of own legal rights and responsibilities

1.3 Adhere to legal requirements in work practice according to workplace policies and procedures and scope of role

1.4 Recognise potential or actual breaches and report according to organisation procedures

 

2. Identify and meet ethical responsibilities

2.1 Identify, access and interpret sources of information about the ethical responsibilities that apply to the work role

2.2 Identify the scope and nature of own ethical responsibilities

2.3 Meet ethical responsibilities according to workplace policies and protocols, and scope of role

2.4 Recognise potential ethical issues and dilemmas, and discuss with an appropriate person

2.5 Recognise own personal values and attitudes and take into account to ensure non-judgmental practice

2.6 Use effective problem solving techniques when exposed to competing value systems

2.7 Recognise unethical conduct and report to an appropriate person

2.8 Recognise potential and actual conflicts of interest and take appropriate action

 

3. Contribute to workplace improvements

3.1 Identify situations where work practices could be improved to meet legal and ethical responsibilities

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 8 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

3.2 Pro-actively share feedback with colleagues and supervisors

3.3 Identify and take opportunities to contribute to the review and development of policies and protocols

 

 

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 9 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

P E R F O R M A N C E E V I D E N C E A N D K N O W L E D G E E V I D E N C E

This describes the essential knowledge and skills and their level required for this unit.

 

PERFORMANCE EVIDENCE

The candidate must show evidence of the ability to complete tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage tasks and manage contingencies in the context of the job role. There must be evidence that the candidate has:

 Completed workplace activities in accordance with legal and ethical

requirements in at least 3 different situations

 Developed appropriate responses to at least 3 different legal or ethical issues

relevant to the work role

 Identified and communicated at least 2 potential work practice

improvements designed to enhance workplace responsiveness to legal and

ethical requirements

 

KNOWLEDGE EVIDENCE

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the work role. This includes knowledge of:

 Legal and ethical considerations (international, national, state/territory,

local) for people working in the community services and health context, how

they are applied in organisations, how these impact individual workers, and

the consequences of breaches:

o Children in the workplace

o Codes of conduct

o Codes of practice

o Complaints management

o Continuing professional education

o Discrimination

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 10 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

o Dignity of risk

o Duty of care

o Human rights

 Universal declaration of human rights

 Relationship between human needs and human rights

 Frameworks, approaches and instruments used in the

workplace

o Informed consent

o Mandatory reporting

o Practice standards

o Practitioner/client boundaries

o Privacy, confidentiality and disclosure

o Policy frameworks

o Records management

o Rights and responsibilities of workers, employers and clients

o Industrial relations legislation relevant to employment conditions of

role

o Specific legislation in the area of work – objectives and key

components

o Work role boundaries – responsibilities and limitations

o Work health and safety

 Interrelationships, similarities and differences that may exist between legal

and ethical frameworks

 Legal issues in the context of the work role:

o Type of legal issues that arise

o Ways to respond

 Ethical practice in the context of the work role:

o Type of ethical issues that arise

o Ways to respond

 Workplace policies, procedures and protocols:

o How they are/should be developed

o Processes for review, including consultation and mechanisms for input

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 11 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

A S S E S S M E N T C O N D I T I O N S

Skills must have been demonstrated in the workplace or in a simulated environment that reflects workplace conditions. The following conditions must be met for this unit:

 Use of suitable facilities, equipment and resources, including:

o Current legislation, regulations and codes of practice

o Organisation policies, procedures and protocols

 Modelling of industry operating conditions, including presence of problem

solving activities

 

Assessors must satisfy the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015/AQTF mandatory competency requirements for assessors.

 

P R E – R E Q U I S I T E S

This unit must be assessed after the following pre-requisite unit:

There are no pre-requisites for this unit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 12 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

T O P I C 1 – I D E N T I F Y A N D R E S P O N D T O L E G A L R E Q U I R E M E N T S

IDENTIFY, ACCESS AND INTERPRET SOURCES OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS THAT APPLY TO THE WORK

ROLE

Just as you have to follow the rules and regulations required for road safety when driving a car, you are required to follow the rules and regulations that govern community services when you are working in the community services sector.

 

CONFIDENTIALITY

Confidentiality is the protection of personal information. Confidentiality means keeping a client’s information between you and the client, and not telling others including co- workers, friends, family, etc.

 

Examples of maintaining confidentiality include:

 Individual files are locked and secured

 Support workers do not tell other people what is in a client’s file unless they

have permission from the client

 Information about clients is not told to people who do not need to know

 Clients’ medical details are not discussed without their consent

 Adult clients have the right to keep any information about themselves

confidential, which includes that information being kept from family and

friends

 

The type of information that is considered confidential can include:

 Name, date of birth, age, sex and address

 Current contact details of family, guardian etc.

 Bank details

 Medical history or records

 Personal care issues

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 13 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

 Service records and file progress notes

 Individual personal plans

 Assessments or reports

 Guardianship orders

 Incoming or outgoing personal correspondence

 

Confidentiality of client information must include:

 Verbal communications

 Written i.e. medical records, referral/request

 Video/audio tapes

 Radiographic films and images

 Computer files

 

Other information relating to ethnic or racial origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, health or sexual lifestyle should also be considered confidential.

 

LEGISLATION GOVERNING CONFIDENTIALITY

All workers need to be aware that there are State and Federal laws that cover confidentiality. The following Acts relate to privacy and confidentiality of clients:

 

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) deals with issues that are covered by the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act), which regulates the handling of personal information by Australian, ACT and Norfolk Island government agencies, and certain private sector organisations.

 

For information on privacy regulation in the States and the Northern Territory, please refer to the appropriate links below. You may contact the OAIC Enquiries line if you have further questions about what aspects of privacy are dealt with by the OAIC.

 

Australian Capital Territory

The OAIC administers the Privacy Act, in a slightly amended version, on behalf of the ACT government. This legislation covers the handling of all personal information, other

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 14 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

than health records held in the public sector in the ACT. The ACT Human Rights Commission handles health record privacy complaints.

New South Wales

The NSW Information and Privacy Commission undertakes the privacy functions conferred by the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW) and Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW).

 

Northern Territory

The Office of the Information Commissioner for the Northern Territory is the independent statutory body responsible for overseeing the freedom of information and privacy provisions of the Information Act 2002 (NT).

 

Queensland

The Queensland Office of the Information Commissioner was initially established under the repealed Freedom of Information Act 1992 (Qld), and it continues under the Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld) (RTI Act) and Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld) (IP Act). The Information Commissioner is supported by two other statutory office holders appointed by the Governor-in-Council: the Right to Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner.

 

South Australia

South Australia has issued an administrative instruction requiring its government agencies to generally comply with a set of Information Privacy Principles and has established a privacy committee.

 

Tasmania

The Tasmanian Ombudsman may receive and investigate complaints in relation to the Personal Information and Protection Act 2004(Tas). This legislation applies to the public and local government sectors and the University of Tasmania.

 

Victoria

The Office of the Victorian Privacy Commissioner is an independent statutory office created by the Information Privacy Act 2000 (Vic). This legislation covers the handling of all personal information, other than health information, in the public sector in Victoria.

