Communicating your concern to the youth’s parent or legal guardian is the next step in accessing further assessment and/or help. Prior to contacting them, you will need to gather the reasons for your concern – these may include changes in behaviour or emotions. If you remain concerned even after having had a discussion with the child or teen, you may wish to communicate this as well. Points to keep in mind:
- Check your confidentiality policy prior to disclosing the content of your discussions.
- In general, it is always okay to share concerns about health and safety, but information not related to this may be kept private.
- While there may be exceptions to the benefits of including family in the information-sharing process, the majority of family involvement is beneficial. This should always be the starting point for helpers and educators dealing with youth and their parents.
- Families are valued and respected members of the care team.
- Families can provide a rich source of information and context about their children and teens and their history.
- Working relationships are based on mutual trust and respect.
For places to find local help, visit Finding Local Resources.