Townsville Community Legal Service Inc
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What factors affect the records we keep?

The nature of client records we keep will be influenced by a number of factors, including:

the services provided by the organisation
the types of community work undertaken
the qualifications and professional background of the community workers
the terms of any service or funding agreement
the accessibility of records by third parties
the sensitive nature of client information
the incriminating nature of client information
the need for mandatory or optional reporting
the connectedness with other services
the legal nature of the work
the agreement with clients
the wishes of clients
ethical or conduct requirements
privacy requirements
release requirements such as FOI.

In terms of the services provided, for example, a service that provides allied health services or health related services would probably keep a range of medical and related records, including personal medical information.

Medical and related personal information can be sensitive because it includes information:

about the personís health, diagnoses and prognoses
about infectious diseases and past history of infectious disease exposure
about mental health issues, intellectual, cognitive, behavioural disorders and/or disabilities
not known by others including spouses, family members.

Likewise, the sort of information kept by a sexual assault service will be of a sensitive nature because it includes information:

about criminal acts or is incriminating
about highly personal information about issues such as rape, incest, sexual abuse, domestic and family violence
that affects personal safety such as residential details etc.
that might be accessible by third parties
not known by others including spouses, family members.