PA-OST 2: Registration and Orientation
The agency enrolls, orients, and collects relevant information from children and youth and their families.
During registration or orientation, children and youth and their families are informed about program goals, activities, rules, and responsibilities.
Prompt, responsive registration practices:
- support timely program enrollment; and
- provide for placement on a waiting list, if desired.
Children and youth who cannot be served, or cannot be served promptly, should be provided with information about other appropriate programs, if available in the community and desired by the child or youth and family.
The agency collects relevant information from children and youth and their families, including:
- identifying information, including name and date of birth;
- emergency contact information;
- information about and consent forms related to special needs, including medical needs, if applicable;
- additional consent forms or permission slips, as needed;
- authorizations for pick-up, if applicable; and
- relevant school day data, if applicable for the program.
The agency maintains files for all children and youth that:
- contain relevant information;
- are specific, factual, and legible;
- are kept up to date;
- are signed and dated by authorized personnel, where appropriate;
- comply with any applicable legal requirements; and
- are maintained and disposed of in a manner that protects privacy and confidentiality.
Interpretation: Relevant information includes the information specified in PA-OST 2.03, as well as information that would not have been available at the time of registration, such as accident report forms and evidence of ongoing communication with family members.
Files and signatures can be paper, electronic, or a combination of paper and electronic.
Note: In addition to supporting program operations, files are an important risk management tool. Well-maintained files can help shield an agency from allegations of misconduct and negligence, while poorly-maintained files and improper documentation are a known liability.
Access to confidential files meets legal requirements, and is limited to:
- children and youth and/or, as appropriate, their parents or legal guardians or designated legal representatives;
- personnel authorized to access specific information on a “need-to-know” basis;
- auditors, contractors, and licensing or accrediting personnel, consistent with the agency’s confidentiality policy; and
- others who are permitted access, as applicable.