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Importance of Informed Consent, Proper Record-Keeping and Maintaining Confidentiality in Community Service

Choose one of the following topic areas:

  1. With reference to Federal and state legislation, identify the importance of informed consent it, proper record and maintaining confidentiality when working with the client in community service
  2. Protection of children is everyone’s responsibility. Why is mandatory reporting important in community service? explore with reference to relevant state legislation.
  3. Ethical decision making is an integral part of community work practices. explore the importance of using an ethical decision making model when exploring the ethical dilemma. provide an example of an ethical decision making model.



Community service agencies use a varied range of experts to provide the high-quality care and service to a multicultural society throughout the lifespan. It is acknowledged that most of these organizations employ an interdisciplinary approach. As an outcome, the need for people proficiency in ethical decision-making is increasing. Besides this, the National Standards for Disability Support, the Government of Australia has also assured that there exist numerous frameworks to provide direction to moral and constitutional issues that arise during the implementation of community programs (Provan & Pryor, 2019). For example, the government mandates that all businesses own a personnel set of ethical standards. The code’s major goal is to provide advice on decision-making and to serve as a basis point for people as they go about their everyday tasks and engagements.

A subpoena is a court-issued document. It is an order of the court issued at the request of either party to a case who claims that another person who is not directly involved in the investigation possesses pertinent documents. A subpoena ordered by a district court, like the District judge, may be referred to as ‘summons,’ and shall meet all other subpoena standards (Burmeister, 2017). A subpoena requires an individual to submit evidence or appear in court. It is vital that counselors recognize that they should always constantly offer some reply to a subpoena (Thomson Reuters, 2013). Potential solutions are diverse, including a plea for further information and invoking privilege on behalf of clients. The reply should be in writing, and should be sent to everyone inside the matter, and the Court. The reply must be obtained by the recipient on or around the date mentioned on the summons and must adhere to the various ethical guidelines as proposed by the government.

Informed consent, Importance and challenges that may arise while working with community service clients:

Individuals in Australia are obliged by legal system to reject or refuse treatment to any services rendered by a community service agency. Whenever there is a lack of accountability, individuals, particularly staff service providers, suffer legal repercussions (Kramer & Parasidis, 2021).From the legal perspective, informed consent is specifically important while working with community service clients. Even while responding to subpoena, utmost care should be taken that subpoena is valid and the conditions of confidentiality surrounding the parties involved are not violated such as consent of the client, a restraining order or any other type of constitutional requirement. When a court orders the production of testimony or records and all measures to have had the court withdraw or alter the decision had failed, a consultant may be put in contravention for noncompliance with the court order. 

The very first reason consent form is significant has been that it acts as an alternative for effective decision making. According to the Australia state and territory guardian laws, some details regarding the medical and social services provided to adults and children that are unable to comply are noted. The guardianship legislation defines the requirements for appointing a competent replacement judgment under their fundamental scope of authority, based on the individual’s lifestyle and the nature of the organization to be delivered (Provan & Pryor, 2019). The legislation establishes an outcome that would have the power to grant permission (Kramer & Parasidis, 2021).

The biggest challenge of up-keeping informed consent is that it is assumed that individuals are aware of the consent details and have a full understanding of the same. But in real-sense it is extremely difficult to rest-assure their viewpoint or their understanding of the issue. This many a times leads to misunderstandings which cause further severe havocs in dealings with the numerous community issues (Musmade et al., 2013). Moreover, Disadvantaged populations include individuals who are completely or partially incapable of defending their own interests. Consent is crucial when dealing with them, particularly with certain groups such as those with learning disabilities.

Record-keeping, Importance and challenges that may arise while working with community service clients:

Good record-keeping benefits every Australian organization or institution. The Australian government collaborated with and built a strategy with both the Australian Association of Managers which would successfully provide guidance and encouragement to management and social service providers in many areas of the economy (Maylea & Hirsch, 2018). The regulations include info on both computer and manual document, and also an acknowledgement of emerging techniques. Additionally, the guidelines help with staffing considerations and fraudulent reporting. Additionally, it’s also vital to mention that improper record-keeping may expose an employer to several risks, particularly when transferring information from a customer to the business. As a result, measures have been adopted to make valuable suggestions on how to improve record-keeping in Australia’s institutions.

