Family & Children’s Services of Guelph and Wellington County (FCSGW) is responsible for child protection in Guelph and Wellington. We collect, use and store information about the families we work with. Starting January 2020, an Ontario law protects your personal information relating to the services you receive from our agency. Here’s what you need to know about the information we collect, and how we use it.
Information on record
We keep records about you and your family
Our records may include personal information about you, your children and other members of your family. The information in our records may include information such as your date of birth and contact information. It may also include details about your physical and mental health, employment history, court documents, reports and other pieces of information that help us to provide you with service.
Your information is shared securely
The information we collect, use and share is in accordance with Ontario law. Sometimes the information is used to provide care for children who are in foster care or kin care, or to assess and approve homes for children who cannot remain with their families. Information may be securely shared with another CAS to provide child protection services.
Service providers receive limited information
Outside of the CAS network, we are careful with how information gets shared. Sometimes service providers receive information from us that is necessary for them to deliver services.
Your right to make your own
When you don’t get to decide
As a child protection agency, FCSGW does not need your consent to collect, use or share information about you when we are working to assess, eliminate or reduce a risk of serious harm. Sometimes police, government agencies and people involved in court cases with our clients ask us for information. If we are legally permitted or required to provide the information, we do not need your consent.
Sometimes, you get to decide
In situations where we are required to ask for your permission to collect, use or share information about you, you may choose to say no. If you say yes, you may change your mind at any time. Once you say no, we will no longer collect, use or share your information when there is an option.
When others can act as substitute decision-makers
When there is a right to consent, you may make your own decisions if you are “capable,” no matter how old you are. You may be capable of making some information privacy decisions and not others. If you are not capable, a substitute decision-maker will make your information decisions for you. A person with custody of a child may make information and privacy decisions in some cases, unless the capable child says otherwise.
Your right to confidentiality and access
Our commitment to confidentiality
We are required by law to keep your personal information private and secure. We have to protect your information from loss or theft and make sure no one looks at it or does something with your information if they are not allowed. If there is a privacy breach, we are required by law to tell you.
How we retain information
We keep most of the information collected because it might be necessary for future cases, and because former service recipients may ask to see their records.
How to access your information on file
You have the right to access the personal information we hold about you that relates to a service provided to you. If you need a copy of your service records, please contact us : Information & Disclosure Worker, Family & Children’s Services of Guelph and Wellington County, Box 1088, 275 Eramosa Road, Guelph, ON N1H 6N3; phone: 1-800-265-8300 or 519-824-2410; email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can complete the Access and Disclosure Request Form to submit to the Information & Disclosure worker.
How to correct your information on file
We try to keep your personal information accurate and, when we are currently involved with you, up-to-date. If you disagree with what is recorded, we will assess your concerns. If we agree that the information is incorrect, we will make a note of the correction in the record. There may be times when we disagree on facts or about our professional assessment related to you and your family. If this is the case, we may not change the information, but we will ask you to write a statement of disagreement, and we will add it to your record.
For more information or complaints
Your case worker is here to help. Please contact them with any questions or concerns you might have about our information practices. You can also reach our Privacy Designate by email, phone or in writing: Information & Disclosure Worker, Family & Children’s Services of Guelph and Wellington County, Box 1088, 275 Eramosa Road, Guelph, ON N1H 6N3; phone: 1-800-265-8300; email email@example.com.
The above information is explained in more detail in the Notice of Information Practices document.