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 15 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

Western Australia

The state public sector in Western Australia does not currently have a legislative privacy regime. Various confidentiality provisions cover government agencies and some of the privacy principles are provided for in the Freedom of Information Act 1992 (WA).

 

Commonwealth

Commonwealth legislation is available at: http://www.comlaw.gov.au/

 

THE PRIVACY ACT

The Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) is an Australian law which regulates the handling of personal information about individuals. This includes the collection, use, storage and disclosure of personal information. The Privacy Act includes:.

 11 Information Privacy Principles that apply to the handling of personal

information by most Australian, ACT and Norfolk Island public sector

agencies

 Ten National Privacy Principles that apply to the handling of personal

information by large businesses, all health service providers and some small

businesses and non-government organisations

 Credit reporting provisions that apply to the handling of credit reports and

other credit worthiness information about individuals by credit reporting

agencies, credit providers and some third parties

 

The Privacy Act also:

 Regulates the collection, storage, use, disclosure, security and disposal of

individuals’ tax file numbers

 Permits the handling of health information for health and medical research

purposes in certain circumstances, where researchers are unable to seek

individuals’ consent

 Allows organisations to have and to enforce their own privacy codes. It also

permits small business operators, who would otherwise not be subject to the

National Privacy Principles, to opt-in to being covered by the Privacy Act.

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 16 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

More information on codes and opting-in is available on the privacy registers

page

 Has two sets of privacy regulations which generally relate to:

o The application of the National Privacy Principles to specific entities

o The authorised disclosure of personal information during

emergencies.1

 

CODE OF ETHICS/CONDUCT

All Health and community service workers must up hold the code of ethics/conduct, which comes under the Code of Conduct for the public sector (Allied Health). For example: The Uniting Care Health Code of Conduct is a statement of how you conduct your business, treat our colleagues, our patients and our community. The code clearly identifies the standard of conduct that is expected of Uniting Care Health leaders, employees, volunteers, accredited practitioners and service providers in all occupational streams, service delivery and administration settings.

 

The code also identifies our values and aligns those values to expected standards of workplace behaviours.

 

A code of ethics is a set of moral principles and practice standards which a profession uses to guide practice.

 

Codes of ethics are usually voluntary controls and not laws that serve as a means of regulation within a profession. For a team, ethics means that all members have certain obligations, and responsibilities, to their clients.

 

REGULATIONS

In addition to legislation, you are required to have an understanding of Regulations specifically for community services. A Regulation is a document devised by a government department that outlines specific requirements. Community services Regulations detail the legal requirements that need to be followed by a community service.

 

1 http://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/privacy-act/the-privacy-act

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 17 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

Regulations are unique to each state and territory. Community Services Regulations are therefore developed by each state and territory and set the minimum standards for the provision of Services.

 

In general, the minimum standard refers to:

 The minimum staffing levels and qualifications

 Ensuring the facilities are safe and well maintained (equipment and

premises) administrative requirements

 Health (including infection control)

 Safety of clients and staff (risk reduction)

 Programming requirements to ensure the programs cater to the needs and

interests of each individual person using the service

 

Occupational health and safety (OHS) — in each workplace, a set of guidelines or safe work practice procedures are established so that all staff and clients remain safe, and staff members are able to assess any risks that could occur. The objective of any workplace health and safety Act “is to prevent a person’s death, injury or illness being caused at a workplace, by workplace activities.”

 

It is important for you to familiarise yourself with the relevant community service Regulations in your state or territory.

 

WHAT ARE YOUR DUTIES / RESPONSIBILITIES AS A COMMUNITY SERVICE WORKER?

As a community service worker, you have an endless amount of responsibilities. Below is an outline of the most common responsibilities you will have while working in the community service sector.

 Work with staff members to ensure the smooth operation of the day to day

running of the facility in accordance with policies and procedures (which you

must be familiar with)

 Contribute to and assist in the development and/or evaluation of the program

(it doesn’t matter what qualification you have, it’s important for all staff to

share their thoughts and ideas on the program)

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 18 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

 Assist staff in the daily routine of caring for people with disabilities

 Supervise and engage in the activities of groups

 Positively interact with all clients, promoting their confidence, self-esteem

and independence

 Assist in planning for the on-going development of each individual (this also

includes maintaining up to date observations and care planning

 Assist in the recording of client development

 Participate in maintaining client safety

 Ensure clients are provided with a clean and healthy environment (this may

require you to do every day cleaning as part of your duties)

 Communicate with clients, family members, advocates, guardians,

caseworkers, health care workers and other professionals from other

organisations as required.

 Perform incidental administrative duties (filling out accident/incident

reports when necessary)

 Attend staff meetings, training and information sessions

 As required carry out other duties, that are within the knowledge, skills and

capabilities of you as the worker.

 

Now that’s a lot of responsibilities that we are handling on a day to day basis but remember this is only a basic outline. As I earlier mentioned your duties and responsibilities are also based on your qualification. If you are working with a certificate 4 in community services, your responsibilities regarding paperwork (such as observations, programming and planning) will be far less than those with the qualification as a diploma or higher. If you are working on certificate 4 level, you will be asked for your input on programming as well as assist in the observations and maintaining records for clients. However you will not be held responsible for it, that’s what the diploma qualified worker is for.

 

Each and every one of your duties is guided by the legislation and regulations that cover your sector. Whilst you may work relatively unaware of any legislation your organisation will have designed policies and procedures that ensure you are working to all legal requirements. It is their role to ensure they provide you with the policies and procedures and your role to ensure you follow them.

 

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 19 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

DIGNITY OF RISK

Associated with duty of care is the concept of dignity of risk. Dignity of risk refers to a person’s right to experience all that life has to offer, such as learning a new skill or taking part in an activity that may entail some element of risk, but has benefits that might include gaining greater self-esteem and independence.

 

Most people with disabilities wish to lead lives which are as close as possible to that of people who do not have a disability and this inevitably involves taking some risks. Courts and the law of negligence do not, therefore, expect community sector workers to shield their clients from all possible risks. They do, however, expect workers to take reasonable care (to be sensible and cautious) in their work.

 

This concept arises out of the key principles of the Disability Services Act. For example ‘People with disabilities have the same rights as other members of Australian society to realise their individual capacities for physical, social, emotional and intellectual development’ (Parsons, 1997). It can, however, pose concerns and dilemmas for staff. Value clashes between clients and workers also can play a role here as well.

 

INFORMED CONSENT

All medical procedures require informed consent. Given that the consequences of being tested may be substantial, it is important to realise that, while running tests may be standard for the health care practitioner, receiving the results may be anything but routine for the patient. The provision of information should allow the health care practitioner to discuss the risks and benefits to the client in their particular situation, thereby facilitating their decision-making process.

 

Clients are not able to consent to the use of their information if they are unclear where the information will go and why. If possible, clients should be advised of the use of their information when it is collected, which can occur through usual communication during a regular consultation.

 

MANDATORY REPORTING

What is mandatory reporting? Mandatory reporting is a term used to describe the legislative requirement imposed on selected classes of people to report suspected cases of child abuse and neglect to government authorities. Parliaments in all Australian states and territories have enacted mandatory reporting laws of some description. However, the laws are not the same across all jurisdictions. The main

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 20 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

differences concern who has to report, and what types of abuse and neglect have to be reported. There are also other differences, such as the state of mind that activates the reporting duty (i.e., having a concern, suspicion or belief on reasonable grounds – see Table 1) and the destination of the report. This sheet focuses on the major differences features of state and territory laws regarding who must report and what must be reported.

