Children’s Centre Thunder Bay is committed to protecting your privacy through confidentiality and informed consent.
What is Consent?
In order to proceed with service, a client or parent/guardian must sign a “Consent for Service” form. “Consent for Service” is a formal agreement to work with the Children’s Centre so that we can provide you service.
The Child, Youth, and Family Services Act (2017) states that a child of any age is able to provide consent as long as they possess the capacity to do so. Capacity to consent is based on the following: 1) The child or youth understands fully what they are consenting to, and 2) The child or youth can fully understand the possible consequences of giving, withholding or withdrawing consent. Based on this legislation, the Children’s Centre Thunder Bay no longer uses the age of a child when obtaining informed consent, but makes consent decisions based on the capacity of the child or youth.
What is Confidentiality?
Confidentiality means we will protect your information and not share it without your permission. There are two ways that we may share information about you with others.
The first and most common situation is when you give us your consent to share information by signing an “Authorization for Release of Information”. This allows us to share information verbally with others or provide others with clinical reports.
The second way is under the law where we are required to break confidentiality and share information in the following situations:
- With a family member or other professional, such as police, if we believe there is a risk of suicide or physical harm to someone else
- To a child welfare organization if child abuse or neglect is suspected
- If ordered by the courts to release information or receive a police request to help find a missing person
- To the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care if there is suspicion of someone being mistreated in a long-term care facility
- With the provincial government, if required
- To the respective college of a regulated health professional who is suspected of sexual abuse
Please ask us if you have questions about your consent or confidentiality.
How Do We Store Your Personal Health Information?
All of the information we collect from you and the work we do together is kept in an electronic clinical record. We maintain confidentiality and privacy of all your information.
We protect your Personal Health Information by keeping it locked using electronic security passwords. When you are finished service and no longer a client of our Centre, we will securely maintain your file as required by law.
As a client, the information in your file is yours and we are responsible to look after it.
We have many policies that guide how this works. You should know you have the right to:
- Access and review information about you, but not of other people.
- Correct any information in your file that is shown to be wrong or inaccurate
- Withdraw, amend or limit consent to share any of your information
- Be notified if your confidentiality is breached or information in your file is lost
For ease of communication, we will use email to send information to you or other health service providers. However, we will only do so with your expressed consent. If you do not give permission, we will not use email.
Our Centre complies with the Personal Health Information Act (PHIPA), the Child, Youth and Family Services Act (CYFSA), and the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA).
If you have any concerns about your information, please ask your worker and program manager or contact the Children’s Centre privacy officer, Dr. Fred Schmidt, at 807-343-5016.