The Night Ministry is committed to providing an environment in which those we serve and those who work with us feel safe and able to form ongoing relationships at all levels. We expect all staff, volunteers, interns and guests to maintain the confidentiality of and respect the privacy of others. We also expect that any perceived violation of confidentiality be promptly reported to the appropriate supervisor or to the Director of Human Resources for investigation.
We require all staff, volunteers, interns and guests to agree to and sign the following pledge:
I understand that I may learn facts about our clients that are of a highly personal and confidential nature. Examples of such information are: medical conditions and treatment, finances, living arrangements, employment, sexual orientation and/or sexual practices, history of drug use or other behavioral history, relations with family members, and even that an individual receives services from The Night Ministry. I understand that all such information should be treated as confidential in the following ways:
1. I am expected to share the content of the encounters I have with clients with those staff of The Night Ministry who need specific information to provide consistent and quality services and, when appropriate, with the person who supervises me. If I want to share some of my experiences with others (friends, family, co-workers, etc.), I will do this in a way that the person about whom I am speaking cannot be identified.
2. I am required to report any suspected abuse and/or neglect as required by state and/or federal law and am required to allow government auditors access to pertinent information in files or other documents as specified in the Federal Rules of Confidentiality.
3. I will NOT share information (that has been told to me in confidence) about one client with another client or in front of another client. [Note: There may be occasions when one client is injured or ill or has disappeared and other clients are already sharing information about that situation/person. It is always better to err on the side of disclosing too little than too much in these situations.]
4. When I am in other settings, I will not acknowledge clients that I have met through The Night Ministry, unless they acknowledge me first. They may not want others to know that they have received services from The Night Ministry.
5. I understand any written information that identifies a client must be kept in a secure/private place, shared with only those who need to know the information to provide quality services and/or destroyed, if no longer needed. (The Night Ministry provides paper shredders for this purpose.)
6. I may not share any information of a personal or confidential nature with any person not affiliated with The Night Ministry or authorized by The Night Ministry to have such information without the specific written consent of the client.
I also understand that information about staff, volunteers, interns and/or contributors, as well as committee, staff or discussions about The Night Ministry business and/or policy development are to be considered confidential information. Such information may be disclosed only with the prior approval of the President, Executive Director, Chair of the Board of Directors (or their designees). And, as with the information about clients, I understand that any written information about staff, volunteers, interns and contributors and The Night Ministry business, must be kept in a secure/private place, shared only with those who need to know the information and/or destroyed, if no longer needed. (The Night Ministry provides papers shredders for this purpose.)
I agree to conduct my personal relationships with other staff, volunteers, interns and guests with integrity and to refrain from sharing personal information, unless I have received her/his express permission to do so. I also agree to conduct my relationships in a professional manner by avoiding conversations that criticize or malign others, reinforce rumors or may cause harm to an individual.
I understand that if I should be found in breach of this pledge, I may be subject to disciplinary procedures, up to and including dismissal from volunteer/intern service.