Policies - akin

Notice of non-discrimination policy

It is the policy of Akin that no person shall be subject to discrimination by the Organization or through its Contractors on the basis of: race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, the presence of any physical, mental or sensory disability, genetic information; marital status, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship or immigration status, status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, political ideology, or any other status or characteristic protected by local, state or federal law.

In addition to the above characteristics, programs will not discriminate against clients in high-risk populations or whose conditions may require more costly treatment.

Akin provides equal employment opportunities to all staff members and applicants for employment without discrimination toward any of these characteristics.  This applies to all terms and conditions of employment including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, transfers, promotions, termination, layoff and recall, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

Notice of consumer complaint & grievance policy

It is the policy of Akin to provide a fair, equitable and formal grievance procedure in the event a client believes that any of their rights have been violated and not adequately resolved at the initial levels of problem-solving or complaint processes.  Client complaints and grievances are promptly heard, assessed, and resolved at the lowest level with the option to document it for higher management review.

Clients are informed of their rights including the right to file both complaints and grievances without fear of reprisal.  Client rights and the complaint process are posted publicly along with information on the Ombuds serving the geographic vicinity.

Notice of online privacy policy

Updated:  September 2016

Children’s Home Society of Washington (Akin) maintains strict privacy practices. To better protect your privacy, we provide this notice explaining our online information practices and the choices you can make about the way your information is collected and used. No personal information is sold or rented to third parties.


This notice applies to all information collected or submitted on Akin’s website. On some pages, you can make donations, sign up for the e-newsletter, or register to receive materials. The types of personal information collected at these pages are:

  • Name
  • Address
  • E-mail Address
  • Phone Number
  • Credit/Debit Card Information

On some pages, you can submit information about other people. For example, you might make a donation in another’s name and enter their address, e-mail address, and other personal information. In this circumstance, the types of personal information collected might include:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • E-mail Address

When you make a donation online, sign up for the electronic Akin newsletter, send a comment via the information and contact request forms online, or register for an event on the web site, your name and contact information will be relayed to Akin. When you are engaged in a transaction, whether through event registration or an online donation the amount of your gift will also be relayed to Akin. Your contact information will enable Akin to acknowledge you/your donation directly. Additionally, you will be asked to enter your credit card information when making a transaction online.

Akin uses a third-party vendor to process credit card transactions. This information is transferred for processing purposes only. Any information collected by our credit card processor is used only for transactional and/or financial record-keeping purposes, or as required by law.


Unless you opt out of receiving e-mail messages, Akin uses the e-mail address that you provide to send out periodic news regarding the organization. In an effort to provide the best, most relevant content to our audience, Akin may at times ask for input on how to better serve supporters.

When you make a donation or sign up for the e-newsletter, you may elect to receive communications from reputable partners serving a similar mission. If you choose to receive such communications, Akin may share your information with other nonprofit organizations.

Akin may disclose information we collect from you if we have a good faith belief that access, use, preservation, or disclosure of such information is reasonably necessary to (a) satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request, or (b) detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues, or (c) protect against harm to the rights, property or safety of Akin, its employees or the public as required or permitted by law.

Akin may also collect and store aggregate (non-identifying) or anonymous information about user contact,  site use,  website traffic patterns, and related site information to assists us in improving outreach efforts,  and improve our website design. Akin may share this knowledge with site advertisers, and reputable partners serving a similar mission.  This information does not identify you individually.

Except as provided in this policy, Akin will not disclose information we collect from you to any third party, including other nonprofit organizations, unless you specifically request that we share your information with a third party.


Only Akin staff who are responsible for administering our website have access to personally identifiable information collected about you. This group will not share personally identifiable information about you with anyone else without your permission.


Akin puts the highest priority on the security of your information. To prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy, and help ensure the correct use of information, Akin has established appropriate and reasonable security procedures (physical, electronic and administrative) to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.


To correct factual errors in your personally identifiable information, contact Akin at 1-800-456-3339 or via our online contact form.

