Student Informed Consent
My approach when facilitating informed consent is to collaborate with students and encourage them to ask questions. I modify the delivery of informed consent based on students' ages. Informed consent topics include:
Confidentiality: I follow the Canadian Physiological Association
Professional Code of Ethics which requires me to keep what students say confidential. A student's privacy is my priority! There are instances however when I would be required to seek outside support and confidentiality would be compromised. These times are when I believe a student was at risk of hurting him or herself or someone else, if a student was pregnant, if I was subpoenaed by a court of law, or if a senior or child was at risk of abuse or neglect.
Team Approach: Sometimes I might ask for ideas from my counselling colleagues or supervisor without concealing student identity. This can enhance the services that I provide!
Rights and Alternatives: At any time students have the right to ask me to stop, slow down, or say goodbye. I also appreciate being corrected if I have misunderstood something. Counselling is not for everyone. Sometimes there might be other avenues for clients to explore. If this is the case, I can help clients seek alternatives to counselling.
Risks and Benefits Our discussions might create intense emotional reactions. This is one of the risks of counselling. The benefits to counselling are that I hope to facilitate personal growth and well being for students and their families.
Role of Parent or Guardian: A child might choose to share pieces of his or her session with a parent(s). A parent's role while his or her child is receiving counselling is to support and respect where the child is at during the counselling process.
Files: After each session, I keep a copy of any notes I have made in a file that is locked and never leaves my work site.
I value the use of creative and tangible metaphors to engage young people in the process of informed consent. Children can become empowered and should be aware of their rights as clients. The use of metaphors allows children a concrete method to clarify the abstract process of informed consent.