Confidentiality and Juvenile Mental Health Records in Dependency Proceedings
67 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2015
Date Written: 2004
Providing children's disclosures to their mental health therapists requires greater protection in juvenile dependency cases and recognizes the importance of privacy in therapeutic communications. Numerous children are required by juvenile courts to divulge the most intimate details of their lives to mental health experts only to have those disclosures revealed in court proceedings. Reversing the presumption that children's mental health records may be discussed openly in dependency litigation and requiring courts to perform in camera reviews affords children the dignity and respect adults take for granted. Ensuring greater confidentiality for children's mental health records is one step the legal system should take to protect these fragile victims of abuse and neglect.
Keywords: juvenile law; mental health law; medical records; mental health records; mental health and privacy rights; confidentiality; privilege; dependency proceedings
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