Table 1: Key features of legislative reporting duties: “state of mind” that activates reporting duty and extent of harm.

Jurisdiction State of mind Extent of harm

ACT Belief on reasonable grounds

Not specified: “sexual abuse … or non-accidental physical injury”

NSW

Suspects on reasonable grounds that a child is at risk of significant harm

A child or young person “is at risk of significant harm if current concerns exist for the safety, welfare or wellbeing of the child or young person because of the presence, to a significant extent, of … basic physical or psychological needs are not being met … physical or sexual abuse or ill-treatment … serious psychological harm”

NT Belief on reasonable grounds

Any significant detrimental effect caused by any act, omission or circumstance on the physical, psychological or emotional wellbeing or development of the child

QLD Becomes aware, or reasonably suspects

Significant detrimental effect on the child’s physical, psychological or emotional wellbeing

SA Suspects on reasonable grounds

Any sexual abuse; physical or psychological abuse or neglect to extent that the child “has suffered, or is likely to suffer, physical or psychological injury detrimental to the child’s wellbeing; or the child’s physical or psychological development is in jeopardy”

TAS

Believes, or suspects, on reasonable grounds, or knows

Any sexual abuse; physical or emotional injury or other abuse, or neglect, to extent that the child has suffered, or is likely to suffer, physical or psychological harm detrimental to the child’s wellbeing; or the child’s physical or psychological development is in jeopardy

VIC Belief on reasonable grounds

Child has suffered, or is likely to suffer, significant harm as a result of physical injury or sexual abuse and the child’s parents have not protected, or are unlikely to protect, the child from harm of that type

WA Belief on reasonable grounds

Not specified: any sexual abuse

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 21 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

Australia Suspects on reasonable grounds

Not specified: any assault or sexual assault; serious psychological harm; serious neglect

Adapted from relevant state and territory legislation.

Who is mandated to make a notification? The legislation generally contains lists of particular occupations that are mandated to report. The groups of people mandated to notify cases of suspected child abuse and neglect range from persons in a limited number of occupations (e.g., Qld), to a more extensive list (Vic.), to a very extensive list (ACT, NSW, SA, Tas.), through to every adult (NT). The occupations most commonly named as mandated reporters are those who deal frequently with children in the course of their work: teachers, doctors, nurses, and police. What types of abuse are mandated reporters required to report? In addition to differences describing who is a mandated reporter across jurisdictions, there are differences in the types of abuse and neglect which must be reported. In some jurisdictions it is mandatory to report suspicions of each of the four classical types of abuse and neglect abuse (i.e., physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect). In other jurisdictions it is mandatory to report only some of the abuse types (e.g., Vic., WA). Some jurisdictions also require reports of exposure of children to domestic violence. It is important to note that the legislation generally specifies that except for sexual abuse (where all suspicions must be reported), it is only cases of SIGNIFICANT abuse and neglect that must be reported. Reflecting the original intention of the laws, the duty does not apply to any and all “abuse” or “neglect”, but only to cases which are of sufficiently significant harm to the child’s health or wellbeing to warrant intervention or service provision. However, reflecting the qualitative differences presented by sexual abuse as opposed to other forms of abuse and neglect, five jurisdictions apply the reporting duty to all suspected cases of sexual abuse without requiring the reporter to exercise any discretion about the extent of harm which may have been caused or which may be likely (ACT, NT, SA, Tas., WA). In the other three jurisdictions, the practical application of the duty to report sexual abuse would still result in reports of all suspected sexual abuse being required, as sexual abuse should always create a suspicion of significant harm. Suspicions of more minor child abuse and neglect may be referred to child and family welfare agencies, especially where jurisdictions have made more extensive provision for this (e.g., Vic., NSW, Tas.). It is also important to note that the duty to report also applies to suspicions that significant abuse or neglect is likely to occur in future, not only suspected cases of significant abuse or neglect that have already happened. Table 2 provides an overview of the key features of the legislation in each state and territory: who must report, and what must be reported.

Table 2: Mandatory reporting requirements across Australia

Who is mandated to

report? What must be

reported? Abuse and neglect types which

must be reported Legal

provisions

ACT

A person who is: a doctor; a dentist; a nurse; an enrolled nurse; a midwife; a teacher at a school; a

A belief, on reasonable grounds, that a child or young person has

 Physical abuse  Sexual abuse

Section 356 of the CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE ACT 2008 (ACT)

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 22 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

person providing education to a child or young person who is registered, or provisionally registered, for home education under the EDUCATION ACT 2004; a police officer; a person employed to counsel children or young people at a school; a person caring for a child at a child care centre; a person coordinating or monitoring home- based care for a family day care scheme proprietor; a public servant who, in the course of employment as a public servant, works with, or provides services personally to, children and young people or families; the public advocate; an official visitor; a person who, in the course of the person’s employment, has contact with or provides services to children, young people and their families and is prescribed by regulation

experienced or is experiencing sexual abuse or non-accidental physical injury; and

the belief arises from information obtained by the person during the course of, or because of, the person’s work (whether paid or unpaid)

NSW

A person who, in the course of his or her professional work or other paid employment delivers health care, welfare, education, children’s services, residential services or law enforcement, wholly or partly, to children; and

Reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is at risk of significant harm; and

those grounds arise during the course of or from the person’s work

 Physical abuse  Sexual abuse  Emotional/psychological

abuse  Neglect Exposure to

domestic violence

Sections 23 and 27 of the CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSONS (CARE AND PROTECTION) ACT 1998 (NSW)

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 23 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

A person who holds a management position in an organisation, the duties of which include direct responsibility for, or direct supervision of, the provision of health care, welfare, education, children’s services, residential services or law enforcement, wholly or partly, to children

NT

Any person

A belief on reasonable grounds that a child has suffered or is likely to suffer harm or exploitation

 Physical abuse  Sexual abuse  Emotional/psychological

abuse  Neglect  Exposure to physical

violence (e.g., a child witnessing violence between parents at home)

Sections 15, 16 and 26 of the CARE AND PROTECTION OF CHILDREN ACT 2007 (NT)

Registered health professionals

Reasonable grounds to believe a child aged 14 or 15 years has been or is likely to be a victim of a sexual offence and the age difference between the child and offender is greater than 2 years

 Sexual abuse

Section 26(2) of the CARE AND PROTECTION OF CHILDREN ACT 2007 (NT)

QLD

An authorised officer, a public service employee employed in the department, a person employed in a departmental care service or licensed care service

Awareness or reasonable suspicion of harm caused to a child placed in the care of an entity conducting a departmental

 Physical abuse  Sexual abuse

Sections 9, 148 of the CHILD PROTECTION ACT 1999 (Qld)

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 24 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

care service or a licensee

Relevant persons: doctors; registered nurses; teachers; police officers; child advocates

Has a reasonable suspicion that a child has suffered, is suffering or is at an unacceptable risk of suffering significant harm

