§ 950-1-3-.10. Ethical Standards
(1) The service provider shall follow the ethical standards promulgated by their own professional discipline and by the appropriate State of Alabama licensing authority.
(2) A standard of professional conduct and competence must be upheld by service providers. Services providers must not permit personal feelings related to the client's crimes or behavior interfere with professional judgment. Should a provider be unable to render professional service for a particular client for any reason, he [or she] will make an appropriate referral.
(3) Service providers will deliver services in a manner that maintains the dignity and worth of the client. Furthermore, providers should be knowledgeable about, sensitive to, and competent to practice with diverse ethnic, racial, social, and cultural groups.
(4) Service providers must uphold a high standard in their relationships with clients. Informed consent is an essential component of professional service. However, in the case of Juvenile offenders, the right to freely consent is circumscribed by the nature of the consequences for failing to cooperate. For this reason, it is critical for practitioners to make every effort to gain the client's assent and similarly engage the client's parent or guardian in the therapeutic process. The practitioner must do so while still meeting his [or her] professional responsibility to fully inform the client and the client's parent or guardian, in age-appropriate language, both verbally and in writing, of the following:
(a) The type and extent of service proposed;
(b) Alternatives to the type of service proposed;
(c) Extent to which, if any, client has the right to refuse service;
(d) Potential risks and benefits involved;
(e) Limits of privilege and confidentiality;
(f) Time frame covered by the consent.
(5) Service providers shall inform clients and their guardians of the limits of confidentiality in accordance with professional and legal requirements. In particular service providers shall inform clients and guardians of the provider's responsibility to the larger society or specific legal obligations that may supersede the loyalty owed clients.
(6) Service providers shall not communicate to others, except under those conditions specified below, any information, data or reports on the client without signed authorization from both the Juvenile client and the client's legal guardian.
(7) Service providers may communicate information to others without written permission under the circumstances listed below. In all cases, information disclosed should be the least amount of confidential information necessary to achieve the desired purpose and only information, which is directly relevant to the purpose for which the disclosure is made. These situations include:
(a) The client presents a clear and immediate danger to another individual; or
(b) The client is himself [or herself] in clear and immediate danger; or
(c) There is an obligation to comply with specific statutes requiring reporting of abuse to authorities; or
(d) There is a court order or legal responsibility to report information in the process of an on-going legal proceeding.
(8) Service providers should inform clients, to the extent possible, about the disclosure of confidential information and the potential consequences, when feasible, before the disclosure is made. This applies whether the confidential information is disclosed on the basis of a legal requirement or client consent.
(9) Service providers will store client records to ensure both security and confidentiality.(New Rule: August 16, 2002; effective September 20, 2002. Amended by Alabama Administrative Monthly Volume XXXVII, Issue No. 02, November 30, 2018, eff. December 21, 2018.)
Author: Department of Youth Services
Statutory Authority: Title 44; Code of Ala. 1975, §§ 15-20-1 through 15-20-36; §§ 13A-6-60 through 13A-6-111.
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