Many parents who come to our office are surprised to learn that their child, if they are at least 12, must consent to the release of mental health information.
Who has the right to the records protected by the Act? You have the right to copy and inspect your own records if you are age 12 and older. In addition, the following people have the right to inspect and copy the records upon request:
• The guardian of a child under age 12
• The guardian of a recipient who is age 18 or over
• An attorney and guardian ad litem representing a minor age 12 years or older, with a court order
• An agent appointed by a recipient under a Power of Attorney for Health Care or Property
• An attorney-in-fact named in a declaration of preferences or instructions regarding mental health treatment under the Mental Health Declaration Treatment Preference Declaration Act.
Disclosure of Records to Parents of Children Age 12 to 18.
A parent or guardian of a recipient of services who is over 12 but under age 18 may always have access to certain kinds of records. Those are records about the child’s current condition, diagnosis, treatment and medications being provided, and the treatment and services needed.
The parent or guardian may have access to other kinds of mental health or developmental disabilities service records if the child does not object or if the therapist does not feel there is a strong reason to deny the parent access to the records. If the therapist or the child denied access to those records, the parent or guardian may file court action to seek access.