 Physical abuse  Sexual abuse

Part 1AA, Section 13a and 13b of the CHILD PROTECTION ACT 1999 (Qld)*

School staff

Awareness or reasonable suspicion that a child has been or is likely to be sexually abused; and the suspicion is formed in the course of the person’s employment

 Sexual abuse

Sections 364, 365, 365A, 366, 366A of the EDUCATION (GENERAL PROVISIONS) ACT 2006 (Qld)

SA

Doctors; pharmacists; registered or enrolled nurses; dentists; psychologists; police officers; community corrections officers; social workers; teachers in educational institutions including kindergartens; family day care providers; employees/volunteers in a government department, agency or instrumentality, or a local government or non-government agency that provides health, welfare, education, sporting or recreational, child care or residential services

Reasonable grounds to suspect that a child has been or is being abused or neglected; and

the suspicion is formed in the course of the person’s work (whether paid or voluntary) or carrying out official duties

 Physical abuse  Sexual abuse  Emotional/psychological

abuse  Neglect

Sections 6, 10 and 11 of the CHILDREN’S PROTECTION ACT 1993 (SA)

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 25 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

wholly or partly for children; ministers of religion (with the exception of disclosures made in the confessional); employees or volunteers in a religious or spiritual organisations

Tas.

Registered medical practitioners; nurses; midwives; dentists, dental therapists or dental hygienists; registered psychologists; police officers; probation officers; principals and teachers in any educational institution including kindergartens; persons who provide child care or a child care service for fee or reward; persons concerned in the management of a child care service licensed under the CHILD CARE ACT 2001; any other person who is employed or engaged as an employee for, of, or in, or who is a volunteer in, a government agency that provides health, welfare, education, child care or residential services wholly or partly for children, and an organisation that receives any funding from the Crown for the provision of such services; and any other person of a class

A belief, suspicion, reasonable grounds or knowledge that:

a child has been or is being abused or neglected or is an affected child within the meaning of the FAMILY VIOLENCE ACT 2004

 Physical abuse  Sexual abuse  Emotional/psychological

abuse  Neglect  Exposure to family

violence

Sections 3, 4 and 14 of the CHILDREN, YOUNG PERSONS AND THEIR FAMILIES ACT 1997 (Tas.)

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 26 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

determined by the Minister by notice in the Gazette to be prescribed persons

Vic.

Registered medical practitioners, midwives, registered nurses; a person registered as a teacher under the EDUCATION, TRAINING AND REFORM ACT 2006 or teachers granted permission to teach under that Act; principals of government or non- government schools; and members of the police force

Belief on reasonable grounds that a child is in need of protection on a ground referred to in Section 162(c) or 162(d), formed in the course of practising his or her office, position or employment

 Physical abuse  Sexual abuse

Sections 182(1)(a)-(e), 184 and 162(c)-(d) of the CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES ACT 2005 (Vic.)

WA

Doctors; nurses and midwives; teachers; and police officers

Belief on reasonable grounds that child sexual abuse has occurred or is occurring

 Sexual abuse

Sections 124A and 124B of the CHILDREN AND COMMUNITY SERVICES ACT 2004

Court personnel; family counsellors; family dispute resolution practitioners, arbitrators or legal practitioners representing the child’s interests

Reasonable grounds for suspecting that a child has been: abused, or is at risk of being abused; ill treated, or is at risk of being ill treated; or exposed or subjected to behaviour that psychologically harms the child.

 Physical abuse  Sexual abuse

Sections 5, 160 of the FAMILY COURT ACT 1997 (WA);

* This section has not yet been proclaimed and is likely to occur early in 2015 due to other legislative changes required as a result.

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 27 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

Commonwealth law

In addition to state and territory laws, the FAMILY LAW ACT 1975 (Cth) creates a mandatory reporting duty for personnel from the Family Court of Australia, the Federal Magistrates Court and the Family Court of Western Australia. This includes registrars, family counsellors, family dispute resolution practitioners or arbitrators, and lawyers independently representing children’s interests. Section 67ZA states that when in the course of performing duties or functions, or exercising powers, these court personnel have reasonable grounds for suspecting that a child has been abused, or is at risk of being abused, the person must, as soon as practicable, notify a prescribed child welfare authority of his or her suspicion and the basis for the suspicion.

What protections are given to reporters?

In all jurisdictions, the legislation protects the reporter’s identity from disclosure. In addition, the legislation provides that as long as the report is made in good faith, the reporter cannot be liable in any civil, criminal or administrative proceeding.

About whom can notifications be made?

Legislation in all jurisdictions except New South Wales requires mandatory reporting in relation to all young people up to the age of 18 (whether they use the terms “children” or “children and young people”). In New South Wales, the legislative grounds for intervention cover young people up to 18 years of age, but it is not mandatory to report suspicions of risk of harm in relation to young people aged 16 and 17.

What type of concerns must be reported, and what may be reported?

Mandatory reporting laws specify those conditions under which an individual is legally required to make a report to the relevant government agency in their jurisdiction. This does not preclude an individual from making a report to the statutory child protection service if they have concerns for the safety and wellbeing of a child that do not fall within mandatory reporting requirements. All statutes enable people to report concerns for a child’s welfare even if they do not compel such reports. Any voluntary non-mandated reports will receive the legal protections referred to above regarding confidentiality and immunity from legal liability.

Although particular professional groups (such as psychologists) or government agencies (such as education departments in some states) may have protocols outlining the moral, ethical or professional responsibility or indeed the organisational requirement to report, they may not be officially mandated under their jurisdiction’s child protection legislation. For example, in Queensland, teachers are required to report all forms of suspected significant abuse and neglect under school policy, but are only mandated to report sexual abuse under the legislation.

In what cases can child protection and welfare agencies respond?

A common assumption is that mandatory reporting requirements, the legislative grounds for intervention, and research classifications of abusive and neglectful behaviour are the same. In fact, mandatory reporting laws define the types of situations that must be reported to statutory child protection services. Legislative grounds for government intervention define the circumstances and, importantly, the threshold at which the statutory child protection service is legally able to intervene to protect a child. Researchers typically focus on defining behaviours and circumstances that can be categorised as abuse and neglect. These differences arise because

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 28 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

each description serves a different purpose; the lack of commonality does not mean that the system is failing to work as policy-makers had intended.2

For further information on mandatory reporting please go to: https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/mandatory-reporting-child-abuse-and-neglect

 

PRACTITIONER/CLIENT BOUNDARIES

Setting and maintaining professional practitioner/client boundaries is critical to an effective relationship. Maintenance of these boundaries could be achieved by regular examination a re-evaluation of the client/practitioners relationship. During this re- evaluation, process application of the organisations policy for communicating with clients should be reviewed. Methods of communicating with a client may for example include:

 Office email

 Office phone calls

 Receptionists

 Other written formats, such as letters

 

Boundaries protect clients from exploitation, practitioners from liability and protect the professional relationship. Some examples of boundaries may include:

 Intimacy – inappropriate physical contact, not including, for example, holding

a client’s hand to express compassion

 Personal benefit (monetary gain) – borrowing/lending money, being named

in a will

 Emotional/dependency needs – may include, for example, the client

continuously coming to you for emotional reassurance or depending on you

only for their emotional needs

 Altruism – for example giving a client a ride home, purchasing items for them,

this can create dependency or give the wrong impression to the client.

 

You should ensure that at all times you not only put boundaries in place but you adhere to them strictly. in this way you will be meeting your duty of care to your clients and colleagues and will enable you to set a good example for others in your organisation.

 

2 https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/mandatory-reporting-child-abuse-and-neglect

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 29 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

IDENTIFY THE SCOPE AND NATURE OF OWN LEGAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

WHAT IS THE DUTY OF CARE?

The fundamental obligation that anyone working in the community service sector whatever the type of service and whatever their role, is to maintain the health and safety of the client.

 

The legal term duty of care refers to this obligation and has major implications for the organisation and operation of services. It is interesting to look at the duty of care not only as it applies to people with disabilities but also in a broader context.

 

For example, teachers have responsibility for their students, parents for their children and employers for their employees. 3

 

Duty of care requires that an acceptable standard of care that is ‘reasonably practicable’ be provided to ensure the health and safety of those at the workplace and also to those affected by the work that you do.

 

Therefore, any services and responses to clients must comply with this duty of care and fall within the accepted standards outlined in your Code of Conduct.

 

Allied Health, Community and Disability services workers often face many ethical dilemmas in their day-to-day work with clients. Examples include:

 Deciding whether to accept a gift from a grateful client

 Deciding how to respond to a request for out-of-work hours contact with a

client

 Deciding whether to notify about a crime which a client has told you about

 Dealing with a young client’s request for a cigarette

 Deciding what to do about a client’s dishonesty in not declaring their

employment income to Centrelink

 

3 https://learning.opencolleges.edu.au/Jack/Repository/file/921fc869-4b45-19e1-a1d…

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 30 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

 Deciding what to do about a co-worker’s inappropriate use of agency

resources

 

In order to respond effectively to dilemmas like these, you need to be given clear guidelines for your work; these guidelines are usually contained within the policy and procedures of your organisation. All workers should be introduced to these at their induction.

 

Professional supervision is another avenue where critical decision-making problems can be discussed and resolved. Most effective organisations have a clear process for supervising their staff; regular supervision sessions are scheduled into a worker’s timetable.

 

If you are in an agency where this does not happen, it is your right as an employee to seek guidance from your supervisors on any matters where there are no clear-cut guidelines.

 

It is important for workers to raise these issues within the staff environment as many other workers may be facing the same problems; consultation might signal the need for a new or revised policy to deal with the issue.

 

If a matter is taken to court, the factors considered in determining negligence are:

 Does one person owe a legal duty of care to another?

 Has there been a breach of that duty of care?

 Has damage or injury resulted from the breach of duty of care?

 

The way the court interprets the decision will depend on a range of factors and circumstances, including the following:

 What would be expected of a ‘reasonable’ person in the same situation?

 The worker’s roles and responsibilities within the organisation

 The training and experience of the worker

 The practicalities of the situation

 Current community values about acceptable practice

 Standards generally seen as applicable to the situation

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 31 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

 Other relevant laws such as the Workplace Health and Safety Act

 Meeting legislative and other procedural requirements

 

When working with clients, you and your agency need to be very aware of any legal and other responsibilities that must be followed. These responsibilities could include:

 Statutory requirements of clients, such as those relating to

o Protection requirements (e.g. who they can and can’t see or live with,

Restraining Orders)

o Court orders and any special conditions

o Reporting (e.g. Mandatory Reporting, who to report to, how to report)

o Temporary Protection Visas (for people seeking asylum in Australia)

 Funding Service Agreements. (The responsibility of the agency regarding use

of that funding, e.g. the agency’s role in supporting clients at risk)

 Meeting the health and safety requirements of workers and users of agency

programs (Workplace Health and Safety Act requirements)

 Agency and/or departmental regulations and guidelines (policies and

procedures)

 Providing inclusive programs that do not discriminate against those from

other cultural backgrounds or who have special requirements because of a

disability, etc. 4

 

 

 

4 http://legacy.communitydoor.org.au/resources/etraining/units/chccs402a/section2/section2topic08.ht ml

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 32 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

ADHERE TO LEGAL REQUIREMENTS IN WORK PRACTICE ACCORDING TO WORKPLACE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES AND

SCOPE OF ROLE

CONFIDENTIALITY

Confidentiality is the protection of personal information. Exercising confidentiality involves keeping client information between the client and the relevant persons providing care and services to the client. It is the responsibility of all people working in community services to ensure that confidentiality is maintained at all times.

 

The following are examples of maintaining confidentiality:

 Not sharing client information with others not working with the client

 Ensuring that client details are stored when they cannot be accessed by

unauthorised persons e.g. Making sure that files are locked and secure

 Making sure that any information disclosed is done so with the express

permission of the client

 Not sharing medical details without consent

 Not sharing financial details without consent

 

Examples of confidential information may be:

 Personal details such as name and address

 Family or next of kin details

 Bank or finance details

 Medical records or results

 Care plans

 Progress notes

 Individualised plans

 Incident reports

 Legal information

 Letters or other correspondence

 

 

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 33 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

Confidentiality refers to the obligation of data custodians (agencies that collect information) to keep the confidential information they are entrusted with secret. This obligation is recognised in the Privacy Act 1988. The obligation to protect confidential information is also reflected in legislation governing the collection, use and dissemination of information for specific government activities. Examples include the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999, the Taxation Administration Act 1953, and the Census and Statistics Act 1905 (see examples below). Penalties apply if the secrecy provisions set out in these Acts are breached. As well as the requirements set out in legislation, obligations to protect a person’s or organisation’s identity and privacy are also outlined in government policies and principles. These provide advice on the protocols and procedures required to manage information safely. ‘High Level Principles for Data Integration Involving Commonwealth Data for Statistical and Research Purposes’ is one example of a set of principle-based obligations for Commonwealth government agencies.5

IMPORTANCE OF CONFIDENTIALITY

Maintaining confidentiality is important for numerous reasons. One of the critical aspects of confidentiality is that it allows for a bond of trust to be established between the client, the worker and the organisation as a whole. Once this trust is established, the client is more likely to freely share important information which will benefit the provision of their care.

 

When gathering information from the client, it is ideally done directly with the client. If there is the necessity to gather information from other sources, for example, family members or other agencies, then this should be done with the consent of the client. The client should never feel that information is being collected from their back.

 

Privacy is essential in order to maintain confidentiality. When discussing personal matters with the client, it should be done in an environment which is quiet and discreet.

 

Discussions about client matters should only take place in the workplace and should never be audible to the general public. The client’s details should never be discussed with anyone without their consent.

 

 

5 http://www.nss.gov.au/nss/home.nsf/pages/Confidentiality+- +the+obligation+to+protect+identity+and+privacy

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 34 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

It is essential that all staff respect the confidentiality of the client at all times. Respect for client confidentiality and staff personal information should be a high priority for all community services to comply with legislation that governs disclosure of information. All organisations associated with the care and services delivered to the client need to have policies and procedures in place that provide guidelines for workers. Appropriate worker behaviour can also be incorporated into a code of conduct.

 

LEGISLATION GOVERNING CONFIDENTIALITY

All community service workers need to be aware that there are State and Federal laws that cover confidentiality. The following Acts relate to privacy and confidentiality of clients.

