The Counseling and Psychological Services staff adheres to professional, legal, and ethical guidelines set by the American Psychological Association, the National Association of Social Workers, and Pennsylvania law.
In doing so, the Office maintains confidential records of all counseling. This means that information about a student's contact with the office is not released to any other office or individual without a student’s written permission and signature.
There are exceptions to confidentiality. Counselors are mandated to report certain information, which includes possible harm to the client or another person, cases of child abuse, or in the event of a court order.
If a counselor at Counseling and Psychological Services has reason to suspect, on the basis of the counselor's professional judgement, that a child is or has been abused, a counselor is required to report suspicions to the authority or government agency vested to conduct child abuse investigations.
A counselor is required to make such reports even if that counselor does not see the child in a professional capacity.
A counselor is mandated to report suspected child abuse if anyone aged 14 or older tells a counselor that he or she committed child abuse, even if the victims no longer in danger.
A counselor is also mandated to report suspected child abuse if anyone indicates that he or she knows of any child who is currently being abused.
Though these situations can happen, they are rare. It is important to remember that a counselor’s primary goal is to provide a safe environment where students feel comfortable to talk about personal concerns.