Privacy and Confidentiality Policy

Westcoast Family Centres Society (WFCS) handles information in accordance with the Personal Information and Protection of Electronic Documents Act (Canada) and the Personal Information Protection Act (British Columbia), Child, Family, and Community Service Act (BC). WFCS is an accredited agency with detailed policies, procedures and practices that govern privacy and confidentiality matters, as well as other areas of operation.

Clients

All participants in programs operated by WFC and all recipients of agency services (hereafter referred to as clients) can expect that all personal information provided to the agency will be treated with the utmost confidentiality. WFC will release personal information concerning a client only with the written permission of that client (unless ordered by a court or tribunal of competent jurisdiction).

Personal information about WFCS clients is only released with the consent of the client, upon the completion of a Consent to Share Information form, except in the following circumstances, which are explained at intake:

  • Society personnel have a duty to report: suspicion of child abuse or neglect; and suspicion that a client poses a risk of harm to him/herself or to someone else.

  • WFCS will release information if directed to do so by the courts.

  • The referring authority has access to all details of service provision, including all elements of a client’s record.

  • Information may be shared with the direct service provider’s supervisor and members of the clinical team.

  • Clients’ case records may be reviewed for quality assurance purposes.

This policy is varied with respect to programs operated under contracts where services to clients are mandated under the provisions of the Child, Family, and Community Service Act of British Columbia. In these situations, agency staff will strive to adhere to this Privacy Policy; when information is to be shared with personnel of the mandating agency, WFC staff will strive to engage the client(s) involved in a co-operative manner.

On occasion, mandated clients may request that agency staff share information with other persons or organizations. Because of the mandate of these programs related to the Child, Family, and Community Service Act of British Columbia, such requests should be referred to the supervising social worker in order to make an appropriate decision. In all such cases, written consent of the client is required.

Clients have access to their records generated by WFCS except in cases when such access is judged to be detrimental to the safety of others. Decisions to refuse access are reviewed and approved by the WFCS Chief Executive Officer.

Records generated by third party or collateral service providers are not released to the client. Instead, the client is notified of their inclusion in their record, and assisted in obtaining them from the professionals or organizations that created them.

Stakeholders

We collect, use and disclose personal information only for purposes that a reasonable person would consider appropriate in light of the circumstances. We routinely offer individuals we deal with the opportunity to opt not to have their information shared for purposes beyond those for which it was explicitly collected.

WFC do not sell or trade our mailing lists. The information you provide will be used to keep you informed and up to date with WFC activities including programs, services, special events, funding needs, opportunities to volunteer or to give, open houses, and other events. If at any time you wish to be removed from any of these lists, contact us.

Website

We use password protocols and encryption software to protect personal and other information we receive when a product or service is requested and/or paid for online. Our software is routinely updated to maximize protection of such information.

WFC website visitors who are redirected to external links will be subject to the terms, conditions and privacy policy of that website outside of WFC. In addition, WFC is not responsible for the content, materials and practices of other institution or third party.

Storage and Disposal of Information

We have detailed protocols and procedures dealing with security of information. All program sites maintain security systems to protect sensitive information. Confidential information that is no longer needed is shredded or disposed of securely. Case records of mandated clients are the property of the referring authority and are stored securely by WFCS.

Privacy Officer

For questions, concerns, or complaints relating to WFCS’s privacy policy on the treatment of personal information, please contact:

Privacy Officer
Westcoast Family Centres Society
101-2780 E. Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5M 1Y8
Phone: 604.254.5457 ext 243 |  F 604.254.6169

Further information on privacy and individual rights in regard to personal information may be found on the website of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada at www.priv.gc.ca or the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia at www.oipc.bc.ca