About the Child, Adolescent, and Family Centre of Ottawa
Client confidentiality and the protection of privacy is extremely important to the Child, Adolescent, and Family Centre of Ottawa (CAFCO).
CAFCO is a multi-disciplinary group of professionals that includes psychologists, occupational therapists, pediatricians, psychometrists, psychotherapists, social workers, and speech-language pathologists, as well as administrative staff. As a health information custodian that collects and uses personal health information, CAFCO is subject to the Ontario Personal Health Information Protection Act. This is in addition to the privacy and confidentiality obligations established by the various self-regulatory bodies that apply to our professionals.
The following describes how we may collect, use and disclose information about clients as well visitors to our website.
What is personal health information?
Personal health information includes information about an individual that:
- relates to the physical or mental health or health history of an individual;
- is about the provision of health care to an individual;
- relates to payment for or eligibility for health care; and,
- consists of non-health information that is included in a client’s file, such as contact information (e.g., address, telephone number).
Collection, use and disclosure of personal health information
We collect, use and disclose personal health information only as is reasonably necessary to provide services to our clients. For example, we collect information about a client’s health history, including their family history, physical condition and function and social situation so that we can refer them to the appropriate professional, assess their physical or mental health needs, develop recommendations for treatment, and provide mental or physical health services chosen by the client. We also collect and use personal health information for other related purposes, such as contacting clients, scheduling appointments and processing payment for services.
In almost all circumstances personal health information is collected, used or disclosed only with the informed, express consent of clients. It would be rare for us to collect, use or disclose personal information without a client’s express consent, but this might occur in the following cases:
- If you are in danger of seriously hurting yourself
- If there is a danger that you will hurt someone else
- Child protection: This applies to any child who is, or appears to be, under the age of 16 years. It also applies to children already under a child protection order who are 16 and 17 years old.
- If we have reasonable grounds to suspect a child is in need of protection, in other words, has been, is or is in danger of physical, sexual, emotional or mental abuse or neglect, we will have to inform the appropriate authorities.
- If a known sexual perpetrator is in close contact with a child, we are required to report this individual to the appropriate authorities.
- If a case goes to court, your records may be court ordered.
- If a health care provider in Ontario has sexually abused you, it will be reported to their regulatory college.
- To allow the College of Psychologists of Ontario (CPO) to review psychological files during an audit as part of their Quality Assurance program.
- Signed consent by you is required for communication with other professionals and for receiving or providing information related to your therapy.
We will never use or share your personal health information for marketing purposes.
Visitors to our website
Our web server automatically logs anonymous data about visitors to our website, including internet protocol addresses, date, time and the pages viewed. We use this information to better understand how people interact with our site in order to improve it. We do not know the identity of anyone who visits our site.
Protection of personal health information
We have implemented reasonable administrative, technical and physical security controls in order to protect your personal health information from unauthorized access, including the following measures:
- Information in paper format is either under direct supervision or secured in a locked or restricted area at all times.
- Electronic hardware is either under supervision or secured in a locked or restricted area at all times. Computers are encrypted and password-protected.
- All CAFCO staff are trained to collect, use and disclose personal information only as necessary to fulfil their duties and in accordance with this Privacy Notice.
Retention and destruction of personal information
We are required to retain your information for minimum time periods so that we can answer any questions you might have about the services provided, as well as to meet obligations under professional regulatory bodies.
For example, our psychologists are required to retain client files for a period of 10 years after the child turns 18.
Personal health information that is no longer required is permanently destroyed or returned to the client. Electronic information is destroyed through permanent deletion, while paper files are shredded, both in accordance with recognized industry standards.
Access to your personal health information and contact information
You have a general right to access the personal health information that we have about you, as well as to request that we correct any errors in that information. If you require access to your personal health information, or have any questions or concerns about our privacy practices, please contact our privacy officer by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 613-567-0777.
If you have a question
We will attempt to answer any questions or concerns that you might have. If you wish to make a formal complaint about our privacy policies, you may make it in writing to your provider. We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint, ensure that it is investigated promptly, and we will provide you with a formal written decision with reasons.
We would ask that you first discuss any concerns with us. However, if we cannot satisfy your concerns, you are entitled to complain to our regulatory body:
The College of Psychologists of Ontario
110 Eglinton Avenue West, Suite 500
Toronto, ON M4R 1A3
Tel.: (800) 489-8388
Fax.: (416) 961-2635
This policy is made under the Personal Health Information Protection Act. It is a complex Act and provides some additional exceptions to the privacy principles that are too detailed to set out here. There are some rare exceptions to the commitments set out above.
For more general inquiries, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario oversees the administration of the privacy legislation in the private sector. The Commissioner also acts as a kind of ombudsman for privacy disputes.
The Information and Privacy Commissioner can be reached at:
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, ON M4W 1A8
Tel.: (416) 326-3333
Fax.: (416) 325-9195