 

HEALTH ADMINISTRATION ACT 1982

The Health Administration Act relates to any information that is provided or recorded within the health system. It stipulates that information cannot be disclosed, without the consent of the person to whom the information relates or for the purpose of legal proceedings, such as a court order or subpoena that allows access to health information on a client.

 

EXCEPTIONS TO THE GENERAL RULE OF CONFIDENTIALITY

There are few exceptions to the general rule of confidentiality, and they all have a legal basis. These include:

 If the client tells you they have committed a serious crime

 If the client is a child and is being abused or is at risk of abuse

 If you are concerned that the client might harm themselves or someone else

 If a child is under the age of 16 years, and especially under the age of 14,

parents legally have the right to know what happens in counselling

 Making records available to the police if they have a warrant to inspect

documents

 Making information available in the case of suspected or confirmed physical

or sexual abuse

 Responding to a summons or subpoena

 Responding to a request for freedom of information legislation

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 35 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

There may be instances where a community services organisation has the responsibility to override the client’s right to keep information private. An example of such a situation would be seeking information for as subpoena for court proceedings.

 

 

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 36 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

RECOGNISE POTENTIAL OR ACTUAL BREACHES AND REPORT ACCORDING TO ORGANISATION PROCEDURES

BREACHES OF CONFIDENTIALITY

Every community service organisation has a responsibility to keep client information private and confidential. If not done so, the client has the right to take legal action against a worker or an organisation under the law of negligence. As community service workers, we owe a duty of care to our clients to prevent any risk of harm.

 

If a worker is deemed to have breached confidentiality, and subsequently breached the policies of the organisation, then they may face dismissal from their organisation and face legal action by the client.

 

As a worker, if you believe that a colleague has breached confidentiality you should implement the following process:

 Check to see if they have the client’s permission to share information

 Investigate the agency’s policy is regarding breaches of confidentiality and

follow the procedures outlined

 Approach the worker and express your concern

 Discuss the situation with your supervisor and describe your observations

 Request staff training in confidentiality

 

BREACHING PROCEDURES

If you become aware that one of your colleagues has indeed breached confidentiality this may create an ethical dilemma. Whilst, the confidentiality of the client, is paramount, people rarely wish to see their colleagues dismissed from the workplace. However, it is important that the situation be discussed with your supervisor or manager.

 

There are circumstances where a worker will be excused from breaching confidentiality. This may include circumstances where they disclose information to protect the general public. Such exemptions are established law and its interpretation by judiciary.

 

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 37 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

If a worker determines that the client presents a risk to the safety of the public, then they may be excused from breaching confidentiality. If it is determined that the disclosure is in the best interests of public safety, then the worker may be exonerated. In such cases, then this, of course, should be first done in consultation with a supervisor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 38 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

T O P I C 2 – I D E N T I F Y A N D M E E T E T H I C A L R E S P O N S IB I L I T I E S

IDENTIFY, ACCESS AND INTERPRET SOURCES OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES THAT APPLY TO THE WORK ROLE AND IDENTIFY THE SCOPE AND NATURE OF OWN

ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES

WHAT DO WE MEAN BY WORKPLACE ETHICS?

One of the most important responsibilities that we place on the leaders of organisations is upholding the highest standards of ethical behaviour. In a nutshell, this comes down to doing the right thing even when the wrong thing might also have some attraction. Work- place ethics are most often related to decision-making processes. Most leaders face the opportunity to choose between alternative courses of action in their work situations and other aspects of their lives. Work-place ethics refer to choosing the option that is determined to be the moral or legal “right” choice, even if the other alternative(s) are very attractive and even if you can “get away with” the less ethical choice. 6

 

Information on ethical responsibilities in your workplace can be found in your position description, policies and procedures and relevant government websites.

 

Employers provide ethical principles for the workplace so that all employees follow the same standards, regardless of personal values and different cultural backgrounds. The principles allow them to voice their opinions freely and without fear, creating a sense of belonging for each employee in the workplace. To implement effective ethical principles in the workplace, employers must set out the objectives of the company orally and in writing. Ethical principles in the workplace can come into question when an employee needs to make a decision. A decision might involve fairness, truth or values in the workplace. It may concern a legal matter, professional or personal conflict. Even if an employee believes that he can get away with a decision and “no one will know,” the decision could involve ethical principles. Employees confused about ethical principles in the workplace should be able to turn to their supervisors for guidance.

 

6 http://www.chsbs.cmich.edu/leader_model/development/media/Targeted%20Lessons/workplace_ethic s.htm

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 39 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

An employee sees another employee stealing from the stock room and chooses not to report it. A supervisor suspects that financial statements have changed after a new employee started and doesn’t address it. Both are likely violations of the company’s ethical principles, so it’s management’s responsibility to act based on ethical principles, or the workplace can suffer consequences. If a manager chooses to ignore the matter, he indirectly tells employees that they don’t have to take workplace ethical principles seriously. Some employers will fire an employee for unethical behaviour to set standards for ethical principles in the workplace. Managers can meet with employees individually and grade them on their ethical behaviour as a method of assessing how the workplace responds to the company’s ethical principles. Or, management can ask employees to complete ethical checklists each month to gauge how they are performing when it comes to ethical principles. At the same time, this level of focus shows employees that the company is committed to ethical principles in the workplace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 40 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

MEET ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES ACCORDING TO WORKPLACE POLICIES AND PROTOCOLS, AND SCOPE OF ROLE AND

RECOGNISE POTENTIAL ETHICAL ISSUES AND DILEMMAS, AND DISCUSS WITH AN APPROPRIATE PERSON

POSITION DESCRIPTIONS

Your job/position description defines the responsibilities associated with your role. All work should be undertaken within position specifications and role responsibilities as outlined in your position description.

 

As a community service worker, your job role and responsibilities are very important. Upon accepting a position in a service, you will be provided with a job description or position description. One part of your position description will refer to you working in alignment with, or according to, the organisations philosophy, policies and procedures.

 

During your induction, you will be given a copy of, or be asked to read, all organisational policies, protocols and procedures related to your role prior to commencing in your position.

 

The people to whom you report would be your supervisor, manager or employer. If you are at all unsure of your role please make sure you check with any one of these people.

 

To ensure a high quality and responsive service, all staff working within that environment must work together effectively. To achieve this, you must understand your roles and responsibilities within the service. Although these do vary from service to service, most will have common elements.

 

REVIEWING WORK PERFORMANCE

In order to provide a quality service, early childhood professionals need to reflect on their practices. What worked well? What could be improved for next time? How could I do it differently?

 

Critical reflection involves you reflecting on all aspects of your service from a different perspective, or from someone else‘s perspective. In order for us to truly understand our clients and meet their needs, we need to try and understand their perspective.

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 41 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

PRINCIPLES OF ETHICAL DECISION-MAKING

Ethical dilemmas generally present the ‘what if’ question and frequently it will appear that there seems to be no identifiable solution to the problem. Because ethical dilemmas are often complex in nature, it may be extremely difficult for a person to find a way to resolve them and behave in a professional manner.

