Children’s Consent Framework: Policy and Practice for Maturity-Aligned Engagement of Children in Decisions about HIV-Related Medical and Social Services and Management of Confidential Information

October 10, 2018
Authors: Kipling Beardsley
Organization: Palladium, Health Policy Project

Many policies and guidelines for HIV prevention, testing, treatment, and care, as well as management of confidential HIV data, do not adequately address the unique needs of children.  While there is no formula for when a child is capable to take full responsibility for decisions on HIV-related care and social support services, or when a child needs to engage a supportive proxy, this framework:

  • Proposes some standardized policies and practices to support the engagement of children and their proxies in making informed decisions about HIV-related prevention, testing, care, social support, and treatment, and management of confidential HIV data
  • Provides practice support tools for health and social service providers
  • Presents policy assessment tools to help examine whether, and to what extent, various policies are or are not supportive of children’s confidentiality and consent

Practice support tools to assess individual capacity and policy language are included in the framework.