Kilkenny Bereavement Support Data Protection and Confidentiality Policy



Kilkenny Bereavement Support was established in 1989 as a voluntary organisation to offer a listening service to bereaved people of all ages. Volunteers from all walks of life are recruited and trained every two/three years. During their one- to-one work with bereaved people they have monthly supervision in small groups.



Confidentiality is a central and integral part of the work of Kilkenny Bereavement Support. It provides safety and privacy for those who use our services. We work hard to ensure that information by those who make contact with and/or use our services is held in strict confidence and in a manner that is in line with Data Protection legislation.



The purpose of this Confidentiality Policy is to provide Kilkenny Bereavement Support volunteers with:

  • Information on Kilkenny Bereavement Support’s understanding of confidentiality.
  • Clear guidelines regarding the handling of confidential information.
  • Clear guidelines on their responsibilities in relation to confidentiality.



It is the policy of Kilkenny Bereavement Support to treat confidentially any and all information given by bereaved people who make contact with and/or use our services.


Definition and Principles of Confidentiality

Confidentiality is a set of rules or a promise that limits access to or places restrictions on the use of certain types of information. Kilkenny Bereavement Support volunteers are bound by ethical and legal codes to protect the confidentiality and privacy of those who interact with our service and to protect and maintain the confidentiality of all information learned about them, their family members and acquaintances in the course of their interaction with us.


Confidentiality applies to all information that:

  • Is or has been obtained during, or in the course of involvement with, or has otherwise been acquired in trust due to involvement with Kilkenny Bereavement Support.
  • Relates particularly to the business of Kilkenny Bereavement Support, its service users or other people or bodies with whom we have dealings.
  • Has not been made public by, or with the authority of, the person or organisation to whom it pertains.

Confidential information includes conversations, correspondence, forms, reports and computer generated communications with, about, or involving in any way any service users of Kilkenny Bereavement Support

Limits to Confidentiality

Kilkenny Bereavement Support acts in accordance with best practice and legislation in relation to the confidentiality it offers to those who contact its service. Where there is substantial reason to believe that either the individual him/herself is at risk to self or to any other individual, Kilkenny Bereavement Support reserves the right to contact the appropriate person to seek support for the individual and / or report the risk. Kilkenny Bereavement Support complies with Children First 2011 and all other legislation relating to the reporting of child protection concerns. Kilkenny Bereavement Support volunteers are referred to our Child Protection Policy and Guidance in relation to this issue.

Data Protection

Kilkenny Bereavement Support complies with data protection legislation in the manner in which it gathers, stores and disposes of information about people who interact with its services.

The Data Protection Commissioner for Ireland specifies Eight Rules of Data Protection:

  1. Obtain and process information fairly.
  2. Keep it only for one or more specified, explicit and lawful purposes.
  3. Use and disclose it in ways compatible with these purposes.
  4. Keep it safe and secure.
  5. Keep it accurate, complete and up to date.
  6. Ensure that it is adequate, relevant and not excessive.
  7. Retain it for no longer that is necessary for the purpose for which it was gathered.
  8. Give a copy of his/her personal data to an individual on request.


Kilkenny Bereavement Support Volunteers:

  • Inform the bereaved people who interact with the service that information and data is being gathered and processed for best practice. 
  • Inform the bereaved people of the limits to the level of confidentiality that can be offered.
  • Gather and process only that information which is necessary for the provision of the service for which the person is interacting with Kilkenny Bereavement Support.
  • Retain data only for as long as it is necessary to do so to provide the service and /or to comply with legislation (or for a maximum of 7 years).
  • Dispose of paper based information through confidential shredding and delete all computer based records.
  • Use and disclose of the information in a manner that protects confidentiality, and solely for the purpose of providing the service.
  • Where disclosure is required by law, the Volunteer will inform the bereaved person concerned what is being disclosed and will disclose only that information which is absolutely necessary under the law.
  • Store paper based data in relation to bereaved people who interact with the service in a locked filing cabinet in Villa Maria. Personal and /or sensitive data is coded to protect confidentiality and code keys are stored in a different location. Only Supervisors have access to these paper based records. Supervisors will carry out regular checks to ensure that data stored in any format is accurate.
  • Refer any request for data about any individual to the Director of Services.