Find answers to your questions about the Helping Individuals at Risk program quickly by browsing the most common FAQs listed below. If you still can't find what you're looking for, then contact us.
Will I know if there is a report filed about me?
It would be up to the Case Team Coordinator to determine whether or not you should be notified based on a report or reports received. You will not be automatically contacted simply because a report has been received. The Case Team Coordinator would contact you if the Coordinator concludes that you may be at risk. In such circumstances, the Coordinator would want to ensure that you are receiving assistance and if that were not the case, to offer you that assistance. This is consistent with current practice – people are not automatically notified when a concern may have been expressed. It depends on the circumstances. That continues to be the case under the proposed policy and procedure.
How long will records be held and will they be destroyed when I leave/graduate?
Records will be held for four years after the report, after which time all records will be reviewed and either destroyed or archived, on the Team’s recommendation. While records may not be erased immediately when a student graduates, they will never be shared or used for any purpose not outlined in the Policy.
Who will have access to the Case Team's files? How will this information be used?
The Case Team’s files will be managed by the Case Team Coordinator and will be made available to the members of the Case Team as needed and, in some cases, to the internal or external experts who are brought in to advise on a given matter. The files will be used strictly for the purpose of determining whether or not an individual is at risk and in need of some form of assistance.
However, if the Case Team determines that a matter presents an imminent risk of harm, the files may be forwarded under the Protocol for Urgent Cases of Disruptive, Threatening, or Violent Conduct to the Protocol coordinator.
As with all records at the University, these files will be subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, which allows for access to the information of the University, subject to various exceptions. In this case, because of the sensitive nature of the information found in these files, some of these exceptions to disclosure are likely to apply.
Will the identity of the person submitting the report be protected?
Reports collected under this policy are subject to Alberta’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, which regulates the collection, use and disclosure of personal information. The identity of the reporter will only be shared on a “need to know” basis with relevant officials associated with the Case Team. The Coordinator and Case Team will only share the identity of the person who makes the report with the alleged Individual At Risk if the reporter provides explicit permission to do so or if required by law or by University policies or collective agreements.
What is At Risk Behaviour?
At Risk Behaviour is defined in the Policy. Essentially, it is behaviour that could lead one to believe that an individual may harm himself/herself or others. The perceived risk is not an imminent one, but rather something that could arise in the future.
One example of what could be considered At Risk Behaviour is a marked change in someone’s behaviour over a period of time that causes you concern. For instance, one might have cause for concern if a co-worker that is typically happy and outgoing becomes, over a period of time, quiet, irritable and generally unhappy. Talking to that person may help you to understand the change and determine that there is no issue, but if you are not sure, and if you are worried about the person, then you could tell someone who may be better able to offer assistance.
Will the Case Team Coordinator be monitoring the online behaviour of students and staff (for example through monitoring Facebook/MySpace/Twitter pages)?
While reports of concern might be triggered by a particular posting on a social networking site, neither the Case Team nor the Coordinator will be seeking out information by “monitoring” or periodically checking these websites. If any posting causes concern that the person might be at risk, the team relies on the University community to bring those concerns forward.
What if I don't want to report to a central unit like the Case Team? What are my options?
Reports under this policy can be made to any University official with whom a reporter feels comfortable discussing the situation. In particular, staff in support units such as Faculty offices, student services, Residence Services and Human Resource Services are well placed to receive reports of At Risk Behaviour in a confidential manner and to respond appropriately. Of course, the Case Team Coordinator is available to take reports when a member of the University community is uncomfortable expressing their concerns at a local level.
Is reporting of At Risk Behaviour mandatory or voluntary and why?
Reporting of At Risk Behaviour is encouraged, but is not mandatory. The concept of At Risk Behaviour cannot be sharply defined, and it is understood that people may have some questions as to what is and is not At Risk Behaviour. As a result, making reporting mandatory could put people in a very difficult situation where they truly do not know if what they have witnessed is At Risk Behaviour. Members of the University are asked to use their best judgement when deciding whether to make a report, and are asked to remember when making this decision that the Policy is designed solely to provide assistance to Individuals that might be At Risk.
What is mandatory, however, is that a Support Unit that receives a report of At Risk Behaviour notify the Case Team Coordinator (subject to legal, professional or ethical standards governing that service provider). This is necessary to ensure that the connecting the dots aspects of the Policy are met.
How will the Case Team deal with reports of At Risk Behaviour about individuals who are not staff, students or PDF's?
Section 10 of the Procedure states that the Policy and Procedure do not apply to individuals who are not members of the University community. So, for example, if a concern is raised about a family member of a University employee, the Case Team would have no authority to try to ensure that the family member of the employee was receiving the assistance he/she needed. The Case Team could, however, refer the matter to Campus Security Services if the risk is viewed as potentially serious. It could also assist the staff member to ensure that they are receiving the assistance that they need.
Another example might be an employee of one of our contractors who works frequently on campus. In that case, the Case Team may determine that there is, in fact, an ability to try to reach out to that person to see if they need help, given the legal relationship that exists between the University and the Contractor and the fact that the employee is frequently on campus. Most likely, that communication would occur through the local Support Unit and through the contractor's representatives.
The Case Team will exercise its best judgment to determine who is properly considered a member of the University community for the purposes of this Policy.