Sound recordkeeping lays the foundation for making informed decisions, holding individuals accountable for its actions and judgments, and serves as the yardstick for evaluation process. Additionally, it helps the concerned authority to adhere to statutory and regulatory standards. The records are primarily maintained for certification purposes. Therefore, in order to proceed in an inspection such as the Australian Taxation Office’s, it is critical to maintain outstanding and efficient administrative data. Furthermore, neglect in document preservation raises the chance for incorrect payments, and thus one will be unable to provide sufficient information to validate the allegations.

Finally, it is critical to understand that each organization’s record-keeping requirement is unique. Keeping track enhances employee efficiency and ensures the delivery of high-quality services to clients (Ashurst, 2019). For instance, when clients are expected to keep track of their performances or progress, record-keeping enables easy access to and location of the necessary information or data. Additionally, this transfers into fostering positive customer relationships with clients. It’s difficult to keep track of documents in boxes. Simple file construction is required. Alternatively, your administrative personnel will misuse it. Additionally, there still are various categories of forms that may need to be completed, and preserving such data is time – consuming process and laborious. There will be numerous forms that must be completed mechanically, which presents a barrier for community service providers because they probably end up without submitting all documents, resulting in insufficient documentation. Another drawback of record-keeping is the time constraint, since there is insufficient time to finish the documentation once all associated care-giving activities have been completed. Mahony et al. (1994) concur with this study’s findings, stating that extra time is required for recording. 

Confidentiality, Importance and challenges that may arise while working with community service clients:

According to Australia’s rule of confidentiality, the law protects community in three major areas. To begin, people now have the right to receive a record of their community programs. For example, a person may request a statement with copies of his paperwork (Lamont-Mills et al., 2018). Second, people should have the right to alter their appearance due to passage of time, inadequacy, or to increase their significance. Finally, people have the right to be exempt from the data protection. As a result, people should have the right to provide their personal information safeguarded by the organisation with which they work. Citizens’ confidential information is protected under the 1988 Commonwealth guideline on privacy and security (Maylea & Hirsch, 2018). The legislation emphasizes the importance of not revealing people’s personal and family data to other individuals and organizations without their authorization. As a result, individuals’ records must be maintained safe and protected. When you’ve been charged with a subpoena to disclose papers, then one must comply with the Court’s decision and submit all relevant information, even if they are confidential. Furthermore, if the documents being summoned are classified as sensitive or contain secret documents, the Court may declare orders requesting access to and investigation of the documents/information. Such restrictions may stipulate that now the parties’ legal counsel or a designated individual in an identifiable business has entrance to or can review the files (Smartcounsel, 2021).

Confidentiality is a measure of dignity and respect or individuals. Under Australian law, every person has the right to be valued by the institution for which he or she works or seeks assistance. For example, in a medical environment, a people recovering from a certain ailment must not feel humiliated when his medical information is leaked with others without his permission (Moses et al., 2018). It is the job of the community service provider to rest-assure the person or contact party that their personal and private information shall be used for official purpose only and will not be miss-handled or mis-treated. Second, confidentiality protects an individual from emotional and psychological suffering. It is important to highlight that when individuals find that confidential material about them has been communicated with others without their permission, they get agitated and anxious about problems like what society thinks of them. Additionally, such discrimination has resulted in many succumbing to depression and social stigma. In the worst-case situation, some individuals may even attempt suicide in order to avoid losing trust in the facility or organization. Specifically, in the health sector, persons who have lost trust in health institutions may be hesitant to seek appropriate treatment, guidance, or care. Without a doubt, people will begin to feel uneasy talking about their concerns with others (Moses et al., 2018). However, this one has a huge impact on the community, including substance abuse, inappropriate behaviors, several suicides as a result of an unwillingness to open up and seek treatment. Finally, disclosing personal health state and confidential material may result in psychological stigmatization and discrimination. For example, exposing an individual’s HIV status often results in racial segregation against those living with HIV. Fear of rejection has kept numerous people from disclosing their sexual orientation to family, colleagues, and relatives.


The Australian government has ensured that a framework is in place to guide and respond to legal and ethical issues that may arise in the delivery of community services. For example, in Australia, all adults must refuse or consent to any community service. An organization’s code of ethics must include informed consent, proper record-keeping, and confidentiality in community service. The law protects society in many ways, according to Australia’s secrecy law. First, users can now obtain a record of community services. Finally, good record-keeping is required for reference and tracing.

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