Safeguarding and confidentiality
GriefChat was devised as a safe space for bereaved people to be able to share their story, explore their feelings and be supported by a qualified bereavement counsellor. In addition to this, GriefChat can help bereaved people to consider if they need additional support and where best to get this.
By the very nature of our service, many of the people who come to us looking for support are highly distressed and may be considering harming themselves or even taking their own lives. In some situations, we may need to tell someone else about our client’s needs.
Safeguarding children and young people
GriefChat will only know that a client is under 18 if they choose to tell us. If they do this voluntarily, or if an adult tells us something that indicates a child may be at risk of harm, we will:
• Support them as we would support anyone who comes to talk to us
• Be non-judgmental
• Endeavour to create a relationship where they can trust us to act in their best interests
• Ask for contact details
• If contact details are forthcoming, escalate the concern to one of the organisations listed below
• Give links and contact details for other organisations that may be able to help, for example, Childline or Child Bereavement UK.
How we safeguard vulnerable people
When we are worried about a client’s safety or that they may be hurt either by their own actions or by someone else, we want to help them to find the best way to keep themselves safe.
We want bereaved people to be able to contact GriefChat and feel reassured of our confidentiality. There are only a small number of situations such as acts of terrorism, bomb warnings, or threats to life where we would ever consider sharing information with other organisations and these decisions will be made on a case by case basis. GriefChat does not normally ask for or routinely collect any information that would identify a client, so we don’t know who clients are unless they choose to tell us. There are only a small number of exceptions to complete confidentiality and our counsellors have been trained to recognise and discuss these with clients and to seek advice from GriefChat staff where these circumstances might arise.
Most of the time whatever clients tell us will stay between them and GriefChat.
If we believe that a client is not able to make a decision for themselves about their own safety, or if we believe that the client is at imminent risk of harming themselves or another person, we may need to attempt to help the client by contacting other organisations on their behalf. However, we can only do this if the client gives us identifying information.
Our full safeguarding policy is available to read on request.
Clients, customers, partners and members of our organisation have a right to expect that information given in confidence will be used appropriately, only for the purpose for which it was given, and will not be released to others without their consent.
GriefChat does not collect personally-identifying information other than the IP address of the webchat client. The IP address is not usually sufficient to identify the client and can be inaccurate. Clients may offer further personal information about themselves via the webchat session which means that they become identifiable.
The need to break confidentiality is rare. There are a few exceptional circumstances in which confidentiality may be broken, and this will wherever possible be discussed with the client:
• There is a risk of serious harm (physical, psychological or financial) to the client, to someone else, or to the public at large and it is necessary for GriefChat to act because the client is unable or unwilling to do so
• There is a legal obligation (normally a court order or witness summons) to disclose information.
Our full confidentiality policy is available to read on request.
Security and GDPR
GriefChat takes the information security of our service users, team members and partners seriously. We have put measures in place to protect the information shared with, used by and stored by GriefChat so that all stakeholders understand the importance that we place on information security and the steps that we take to keep organisational, staff member, client and partner data secure and to work for us, partner with us and to use the GriefChat service with confidence.
GriefChat operates via an online platform called tawk.to, which is GDPR compliant and provides the following security guarantees: https://www.tawk.to/privacy-policy/ and https://www.tawk.to/data-protection/.
GriefChat only collects and store information which is necessary for the operation and development of the GriefChat service, and for client information we operate in compliance with the GDPR ‘Right to Access’.
GriefChat also uses various other systems and resources to operate and details of these are contained within our full security policy which is available to read on request.
The privacy of our website users is of paramount importance to us and we outline below how we will treat and respect your personal information and the steps we take to keep it secure.
Equality and Diversity
GriefChat is committed to treating all people equally and with respect irrespective of their age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation.