This is the privacy policy of CareSouth (ABN: 97 065 193 035) (we, us or other similar expression). We are committed to protecting information about individuals, including employees, volunteers, carers and clients, and recognise the responsibility of managing this information. We are bound by the National Privacy Principles under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and by other legislation including (for example) the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW). This policy explains how we collect, use, disclose and protect information about individuals in accordance with the National Privacy Principles and our other privacy obligations.

Privacy & Confidentiality

This policy outlines CareSouth's practices governing the collection and handling of personal data about our cilents, carers and employees, including how it collects, uses, stores, discloses and protects information about the individuals and families. 

For full policy click here

Complaints & Feedback

Do you have a complaint? Below is a diagram outlining the full process of how we work with you to resolve the problem. 

Complaints & Feedback Diagram

For the full policy click here

Safeguarding Children

This policy outlines CareSouth's committment to Safeguarding Children, Young People and People with Disability.

For full policy click here

Collection of information

In order to provide our accommodation, care and support services, we need to collect and use information about the volunteers and carers who assist in the provision of our services, and individuals who benefit from our services. If we are not provided with all the information we request, we may not be able to provide our services.

The information we collect covers areas such as:

  • developmental records of children, young persons and disabled persons (including names, dates of birth, postal addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers and other contact details);
  • health status, treatments and medications of children, young persons, disabled persons and authorised carers;
  • religious identity of children, young persons, disabled persons and authorised carers;
  • Court orders affecting the parental responsibility of children;
  • history of abuse/care of children and young persons in care;
  • circumstances of carers including details of relationships (both past and present);
  • complaints by clients, volunteers or carers; and
  • audiovisual information and images.

Some of the information we collect is personal information, such as names, addresses and dates of birth. However, much of the information we collect will be sensitive information - for example, information about an individual’s religious beliefs, racial or ethnic origin, criminal records and health information.

Collection of information is limited to the amount of information that is necessary for our activities. We require certain information to be collected in accordance with the regulatory framework of operating the various programs which deliver welfare services.

Given the nature of the services we provide, we collect personal and sensitive information about individuals from several sources. For example, we may collect personal or sensitive information directly from the individual or from a government agency, or through the Courts. In the case of children and young persons, information may be collected from their parent, guardian, or the agency responsible for their care such as Family and Community Services (formerly DoCS).

Use of information

Our primary purpose for collecting personal and sensitive information is to provide people with welfare, care and support services. We may use that information:

  • to identify a person;
  • to enable us to provide our services;
  • to manage, improve and administer our services in a professional and efficient manner;
  • to study demographics and other social issues;
  • to apply for funding and for completion of the census (however, this information will not identify individuals);
  • to make fundraising appeals and to engage in fundraising activities;
  • to maintain an emergency contact directory;
  • for administrative purposes including research, planning, service development, security and risk management;
  • to report to government agencies and authorities;
  • for other purposes permitted, required or authorised by or under law; or
  • for any other purpose, where we have obtained consent to its use for that purpose.

Disclosure of information

We may disclose personal and sensitive information:

  • to our employees, volunteers and carers for the specific purpose of providing a service to a child, family or person with a disability;
  • about children to their own parents and guardians;
  • to proper authorities, when we have grounds for believing that children are at risk of harm;
  • where we reasonably believe that the disclosure is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious and imminent threat to an individual’s life, health or safety, or a serious threat to public health, or public safety; or
  • where the disclosure is permitted, required or authorised by or under law (for example, where we have been issued with a subpoena).

We will obtain permission from persons having parental responsibility before disclosing a child’s or young person’s personal and sensitive information to another external professional (for example, teachers, speech therapists, and occupational therapists, doctors and counsellors). In the case of children and young persons for whom Family and Community Services have parental responsibility, we will seek the consent of Family and Community Services. In the case of adult clients, permission will be sought from them or their guardian.

Exceptions to this policy include:

  • where there is a threat to life or safety;
  • where there is a requirement by law; or
  • where it is necessary for law enforcement.

We will record exceptions with reasons on our client’s file. In the case of children and young persons who have been referred by Family and Community Services, information will be disclosed to that agency as part of the ongoing need for review.

On occasions, we may display a client’s personal achievements, art and photos within the boundaries of our buildings. However, we will not use photos of clients or information which could identify a client during promotion of the organisation, carer recruitment or fundraising, without the consent of the client and/or their parent or guardian. The privacy of clients and carers will not be compromised.

Security

We will take all reasonable steps to protect personal and sensitive information from misuse, loss, change and unauthorised access or disclosure.

We will ensure personal and sensitive information is stored in a secure place when still in use and when no longer current will be stored in secure central storage for a minimum of 7 years. Records of children and young person’s who have been in out-of-home care will be dealt with in accordance with relevant NSW privacy laws. Records of clients or parts of records of clients may be transferred to other agencies with the client’s or their guardian’s consent when a client moves to another agency.

Access

Parents and other persons responsible for a child (as well as other categories of authorised persons) have a right of access to records kept about a child under regulations made under relevant NSW privacy laws. Children, young persons and adults may also seek access to personal and sensitive information about themselves.

However, there will be occasions when access to personal and sensitive information is denied. Such occasions may include:

  • where access would have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of others;
  • where the request is frivolous or vexatious;
  • where the information relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings between the individual and CareSouth, and the information would not be available by legal discovery processes; or
  • where access may result in a breach of our duty of care to the child or person concerned.

Requests for access to personal and sensitive information will need to be made in writing to the manager responsible for the service that has been provided. Persons making requests may be asked to verify their identity and specify the information requested. We may charge a fee to compensate for the cost of processing such applications unless the workload involved is minor.

Children and Young Persons in Out of Home Care or who have left may request access to their information either verbally or in writing.

Quality and correction

We take all reasonable precautions to ensure personal and sensitive information that we collect, use and disclose is accurate, complete and up-to-date. However, the accuracy of that information depends to a large extent on the information that is provided by the individual or referring agency. Individuals should advise us if the initial information collected needs to be updated or corrected.

Website & cookies

To help us manage our website, we may collect aggregated information by using cookies or similar electronic tools.

A cookie is a small text file that is placed on a computer which collects information about the use of our website, such as the web pages visited, the date and the time of a visit and the websites visited immediately before and after visiting our website.

We do not use this technology to access any other personal information of a user in our records and a user cannot be personally identified from a cookie.

Changes to our Privacy Policy

From time to time, our policies will be reviewed and may be revised. We may change this policy at any time. Any change to our policy will be notified by posting an updated version of our policy on our website. The amended policy will apply whether or not we have given specific notice of any change.

Complaint Resolution

We are committed to constantly improving our procedures so that personal and sensitive information is treated appropriately. If any person feels that we have failed to deal with their or someone else’s personal or sensitive information in accordance with this policy, please let us know so that we have an opportunity to resolve the issue.

The person to contact is the manager of the service that you are dealing with. If unable to do so, please contact their supervisor or Senior Manager.

Contact us

If you require more detailed information about our information handling please contact the persons mentioned above. We will endeavour to respond to your concerns as quickly as possible.