Confidentiality – REE - Online Legal Advice Service
This guidance mainly applies to young people accessing CLC legal advice online through REE Live Chat or information through our chatbot REE Rights Responder. However it is fully compliant with CLC’s Confidentiality Policy and Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy. It also applies to information and advice provided to young people through other channels i.e. advice line, email or face to face.

When you are using REE Live Chat we have a legal duty to always provide you with a confidential legal service.

However sometimes we may need to ask you for personal information so we can help you further. When we ask you for personal information a REE Live Chat Advisor will always explain why we need it, when we need it. We only ask for information on a ‘need to know’ basis.

In exceptional circumstances we may need to breach confidentiality to protect a child or young person who is at risk of suffering harm caused by child abuse or self-harming behaviour, or who may pose a risk to others. On such occasions we will follow our Safeguarding Policy.

We store your personal information in a secure database protected by passwords, encryption and firewalls. We also dispose of your information securely and confidentially.

Your Rights

- You have the right to be protected from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation including sexual abuse.
- Your welfare is always paramount and decisions will always be taken in your best interests.
- You have the right to be heard and to be taken seriously. CLC will always ensure your views and wishes are taken into account when decisions are being made that affect your life.
- We will always tell you about our confidentiality and Safeguarding procedures so you will understand when and why we might need to breach confidentiality i.e. to protect you from suffering harm.
- We will always ensure that our safeguarding procedures protect all children equally.
- We respect your data privacy rights and seek your permission to share personal information about you when necessary.

Who's responsibility?

All CLC staff have a responsibility to provide you with confidential advice on your rights and to protect you from suffering harm where possible. The Director of CLC has overall responsibility for ensuring that staff always act in accordance with CLC’s Confidentiality and Safeguarding Policy when they are giving you legal advice.

If you wish to make a complaint about how your personal information was handled by a legal advisor or any aspect of our legal services you can email This will be passed on to our Director.

Definition of a Child: A child or young person for the purposes of these procedures is any child or young person under the age of 18.

REE Rights Responder (Chatbot) – Always Confidential

- REE Rights Responder is always anonymous and always confidential. CLC staff do not routinely check your conversations with REE.
- If you tell REE that you or another young person has suffered harm or are at risk of harm from abuse or self-harm, CLC WILL NOT be able to pass this information on to social services or the police.
- REE WILL however give you useful numbers to call if you need help right away.
- If you are or another young person you know are being harmed or at risk of being harmed you should contact Social Services or Childline immediately.

Sharing REE Live Chat Information

- Personal Information you share with any CLC legal advisor through Live Chat will always be kept confidential within the CLC legal team.
- Your personal information will never be shared with anyone outside the Children’s Law Centre without your permission.
- Your personal Information may be shared with parents/carers who have parental responsibility for you, to help us decide what’s best for you, but only with your consent where possible.
- Any personal information you give us will always be stored securely and used only for the purposes outlined in our Privacy Notice.

Dealing with Disclosures of Abuse or Self Harm

- We may need to breach confidentiality if you disclose through live chat, on the phone/email or face to face that you may be at risk of harm from abuse, or at risk of harming yourself or others.
- In any of these situations our legal adviser may contact Social Services and/or the police in accordance with our Safeguarding Policy to ensure you get the protection and support you need.
- We will always try and get your consent before we contact social services and/or the police or we may support and encourage you to speak to one of these agencies yourself if you are mature enough.
- All records of safeguarding referrals made to social services are stored securely in accordance with our Privacy policy.
- We may encourage you to tell your parents/carers about what has happened but only if this wouldn’t put you at risk from further harm.
- See here for more detailed information on how our legal team makes decisions on sharing information for both child safeguarding purposes and other purposes, and processes that will be followed depending on young people’s different individual circumstances.