Confidentiality: Confidentiality Examples

DHS employees have a duty to safeguard information and protect the confidentiality of their clients and families.

The following are examples of how confidentiality can be maintained:

Joy has open SNAP benefits for herself only. Her daughter Lily calls to ask about information on Joy’s case; however she is not an authorized representative. No information can be given to Lily without Joy’s permission or until she is added as authorized representative on the case.

Jeremy and Abby apply for SNAP benefits for themselves; their two children in common, and Abby’s son Adam. During the interview, worker discovers that Adam is currently receiving SNAP benefits on his father’s case. The worker informs the couple during the interview that Adam is receiving on another case and cannot be added to their case until he has been removed from the other case. The couple asks whose case Adam is receiving on, and the worker informs them that information cannot be shared. The worker can tell the client to show they are entitled to have their child included on their case.

Janice, a Social Services Specialist, is conducting an interview with her client Elizabeth in order to determine eligibility for SNAP benefits. During the interview Janice contacts Elizabeth’s former employer to verify her last date of employment and the total gross terminated income received in the current month. During the telephone conversation, Elizabeth’s former supervisor asks why DHS is requesting verification. Janice informs the supervisor that the information cannot be shared.

Matt receives a telephone call from a man that states his name as Paul Smith, and that he needs to find out what child care center his niece, Alicia Smith, attends. Matt approved the Smith family for child care benefits a week ago. Paul Smith states that his brother, Alicia’s father, is having car trouble and that he is now needed to pick Alicia up before the child care center closes. Matt checks to see if Paul Smith has been added as an authorized representative for child care. Upon review, Matt discovers that Paul Smith has not been added as an authorized representative. Matt informs “Paul Smith” that the information cannot be shared.

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