Guide 4 Life Harrogate


What is confidentiality and why might I want it?

You may find it helpful to talk in private about any problems you have with a public service professional (someone from health, social care, education, youth justice, youth work etc.). If you do not want anyone else to know, you may ask for any information you give to be kept confidential, i.e. not to be passed on to anyone else.

Who has a right to confidentiality?

  • Anyone aged 16 or over.
  • Anyone aged under 16 (but generally over 12) who is considered by professionals to have the competence to understand their choices and the potential outcomes of sharing information.

More information:



What is informed consent?

This is permission to share information with other professionals who can help and can only be given by a competent young person who has been informed and understands why particular information needs to be shared, who will use it and how, and what might happen as a result of sharing or not sharing the information.

Are there any exceptions?

  • If professionals need to find out urgently if you or someone else is at risk of harm, or to help you or someone else who is at risk of harm, they have a duty to share information about you with particular professionals whose job it is to keep you safe.
  • If a Court, under witness summons, orders the disclosure of information.
    Professionals have a duty to state at the beginning of any confidential discussion with you what the definition of confidentiality is. A part of this is seeking agreement with the young person about when confidentiality will not be maintained. This may be if the professional thinks that you are at risk of harm.