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The information that you share with Growing Hope Counselling will remain confidential and private in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act). This means that the way we collect, use, disclose, store, secure and dispose of your personal information is protected, and any information collected about you will not be shared with others without your permission. This applies whether the information is given verbally or in written form; includes your identifying information, and extends to the fact that you have enquired about, attended, or are going to attend counselling.

Growing Hope Counselling has a legal obligation to protect all information obtained and will do so by ensuring that all paper and electronic records are kept in secure locations to which nobody else has access; and that information with your identity (including name, address, phone number, email etc) will be kept separate from any notes pertaining to counselling content.

All counselling records and personal information will be securely maintained for a minimum of seven (7) years from the date of last contact, and in some cases may be required by law to be retained for a longer period. You may request access to your client records at any time; please note this may take up to four (4) weeks to process. If you find that the information we have is not up to date or is inaccurate, please advise as soon as practicable so we can update our records and ensure we can continue to provide quality services to you.

There are certain circumstances where information about you or about what you have disclosed will need to be shared with others. These situations are:
– Where you have explicitly given permission to share information, such as informing your emergency contact of an emergency or when you have signed your permission for a referral or a report to your GP.
– Where it is considered that you are at risk of harming yourself or someone else, or when someone you know is at risk of harm
– Where it is deemed that a significant crime may be or has been committed.
– Where your counselling records, or part thereof, have been requested by a court of law.

At times, aspects of sessions may be discussed with a professional supervisor. This ensures quality service provision is maintained and is an important part of meeting professional responsibilities, ethical requirements, and maintaining accreditation as a service provider. Identifying information will not be provided during supervision.