Dealing with disclosure and risk of harm

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  • During the course of a session, the person may disclose information about illness, risk of harm to themselves or others, or about a criminal act.
  • It is likely that your organisation will already have a policy which you should follow to deal with such disclosures.
  • The following principles and scenarios provide some additional pointers for consideration.
1. Principles

Many issues of disclosure can be supported in a similar way to information requests that come through normal routes, i.e., through active listening, matching information resources to needs and checking that the person has understood.

Where there is a risk of harm or actual harm to a vulnerable person – e.g. a child,  someone with mental ill health, old age, frailty or physical disability, visual or hearing impairment you have a duty to report to the local authority / social work. If a crime has been committed – e.g. theft, violence, you have a duty to report to the police.

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