If you do not wish to be contacted after submitting any online personal information, you may opt out at the bottom of any e-mail communication you receive. To do this,  select the “unsubscribe” option included at the bottom of a recent e-mail. You may also ask us to remove you from our mailing list and cease further contact from us at any time by sending a request through our online form. If you submit a donation and then choose to opt out, you will still receive an acknowledgement of your gift, and your gift will remain tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.


Akin may change this policy at any time without prior notice. If we change this policy, we will post those changes on this page, so that you will always know what type of personally identifiable informationis collected and used. Akin will not reduce your rights under this policy without your explicit consent. Any continued use of our website following the posting of changes implies agreement to the terms of our policy.

Notice of privacy practices — mental health services

Effective February 2019

If you are enrolling for counseling/mental health services, this notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and you can get access to this information. At the time you begin services, please review the entire Notice of Privacy Practices carefully, with your service provider.

We may use and share your information in order to:

  1. Treat you which means providing, coordinating, or managing health care and related services by one or more health care providers. An example of this would be referring you to another physician for a second opinion.
  2. Provide information so we can receive payment for your health care services.
  3. Manage the health care quality and business operations of our organization.

You have the right to:

  1. Receive a full copy of our Notice of Privacy Practices.
  2. Ask us to restrict information we share including restriction of information to your insurance carrier for care that you or someone other than the insurance carrier pays for out of pocket.
  3. Ask us to communicate confidentially with you in a way and at a place you prefer.
  4. Inspect and get a copy of medical information used to make decisions about your care.
  5. Ask us to correct information in your medical record if you believe it is not correct.
  6. Find out to whom we have disclosed your medical information.
  7. Complain to us or the Secretary of Health and Human Services without fear of retaliation if you believe your health privacy rights have been violated.

We must:

  1. Maintain the privacy and security of your protected health information as required by law.
  2. Provide you with a notice describing our legal duties and privacy practices – our Notice of Privacy Practices – and follow the terms of our current Notice of Privacy Practices. We may change the Notice of Privacy Practices from time to time. Any change will be made available and will apply to prior information we may have about you.
  3. Notify you if there is a breach of your unsecured protected health information.
    • Under State and Federal laws (including Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), 42 CFR-Part 2 Confidentiality of Alcohol & Drug Abuse Patient Records, and RCW 70.96A Treatment of Alcoholism, Intoxication & Drug Addiction), Akin is required to maintain the security and privacy of your protected health information (PHI) and to train all Akin employees in these safeguards. This includes not talking to anyone outside of the counseling program about your services nor identifying you as having received alcohol or drug treatment.
    • The sale of your PHI is strictly prohibited.
    • We will not use or share your information other than as described in the NPP unless you tell us we can in writing. You may change your mind at any time, as long as you let us know your changes in writing.
    • Akin has a duty to notify you promptly if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your information.
    • Akin is required to follow the duties and privacy practices described in this notice and request your signed Acknowledgement that you received the Notice of Privacy Practices at the time you begin services. You may also request and receive a paper copy to keep, at that time.

This Notice lists some, but not all, of possible uses or disclosures. However, all the ways Akin is permitted to use and disclose your PHI will fall into one or more of the categories below:


Akin puts the highest priority on the security of your information. To prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy, and help ensure the correct use of information, Akin has established appropriate and reasonable security procedures (physical, electronic and administrative) to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.


With the exception of information related to treatment for drug, alcohol, or substance use disorder, which has special legal protections and must be specifically authorized by you to be released, Akin may use or disclose your information in the following ways:

For Treatment. We may use and disclose health/mental health information and share it with other professions who are treating you, such as, your care coordination team, psychiatrist or a home visitor and to Akin internal departments or staff to coordinate your services. For example, we may need to make recommendations such as chemical dependency treatment or coordinate related services, such as child care during sessions.

For Payment/Billing for Your Services. We may use or disclose health/mental health information to bill and get payment from health plans or other payers.

