A collateral contact is a source of information that is knowledgeable about the client's situation and serves to support or corroborate information provided by a client. Communication with a collateral contact may be made in person, over the telephone, or by mail.

A collateral contact may include past or present landlords, employers, school officials, neighbors, day care providers, health care providers, or other persons outside the household.

All contact with others regarding a client can only be completed with a release of information provided by the client, giving permission to do so, per the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

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