Confidentiality and Minor Consent
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 is a federal law establishing an array of confidentiality rights for students and families. This law is required to be upheld by all school employees. There are significant sanctions and penalties that can be imposed for violating this law. In fact one of the conditions for receiving federal funds requires procedures and adherence to FERPA.
Students who engage in therapeutic counseling services have a right to confidentiality. The documents generated when a student engages in confidential therapy DO NOT become part of the students educational record and is maintained by the clinician in compliance with FERPA.
Prior to receiving services parents are contacted and an Informed Consent for Counseling Services form is sent home or downloaded from this website, signed by the parent(s) or guardian(s) and returned to the clinician prior to the start of therapy.
Under California legal code“[A] minor who is 12 years of age or older may consent to [outpatient] mental health treatment or counseling services if, in the opinion of the attending professional person, the minor is mature enough to participate intelligently in the mental health treatment or counseling services.” (Cal. Health & Saf. Code § 124260.)
In cases where students request “minor consent” services it is a part of the providers treatment approach to encourage students to include their parent/guardian and/or make them aware of their treatment.