“Confidentiality” – ensure that all systems and staff understand the confidentiality regulations and maximize the timely relevant exchange of information for effective case coordination.
PIT Team 3 is working on a variety of tasks to develop a revised Consent to Release information form to be used by the Department of Human Services and the Probation Department. The intent is to allow communication between offices in an effort to provide seamless and integrated services to families and children. Information will only be shared if the child and/or family give consent to share information between offices that will be involved in providing services. A common Consent to Release Information form will allow families to give permission to share information for the purpose of integrated services to evaluate, treat, and plan for the best possible service provision for the family and child.
In order to comply with federal, local, and state laws and regulations related to confidentiality, the team has reviewed many documents including, but not limited to, "Mythbusting, breaking down confidentiality and decision-making barriers to meet the education needs of children in foster care" published by the American Bar Association - 2005; "Consent to Treatment and Confidentiality Provisions Affecting Minors in PA" published by the Juvenile Law Center - 2006; "JAIBG Bulletins (Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grants Program); "Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperative Agreement on Information Sharing Standards and Procedures" extracted from under the MOJJIS agreement (Missouri Juvenile Justice Information System); Printer's No. 3126, House Bill No. 2239 (PN 3126 HB 2239), Session of 2005 - The General Assembly of Pennsylvania, Act 148; Department of Health - Division of Drug and Alcohol Program Licensure; and HIPAA. Lehigh County Attorneys, the State Office, and CASSP Training Institute have been consulted for technical assistance. Release of Information documents from other counties have been reviewed as well.
Future plans include intensive confidentiality training for all Department of Human Services staff on the undated Consent to Release of Information Form/Memorandum of Understanding.
PIT Team 3 meets the 1st Monday of the month from 9:30-11:00 AM at the Lehigh County Government Center, 17 South 7th Street in Allentown.
If you are interested in sharing your experiences in order to help Lehigh County better provide better services to children and families, or would like to learn more, please call Pat Theodore at (610) 871-1986.