Confidentiality and Privacy

Confidentiality is an important aspect of the work of a counselor. Communication (verbal and/or written) between a student and the counselor is confidential unless first waived by the student. All communication (verbal and/or written) between student/ family and the counseling staff is held in strict confidence unless confidentiality is first waived by the minor child’s legal guardian. Exceptions include information regarding danger to self or others or abuse of a child. Legally and ethically, confidentiality must be broken in such instances and all relevant parties notified with, whenever possible, the knowledge of the student. When confidentiality must be breeched and when appropriate, students are given the choice to disclose information directly (with the counselor present) or to have the counselor make the disclosure.

The counselor maintains a strong relationship with the other members of the Lower School faculty, as well as the school’s Counseling Department and cultivates the same within the community in order to be aware of resources that could be of value to the Walker community, particularly the students. The Counseling Department’s Coffee Talk is researched and organized by the counselor of the Lower School. These Coffee Talks, which are held several times during the school year, feature a guest speaker who focuses on a specific topic of interest and concern to parents.

It is the goal of the counseling department to support the mission of the school by enabling the students to reach their highest potential academically, socially, and emotionally. The goal can be accomplished best when the parents, faculty, and counselor work in a cooperative manner as the support team for the students. Parents are not routinely informed of non-safety issues unless with the student’s invitation.

Release of Information forms are available for families who wish the school counselor to be in communication with a private therapist or doctor.

Middle School Confidentiality

An on-going practice of each counselor is to routinely inform students and parents of the Counseling Office’s policy regarding confidentiality. All communication (verbal and/or written) between student/ family and the counseling staff is held in strict confidence unless confidentiality is first waived by the minor child’s legal guardian. Exceptions to a student and/ or family’s privacy include information regarding danger to self or others or abuse of a child. Legally and ethically, confidentiality must be broken in such instances and all relevant parties notified when, whenever possible, the knowledge of the student. When confidentiality must be breeched and when appropriate students are given the choice to disclose information directly (with the counselor present) or have the counselor do so. Parents are not routinely informed of non-safety issues unless with the student’s invitation.

Release of Information forms are available for families who wish the school counselor to be in communication with a private therapist or doctor.