2021 CASA Confidentiality Agreement

CASA of Travis County is committed to the confidentiality of certain information regarding its clients, volunteers, staff, board, and donors as a means of ensuring compliance with the law and protection of clients’ safety and anonymity. Confidentiality is defined as the assurance that access to information regarding any client, volunteer, employee, board member, or donor shall be strictly controlled and that any violation of such control shall be a breach of faith. Information regarding any client, volunteer, employee, board member, or donor of CASA of Travis County shall not be used for purposes that were not intended by the person when the information was provided. Information on individual clients is used solely for the provision of services for them.

Confidential information shall include but is not limited to the following:
• Any and all case files, records, or other information regarding a current or former client, including their names, the addresses of employment, residence, and family addresses of clients, staff, volunteers, student interns, donors, and board members.
• Photographs taken of clients unless explicit permission is provided to the Chief Executive Officer or their designee by the individual involved.
• The contents of any current or former employee’s personnel file.
• The contents of any current or former volunteer’s file.
• The contents of any current or former donor’s records at CASA.

All board members, employees, and volunteers will receive a copy of CASA of Travis County's Confidentiality Policy and will be asked to sign an agreement of confidentiality. This agreement will cover confidentiality during the board member's tenure or the employee’s or volunteer’s service, and will also include a provision for maintaining confidentiality after board tenure, employment or volunteer service is over.

All subpoenas for records must be served to the Chief Executive Officer (or their designee) as custodian of records. Response to a subpoena of records will be decided on a case-by-case basis. CASA of Travis County’s custodian of records may consult other legal counsel regarding such subpoena. The response to the request will then become a part of the record. CASA of Travis County has the right to require 24-hour notice for purposes of making the file available.

Except by order of the court, as a general rule, no information pertaining to a client, volunteer, employee, or board member may be released without a properly executed written consent form. Information may be released in an extreme emergency with the express approval of the Chief Executive Officer. This includes but is not limited to suspected child abuse, medical emergencies that are life-threatening to client or child, medical incompetence, or when the safety or welfare of clients is at extreme risk.

CASA of Travis County is required by law to report to the proper authorities any act of child abuse, suspected child abuse, elder abuse, or abuse of a disabled person. It is CASA of Travis County's policy that it cannot keep confidential any threats to human life of either a suicidal or homicidal nature.

Notwithstanding any of the above, CASA of Travis County may determine that disclosure of confidential information shall not be made even though all requirements of release have been met. Where CASA of Travis County concludes that the requested release would endanger the client, CASA of Travis County, other clients, staff, student interns, volunteers or board members, the Chief Executive Officer is not bound by the requirements of release. CASA of Travis County may also conclude that disclosure in a particular case will create an appearance of non-confidential services that will undermine the integrity of the program. The Chief Executive Officer (in consultation with an attorney) is authorized to resist disclosure by all appropriate and lawful means, citing statute, public policy, contractual obligation, constitutional privacy claims, etc. Where the client, nonetheless, seeks disclosure, the Chief Executive Officer should advise the President of the Board of the decision to resist and seek board support for their decision since CASA resources may have to be allocated to the protection of confidential information. Financial or statistical information regarding policies, procedures, or methods of determining eligibility or any other information that does not identify a client is not considered confidential.