BC Counsellor - Spring/Summer 2015 - (Page 17)

>>>>> FEATURE 5 TIPrS o f Keeping It is time for BC Counsellors to begin a provincial discussion about case notes. NOTES A quick look at the listserve (see BCSchoolCounsellor.com) shows that each district, and perhaps even each school within a district, has different protocols regarding notes. Questions about information and files abound with little agreement provincially, yet it is the counsellor caught in the ethical dilemma of notes. While the following comments should not be considered as provincial protocols, they do serve to open conversation. Sufficient Information Less is More Information collected regarding a student in the school system is protected under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA), but remains property of the School District. Notes made about a student that become part of a counselling file are not confidential to the counsellor but belong to the School District. This applies to both paper and electronic files. While counselling conversations may remain confidential to the participants, records of those conversations are subject to subpoena and requests made under the Freedom of Information Act. One-Time Counselling Situations Do Not Need Case Notes Of course, that opens the question about knowing that it is a one-time situation, but each individual student visit to the counsellor's office does not necessitate opening a file. It may be prudent to keep a log of visitors, though. Ongoing counselling notes should include sufficient information to allow monitoring and evaluation of services and timelines by the counsellor. Case files include consultations and referrals made on behalf of the student and relevant details to support student needs. Notes that may be seen by an outside party - such as the student's parent - can make the student vulnerable if the notes are accessed, especially if the student has been receiving counselling about an issue that is divisive within the family. Think Before You Write Write your notes with the expectation that someone else will read them with a critical eye. Case notes are not a place for counsellor's to theorize, but a source of useful facts. Judgemental statements do not belong in case notes. Know the Rules and Expectations Have a discussion with other counsellors in your School District to clarify district protocols regarding counselling notes. Ask questions about storage and access. Write the editor of this magazine at bcsca.editor@gmail.com with your thoughts on case notes and join the provincial discussion on the BC School Counsellor's listserve. Reference: Martin, Lorna. (2007). Record Keeping and Note Taking for School Counsellors. hwww.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/specedu/guidance/ resources/rec_report_counsellors.ppt BC Counsellor | Spring/Summer 2015 | www.bcschoolcounsellor.com 17 http://www.BCSchoolCounsellor.com http://hwww.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/specedu/guidance/ http://www.bcschoolcounsellor.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BC Counsellor - Spring/Summer 2015

President’s Perspective
The Fine Print
Book Review
Counsellor Corner
Neurotherapy
The Savvy Social Media School Counsellor
Education, Travel or Work?
The Role of School Counsellor
5 Tips for Keeping Notes
Index to Advertisers

BC Counsellor - Spring/Summer 2015

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