 

Ethical codes and guidelines are centred on care and respect for the client. To ensure that the decisions you make are ethical, the following principles should be adopted:

 Ensure you understand the guidelines, policies and procedures of your

organisation

 Ensure you comply with all relevant legislation

 Ensure you follow all relevant standards which apply to your organisation

 Be aware of and adhere to your organisations code of conduct

 Be committed to a standard of professional behaviour and uphold that

standard at all times

 Explore all sides of an ethical dilemma and consider the consequences of any

action and/or decisions you may make

 

When you are faced with an ethical dilemma, it is wise to consult with your co-workers, supervisor or manager. They may be able to provide you with a new perspective on the situation. Explaining the dilemma you face with them, may provide the opportunity for you to explore new options and possibly resolve the situation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 42 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

RECOGNISE OWN PERSONAL VALUES AND ATTITUDES AND TAKE INTO ACCOUNT TO ENSURE NON-JUDGEMENTAL PRACTICE

Being aware of you own values can assist you to work more effectively with your clients. It can also help you to resolve conflicts and appropriately support the philosophy of your organisation. It is important that you explore and understand your own values and how they shape your attitudes about others you encounter in the workplace.

 

The beliefs you hold about life, yourself and people is what’s responsible for who you are, how you behave and who you will become.

 False beliefs limit the human potential by preventing a person from achieving what he can already achieve

 Positive beliefs, on the other hand, can help you trust your abilities, achieve your dreams and reach the success you ever wanted to achieve

 

Staff working in the community services sector must be able to take into account the differences between their own personal values and beliefs and those of the clients with whom they are working. They need to ensure that their own values do not interfere with the service that they are providing to their clients.

 

The care and services provided need to accommodate for the differences in the cultural diversity of the client, co-workers, and all others associated with the organisation.

 

Workers need to identify that people have differing values, beliefs and perspectives on the world. Everybody has the right to hold their own beliefs and values, and while one person may not hold the same values and attitudes as another, neither party is necessarily right or wrong.

 

 

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 43 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

USE EFFECTIVE PROBLEM SOLVING TECHNIQUES WHEN EXPOSED TO COMPETING VALUE SYSTEMS

When working in any community service, including the childcare sector, workers may at times be exposed to competing value systems which differ from their own values, ideas and beliefs. Furthermore, the worker may also find themselves exposed to conflicts of interest. Because the worker is in a trusting relationship with the client and in many cases with their family also, they must attempt to resolve any issues which may negatively impact the care of their clients.

 

Problem-solving is an important skill both in the workplace and in your personal life. When you encounter problems. As a result competing value systems, it is important that you develop the skills and techniques to resolve the issue.

 

Strategies that you might use to resolve such problems in the workplace might include:

 Clarifying the problem at hand

 Seeking guidance from colleagues

 Examining policy and procedure manuals

 Consulting with your supervisor or manager

 Attempting to see things from the other person’s perspective

 

Every day we are faced with situations which will test our personal values, attitudes and belief systems. We will often be left in these situations wondering what action we should take, or what is the right thing to do? ‘It is important in an organisation or work situation that any action taken reflects the service‘s policies and procedures and is handled professionally and ethically.

 

In your service, the client base may vary quite dramatically, as it does in general society. What one family‘s values and beliefs are will vary significantly from another family‘s values and beliefs.

 

Let‘s take a moment to look at the difference between values and attitudes.

 Values tend to be entrenched in the makeup of the individual and are subject

to educational influences and persuasion, largely because they are socially

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 44 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

based and acquired through learning. Our values tend to be life-long and are a

part of who we are.

 Attitudes evolve more from situations; these are more readily changed than

values. Attitudes are perceptions and feelings about oneself, others and our

society as a whole.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 45 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

RECOGNISE UNETHICAL CONDUCT AND REPORT TO AN APPROPRIATE PERSON

Unethical conduct is the behaviour of an individual which is not in accordance with the standards of their profession. In community services, unethical behaviour can result in the client being put at risk.

 

Examples of unethical conduct may be:

 Workers talking about clients in public situations

 Workers being intolerant of clients from other cultures or saying negative

things about them due to cultural differences

 Workers arguing or using inappropriate language in front of the client

 

When you recognise another worker as behaving in an unethical manner, you should consult with the co-worker to let them know that they have breach the ethical practice, as it may be the case that the co-worker did not know that they were breaching the organisations policies.

 

If the co-worker is not receptive to your advice it may be necessary for you to report the unethical conduct to someone in higher authority, such as a to the management or ethics committees in accordance with organisation policies and procedures. This can be a very difficult situation, especially if it involves another team member or a colleague who you respect.

 

When reporting unethical behaviour you need to be clear about:

 Who was involved in the incident

 When the incident(s) occurred and which people were involved

 On what basis you believe the conduct to be unethical

 What actions have been taken? For example: speaking directly to the worker

or supervisor

 Policies and procedures – you need to follow protocol when making a report

in order to direct your concerns to the most appropriate person

 

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 46 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

It is important that you document the details of the unethical behaviour in a clear and professionally manner. There needs to be clear documentation the course of action that you have taken and the reasons why that course of action has been followed.

 

If you are not sure what to do, you should speak to your supervisor or another appropriate staff member or mentor. Remember that it is important to look after you and keep yourself safe in all situations. If you need support, speak to your supervisor or Human Resource Officer or management!

 

If the person you reported the incident to does not take action or supports you, it is important that you document your actions and then you should report the incident to another manager, or even an external complaints service such as Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) or an advocacy service.

 

There are many ways unethical behaviour can be reported, including;

 Direct verbal communication

 Documenting in the progress notes

 Using communication books

 Written letters

 Sending emails

 

It is important to build an atmosphere of trust and respect in the workplace by:

 Encouraging openness and tolerance between colleagues

 Accepting people’s right to hold different points of view

 Using constructive methods of conflict resolution

 Maintaining appropriate confidentiality

 Applying a willingness to be a “team player” – do your fair share of the work!7

Any instances where unethical conduct is witnessed should be immediately reported to the appropriate personnel and documented accordingly.

 

 

7 https://sielearning.tafensw.edu.au/MCS/9362/sterilisation%20disk%201/lo/7356/735…

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 47 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

RECOGNISE POTENTIAL AND ACTUAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST AND TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION

WHAT IS A CONFLICT OF INTEREST?

A conflict of interest is a situation when any person who is in a trusting relationship with another has differing personal or professional interests. The main problem, when presented with a conflict of interest, is that it may cause an individual to experience difficulties in carrying out their role in an impartial manner. Even if no improper actions or unethical behaviours result, a conflict of interest may still exist. Conflicts of interest can create tensions between individuals. The tensions exist because there is disparity between what people want to do and what they should do

 

Conflicts of interest need to be identified and addresses as they may create a situation where there is an appearance of impropriety. In this situation, it may be necessary to examine whether or not the integrity and impartiality of the worker may be compromised. If this is the case, they may not be able to fulfil their duties to the client, and hence client care may be compromised.

 

If a situation arises when one worker recognises that a conflict of interest exists which cannot be resolved between a worker and a client, which is affecting the standard of care is being delivered, then it is important that this be reported to a supervisor or manager. Your supervisor may be able to assist in finding a resolution to the problem, thus benefiting both parties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 48 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

T O P I C 3 – C O N T R I B U T E T O W O R K P L A C E I M P R O V E M E N T S

PRO-ACTIVELY SHARE FEEDBACK WITH COLLEAGUES AND SUPERVISORS

WHAT IS FEEDBACK?

