All client-related information is confidential. All Centre staff, consultants, students, and volunteers sign a Confidentiality Agreement indicating that information they receive about you, your child, and/or family will be kept confidential and private. The ECC Service Providers who need to know and/or who are part of service planning /delivery have the authority to review a client record (e.g. service providers, supervisors, management).
Client information will only be released or sought with the permission of a duly authorized legal guardian, parent, or a youth over the age of 16. This permission is usually in a written format. Verbal permission may be acceptable under some circumstances (e.g. emergency, hospitalization).
Sometimes it is helpful to receive information from another service provider with whom you, your child or family members has been previously or are currently involved. Information from another provider is requested only if this information is relevant to the current situation and the purpose for requesting the information has been clearly explained.
Exceptions to Confidentiality
There are exceptions to Confidentiality:
We are required to release a client record or provide information if there is a subpoena or court order. If there a significant extenuating circumstances (e.g. a child or person is at serious risk of harm as a result of the information being disclosed) the court may consider an exception.
In cases of suspected child abuse, where there is suspicion or risk of child abuse, or when a person is at risk of serious harm to self or others, we are required to provide identify information about the concern and person(s) to the proper authority. We may also call Emergency Services.
Confidentiality While Receiving Services in a Group or Workshop
Some of our services are provided in a group or workshop format. Confidentiality is discussed within the group meeting and we ask those participating in a group to sign a confidentiality agreement related to the group members and any identifying information that may be shared as a result of the group process.
Evaluation is a part of The Centre’s Continuous Quality Improvement and Evaluation staff may review the client record and compile information. We do not permit the use of identifying information for the purpose of reports, newsletters, presentations, etc. Only aggregate information is gathered in order to determine outcomes, trends, etc. If you do not wish to have your client record available for evaluation, please let your Service Provider or Service Coordinator know.
The Centre provides training opportunities for students and interns from universities and colleges with whom we have formal agreements for education, training and confidentiality. From time to time, staff may also ask to observe each other’s work for the purpose of professional development or to receive another opinion. Client interviews will not be observed or recorded unless Informed Consent is provided by the client.
Review by External Bodies
Every four years, The ECC is accredited by a qualified external organization (Canadian Council on Accreditation) and its authorized representatives. As part of the accreditation process, audits of client records and some client interviews are conducted to ensure that the Centre is providing high quality services and meeting the requirements of various standards. Your child’s and/or family record maintained by The ECC may be reviewed during this audit. Please let your Service Provider or Service Coordinator know if you do not wish to have your record reviewed.
As a Government funded and City of Toronto funded organization, we may also from time to time be reviewed by our funders. Client identifying information or client records will NOT released unless there is explicit and informed consent by a duly authorized person.
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