Confidentiality When Working with Youth and Their Families

Confidential care is recommended for all adolescents. It is clinically essential, developmentally appropriate, and supported by expert consensus.

Not all LGBTQIA+ youth are out to their families or caregivers. It is important to separate parents and caregivers from the youth—especially when asking important questions about gender identity, sexual orientation, reproductive health, substance use, and mental health. Having parents or caregivers present may discourage some youth from being honest with healthcare professionals.

Although confidential healthcare is important, LGBTQ+ youth should be made aware that healthcare professionals must break confidentiality for certain reasons. Sometimes, billing and insurance statements include information youth may not want disclosed. Inform youth of this possibility and provide them with resources to access free and confidential healthcare services.