Confidentiality Policy

Keeping your information private

Off the Record are committed to keeping your information private and confidential. We work within an Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy (as specified by BACP – the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy). We have our own complaints policy and are also subject to the BACP complaints procedure which you can find our more about here.

To use our Online Services, you will need to complete our registration form, where we will collect some basic information about you; such as how old you are, where you live and some personal information about your background. (We use this information to make sure that we are supporting the needs of the whole community in Croydon, Sutton and Merton).

All this information is kept private, in line with our data policy. We do not give out your details to outside companies; when we report to funders about who is using our services, your personal information will always be made anonymous and kept private.

Please check that the IT equipment you are using to does not have monitoring software installed that could compromise your confidentiality.

Exceptions to privacy

There are some exceptions to privacy which it is important to know about when you choose to register with us:

• If we believe that you are not able to take responsibility for your own decisions
• If we believe you are at risk of serious harm
• If someone else may be at risk of serious harm
• In an emergency situation where we think you or someone else is in immediate danger
• If ordered to by a court of law

If we have a concern, we will contact you using the information you provided when you registered. If we are unable to make contact with you using this information then we may contact someone appropriate, such as social services or the police, who can help us make sure you and others are safe. Where possible, we will try to contact you first before doing this.

Extra Support

If you tell us you need help, or if we notice you have been really struggling during a session or in one of your feedback forms, we will contact you to provide you with some additional support. This might be through our Online Counselling service, our face to face services, or another service which offers crisis or 24 hour support.

You may want us to talk with someone else, such as a doctor, lawyer or a social worker. This is OK with us and we will talk with you about what you want. We will always want your written permission if you ask us to talk with another person about you.

Confidentiality with Others

If you attend an online workshop, you might want to talk about something painful or personal. Other young people might also want to share something that they find hard to talk about. It is important that the workshops are a safe and private space and that what is discussed during the session is not talked about afterwards.

At the beginning of each workshop session, your facilitator will remind everyone that what is discussed during that session is private and should not be talked about elsewhere, whether in a future workshop with us, in another online forum, or in a face to face setting with other people.

Choosing Your Display Name

Please choose an anonymous display name when registering for workshops as this will be visible when you join your session. This should not be your name, email address or a username you use regularly on other sites, such as Snapchat, Facebook or even sites like Amazon. Keeping your username here anonymous and unique means people will not be able to identify you by looking in a search engine and finding your profiles.

Please don’t use an inappropriate nickname. If you use a nickname that is rude or offensive you will be asked to change it.

If, however, you become aware that someone you meet in a session is someone you know from elsewhere (whether through other websites or through face to face settings) always keep their identity to yourself.