For Health Care Operations to Run Our Organization. We can use and share information about you  to run our counseling/mental health programs and improve your care. For example, training student interns, fulfilling our licensing, accreditation and quality improvement activities, and managing your treatment and services. We may also contact you when necessary, such as calling you with appointment reminders, unless you specifically ask us to communicate with you in another manner.

Other Circumstances Permitted By Law. Akin is allowed to share your information in other ways that contribute to the public good, such as public health, national security, research, and your care in case of emergencies. We are required to meet many conditions in the law before we can share your information for these purposes. Your service provider can give you more details.


Except in the situations as described above, we will use and disclose your health/mental health information only with your written authorization.  Authorizations stay in effect for up to one year, unless you and your service provider agree to limit it to an earlier date or revoke it at any time.   If your record contains information about substance use disorder treatment (drug/alcohol) we can only disclose that with your specific authorization to release it, with limited exceptions, such as medical emergencies, pursuant to a court order, or to report suspected abuse or neglect of a child.


To Ask Us to Limit What We Use or Share About You for treatment, payment or health care operations, and to not do it. You may also restrict disclosures to a health plan or your insurance regarding information that you paid for out-of-pocket. We are not required to agree to a restriction. If we do agree, we will honor your request, unless it is an emergency situation.

You have the right:

  • To Ask Us to Limit What We Use or Share About You for treatment, payment or health care operations, and to not do it. You may also restrict disclosures to a health plan or your insurance regarding information that you paid for out-of-pocket. We are not required to agree to a restriction. If we do agree, we will honor your request, unless it is an emergency situation.
  • To Request Confidential Communications by asking that we communicate with you about your health/mental health care only in a certain location or through a certain method. You do not need to give us a reason. For example, you may request that we contact you only at work or by e-mail. We will accommodate all reasonable requests.
  • To See and Get a Copy of Your Akin Record of PHI, including your billing records. Ask us how to do this and how the process works. We will provide a copy or a summary, usually within 30 days of your request. We may charge you a reasonable cost-based fee.
  • To Ask Us to Correct Your Record of PHI, that you think is incorrect or incomplete. Ask us how to do this. We may say “no” to your request, but we’ll explain why in writing, within 60 days.
  • To Request a List of Disclosures of your PHI we have made, except for purposes of treatment, payment, and Health Care Operations previously described. Your request should not cover more than six years, and should not include dates before April 14, 2003. We can provide one accounting a year for free, but will charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee if you ask for another within 12 months.
  • To Choose Someone to Act For You, such as if you have given someone medical power of attorney or if someone is your legal guardian, that person can exercise your rights and make choices about your health information.
  • To Tell Us Your Choices About What We Share. For example, whether to share information with your family, close friends, or others involved in your counseling/mental health services. Also, if we contact you about fundraising events, you may want to opt-out of fundraising efforts and not contact you again.
  • To File a Complaint if You Feel Your Rights Are Violated. You can complain if you feel we have violated your rights by contacting Akin, at either the local office where you receive services, or (206) 695-3200 and asking for the Privacy Officer or by writing to Akin 12360 Lake City Way NE Seattle WA 98125 You may also file a complaint with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights at 200 Independence Ave S.W. Washington DC, 20201. Akin will not, in any way, restrict services or retaliate against you for filing a complaint.

Akin reserves the right to change the terms of this Notice and to make the revised Notice apply to all information we have, or will receive about you in the future.  We will give you a copy of any new Notice the next time you come in for services.  We will post a copy of the current Notice at each site where we provide services and on the Akin website.

Notice of no surprises act

As of January 1, 2022, families served by CHSW have new billing protections when getting emergency care, non-emergency care from out-of-network providers at in-network facilities, and air ambulance services from out-of-network providers. Through new rules aimed to protect consumers, excessive out-of-pocket costs are restricted, and emergency services must continue to be covered without any prior authorization, and regardless of whether or not a provider or facility is in-network. Learn more: https://www.cms.gov/nosurprises.

Notice of payment for services

Akin will not deny services due to inability to pay and discounts are available based on family size and income.