In human interaction, feedback is a process by which the effect of a person’s specific behaviour is brought to that person’s attention.

 

Feedback is given only for the purpose of helping the other person to see the result of her or his actions so he or she may choose whether or not to change to get a different result.

 

Objective feedback is an essential component in the pursuit of optimal performance. It is important that your work performance is monitored and that you receive feedback which is constructive and encourages you to strive for improvement.

 

Feedback can be:

 Positive – Positive feedback – indicates that tasks were carried out well. It acknowledges personal efforts and the good cooperation among team members. It encourages all members to continue to strive for excellence.

 Negative – Negative feedback – informs team members that tasks were not completed well. It analyses the reasons for the problems encountered and proposes ideas for improvement.

 Constructive – Constructive feedback – encourages and acknowledges good job performance. It also suggests areas for improvement and strategies for achieving this improvement.

 

GOOD LEADERS KNOW THE VALUE OF TEAM MEMBER INPUT Good leaders know they can’t think of everything. And they know they are much more apt to find the right answer to a problem if they have several possible solutions in front of them.

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 49 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

President John F. Kennedy certainly knew that. One of his close advisers said Kennedy tried to “surround himself with people who raised questions…and was wary of those who adapted their opinions to what they thought the President wanted to hear.” There is tremendous value in team member input. If, for example, you have a penny and I have a penny and we exchange pennies, you still have one cent, and I have one cent. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange ideas, you now have 2 ideas and I have 2 ideas. SO GOOD LEADERS ENCOURAGE COMMUNICATION AND SOLICIT IDEAS. In general, they do five things:

• They encourage team members to speak up by indicating the importance of doing so

• They ask for the opinions of others before they have totally formulated their own • They hear people out by giving their full and undivided attention • They refrain from arguing or taking offense at ideas different from their own • They show in their attitude and their actions that they value a person who speaks

his or her mind8

 

Therefore, if you receive feedback from others and/or have feedback regarding the workplace you should ensure you share this with team members and supervisors. In this way you are contributing to enhancing the service and/or program in your community service organisation.

 

 

 

8 http://drzimmerman.com/blog/communication-works

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 50 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

IDENTIFY AND TAKE OPPORTUNITIES TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE REVIEW AND DEVELOPMENT OF POLICIES AND PROTOCOLS AND

IDENTIFY SITUATIONS WHERE WORK PRACTICES COULD BE IMPROVED TO MEET LEGAL AND ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES

REVIEWING WORK PERFORMANCE

In order to provide a quality service, community service workers need to reflect on their practices. What worked well? What could be improved for next time? How could I do it differently?

 

As a community services worker, reviewing your work performance and practices is a critical component of the provision of high-quality practices within early childhood services. All staff reflect on their own practices when working within the service. Critical reflection or reflective practices focus on implications for equity and social justice.

 

Reflective practice is a form of ongoing learning that involves engaging with questions of philosophy, ethics and practice. Critical reflection involves closely examining all aspects of events and experiences from different perspectives.

 

To explain this more simply, critical reflection involves you reflecting on all aspects of your service from a different perspective, or from someone else‘s perspective. In order for us to truly understand our clients and meet their needs, we need to try and understand their perspective.

 

REVIEWING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

All workers in community services can in some way contribute to the review of policies and protocols. By providing input about the goals and needs of clients, and identifying gaps in the system or areas of client service that are not being met and then communicating this information to the relevant authorities, they can influence any changes that may need to be made.

 

There are many people who can contribute to the review and update of legislation, policies and procedures relating to the community service sector. The most vital aspect of working in the community service sector is empowerment. Your role will be to

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 51 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

continue to contribute to policies and procedures and to provide input into the empowerment of people.

 

WHO CAN CONTRIBUTE?

Valuable contributions can be made by people such as:

 People with a disability

 Carers and families

 Service providers

 Advocates

 Case workers

 Representative organisations

 Government departments

 

HOW CAN THEY CONTRIBUTE?

Contributing to the review process may involve:

 Attending meetings

 Writing to relevant authorities (This might take place at an organisational or

government level)

 Reviewing policies and procedures

 

If you identify any areas where improvements can be made to work practices it is your responsibility to ensure this information is passed on to either a supervisor or a team member. Improvements should be made to all policies and procedures in the workplace at each review but if you note something that could be changed between reviews then you should speak up. Providing the best possible service is what every organisation should be about so don’t be scared to speak out or participate. You never know, you might just have come with a new innovative idea that is appreciated by others.

 

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 52 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

S U M M A R Y

Now that you have completed this unit, you should have the skills and knowledge required to identify and work within the legal and ethical frameworks that apply to an individual job role.

 

If you have any questions about this resource, please ask your trainer. They will be only too happy to assist you when required.

 

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 53 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

R E F E R E N C E S

Websites

“Confidentiality: the obligation to protect identity and privacy.” n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2015 <http://www.nss.gov.au/nss/home.nsf/pages/Confidentiality+- +the+obligation+to+pro>.

“DUTY OF CARE What do we mean by “Duty of Care”? Childcare and …” Web. 15 Apr. 2015 <https://learning.opencolleges.edu.au/Jack/Repository/file/921fc869-4b45- 19e1-a1d>.

“Work ethically in a SSD – Work ethically in a SSD.” Web. 15 Apr. 2015 <https://sielearning.tafensw.edu.au/MCS/9362/sterilisation%20disk%201/lo/7356/7 35>.

“Work within a relevant legal and ethical framework.” Web. 15 Apr. 2015 <http://www.partnersintraining.com.au/wp-content/uploads/CHCCS400C_Student- Workbo>.

http://anrl.com.au/samples/BFFLM312BC_S.pdf

http://education.gov.au/early-years-learning-framework

http://ncac.acecqa.gov.au/educator-resources/factsheets/factsheet4.pdf

http://www.asca.org.au/about/resources/preventing-child-abuse.aspx

http://www.aussiechildcarenetwork.com/wiki/Childcare_Worker_Duties

http://www.childcarecentral.com/Provider-Articles/35/daycare-teacher-maintain- confidentiality.html

http://www.education.vic.gov.au/Documents/childhood/providers/edcare/practicegui de8.PDF

http://www.families.com/blog/how-do-i-know-if-a-child-is-being-abused

http://www.nsforum.org.au/files/Speakersnotes/EthicalDilemmas.pdf.

http://www.spcc.nsw.edu.au/preschool.php?id=852.

http://www.studymode.com/essays/Duty-Of-Care-890126.html

http://www.tisnational.gov.au/Non-English-speakers

https://training.gov.au/Training/Details/CHCCS411C

https://www.aasw.asn.au/document/item/2599.

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 54 CHCLEG001 – Work legally and ethically Version 1.1

Course code and name

https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/usermanuals/childcare/childcare.pdf

https://www.communities.qld.gov.au/resources/childsafety/child-protection/child- abuse-booklet.rtf

https://www.humanrights.gov.au/our-work/legal/legislation.

"Is this question part of your assignment? We can help"

ORDER NOW