Subject Protection of personal information – Leaflet for parents
Section Clinical services
Adopted December 10, 2007
Reviewed October 14, 2014
As a client of CAP, you must be informed of your rights about the collection, use and disclosure of personal information regarding the services you’ll receive.
The CAP is a mental health organization governed by the various applicable laws. These laws contain rules regarding confidentiality, access to information and the disclosure of information.
- The collection, use and disclosure of personal information is permitted only in connection with the services offered and limited to the specific nature of the services offered.
- The CAP is committed to obtaining any required consent for the personal information of clients.
- All personal information about a client will be kept secure and accessible only to authorized persons.
What is personal information?
Personal information is identifying information about an individual that is either oral or written and recorded in various forms in records maintained. This information identifies an individual or could be used, alone or with others, to identify an individual.
Personal information includes:
- name, gender, age, address, telephone number and marital status;
- any information that describes the individual’s physical or mental health situation including history, condition and services received;
- an assessment of the client’s physical or mental condition
- a treatment plan and any follow-up information.
Collection and Use of Information
CAP collects, uses and disposes of personal information for the primary purpose of providing services to its clients. In the context of providing assessments and interventions or treatments, it will collect information regarding the client’s family situation, social functioning and behaviour, along with information about their health.
This information is used to determine the client’s needs and to provide an opinion on the intervention to be offered. Throughout the course of the intervention, this information will be modified as needed.
Disclosure without consent situations
There are situations in the performance of our duties that require us to disclose or grant access to client information to various individuals without first obtaining the client’s consent.
- During the accreditation process, our records are inspected and our employees are interviewed;
- Accreditation officials are subject to confidentiality;
- Under a multidisciplinary approach, case discussions are held with the aim of improving the service offered and/or for supervision purposes in the context of service quality;
- A client may obtain services from more than one of the programs offered by CAP. In this context, information will be shared between teams to maximize the services offered;
- CAP is also involved in research to advance expertise in the field and information collected by CAP may be part of the data collected in this process. However, no names will be released when collecting information for research purposes;
- The Child Protection Act requires us to disclose any information that comes to our attention that may suggest that a child or youth is being abused or is at risk of abuse. This information may be in the form of a comment received or the finding of a suspicious injury. In such a situation, we notify the appropriate agencies. If an investigation ensues, we may need to disclose additional information.
- CAP professionals may also be required to disclose information without consent in cases of imminent danger to the client or other person, if a judge orders the disclosure of information, or if abuse has been committed by a member of a professional college.
Protection of personal information
In order to protect confidentiality, the CAP has implemented certain measures to safeguard the personal information of its clients:
All CAP employees are required to take an oath of confidentiality upon employment and prior to having access to any client information. Access to client information is limited according to their responsibilities;
- All client information that is recorded on paper is securely stored;
- All electronically stored information is either password protected or kept in a secure location accessible only to authorized persons;
- Our customers’ personal information is only sent on paper by mail or courier in sealed envelopes;
- All information sent electronically is subject to passwords and contains a confidentiality clause. This method is used minimally;
- No client information is sent by fax;
- All CAP staff have been trained in the collection, use and disclosure of client information.
Retention and destruction of personal information
Client information must be maintained for a period of time to allow us to answer any questions the client may have about the services received and to meet our accountability obligations under the various laws. According to the guidelines, we are required to maintain client files for prescribed periods of time after the file is closed.
Hard copies of records are destroyed by shredding. Electronic information is removed from electronic storage.
If you have any concerns regarding the protection of your personal information and the professional in charge of your file is unable to answer your questions, please contact:
Director of clinical services
Le CAP – Centre d’appui et de prévention
Suite 300, 150 Montreal Road
Ottawa, Ontario, K1L 8H2
The CAP wants to ensure you get as much as possible out of the services we offer. Should you have any concerns about the services you receive, we encourage you to:
- Discuss your concerns with your assigned professional;
- Consult the Director of clinical services if you’re not satisfied with answers you receive or you don’t feel comfortable discussing the matter with your assigned professional in confidential fashion.