Privacy Policies: When and How Information is Shared

Privacy Policies in Recovery Housing > Privacy Policies: When and How Information is Shared


A privacy policy should provide clear details on if and when an organization will share any information about residents.

For example, do you plan on sharing information with a resident’s treatment provider, parole officer, or members of their family?

It is a good idea to be specific.  For example, a program may tell a resident that the program will share information about results of drug screens, attendance at house meetings with a person’s parole officers, BUT an organization will not be sharing specific information in one-on-one conversations or details of a resident’s specific recovery plan with these individuals.

There may be some circumstances when an organization is legally required to share information, such as if a program is compelled to by a court.  Inform residents that the program will comply with all such legal orders.

Residents may also want a program to share information with family members or others.  At this point, have a process for documenting a resident’s consent to share their information with others.  Residents must also be able to withdraw this consent at anytime if they no longer wish these individuals to get information about them.

It is up to an organization to work with legal counsel on appropriate policies regarding sharing information in emergencies and ensure that all staff are trained in appropriate practices.