NOTICE OF INFORMATION PRACTICES

This Notice of Information Practices describes how our Simcoe Muskoka Child, Youth and Family Services(SMCYFS) collects, uses, discloses and retains personal information in the Child Protection Information Network (CPIN), the provincial information management system.

CHILD WELFARE MANDATE

Children’s Aid Societies (CASs) have the exclusive mandate to provide child protection services in Ontario. CASs work to promote the best interests, protection, and well-being of children. Every CAS in the province is responsible for a specific jurisdiction and at times CASs work together to fulfill their mission.

WHAT IS CPIN?

CPIN is a provincial information management system used by CASs to store information needed to deliver child protection services under section 15(3) of the Child and Family Services Act.

CPIN contains information about families and children who receive child protection services. It also contains information about caregivers and those who seek to provide care to children in need, such as foster parents, adoptive parents and members of a child’s extended family.

INFORMATION WE COLLECT and HOW WE USE IT

We collect the information we need to carry out our mission. Each CAS has a written policy describing the purpose and type of personal information gathered.

In general, CASs use the information collected to carry out our functions under the Child and Family Services Act including:

 investigating allegations that children may be in need of protection and, where necessary, protecting children;

 providing services to families for protecting children or for the prevention of

circumstances requiring the protection of children;

 providing care for children in our care or under our supervision;

 assessing and approving homes for children who can’t remain with their families; and

 placing children for adoption

In child protection cases, we collect information about children who may be at risk of harm or in need of our services. This includes the personal information of the child and important people in the child’s life. We collect this information directly from our clients or indirectly from members of the community or other service providers.

We also collect personal information about caregivers and those who seek to provide care to children in need, such as foster parents, adoptive parents and members of a child’s extended family. We collect most of this information directly from those individuals and only with their consent.

WHO WE DISCLOSE INFORMATION TO

Other Children’s Aid Societies

CASs share information with each other to better protect children. Information given to one CAS may be provided to other CASs when the other CAS needs to know the information to provide child protection services under section 15(3) of the Child and Family Services Act.

CPIN is designed to permit enhanced access to information between CASs. CPIN-using CASs disclose information to one another within the system. Records stored in CPIN are available to staff in CPIN using CASs based on the role of the staff in the provision of child protection services.

Service Providers

Service providers are persons or organizations who assist CASs to deliver services to children and

families. We share only the information that is necessary for service providers to deliver and administer these services.

Other Third Parties

Sometimes we receive requests for information from third parties such as police, government agencies, and people involved in court cases with our clients. We only give information to third parties if:

 We have the client’s consent;

 There is a court order or a search warrant requiring disclosure; or

 We are legally permitted or required to provide the information.

HOW WE RETAIN AND DISPOSE OF INFORMATION

In CPIN information is stored in person, case and provider records that are designed to hold the unique information for each service. Person, case and provider records are linked when appropriate thereby creating an overall picture of a client’s or caregiver’s child protection services.

We keep the information collected because it might be necessary for future cases. We also keep the information because former clients may ask to see their records. There are some records that must be disposed of after certain time periods according to the law. Each CAS has a written policy on secure destruction of records.

ACCESS AND CORRECTION

Clients and caregivers can request access to information about themselves. They can also request that information be corrected if it is inaccurate, or can indicate a disagreement with information. Requests for correction of records or disagreement with information are documented, for both open and closed cases, using a contact log. Each CAS has a policy to address both types of requests. Each CAS is responsible for providing and correcting the records it owns according to its policies.

Clients and caregivers can go to any CAS from which they have received service to access their information from any CAS that is using CPIN. That CAS will coordinate the response to the request for all CPIN CASs. If the client or caregiver was served by a CAS that does not use CPIN, the client will be given directions on how to separately request access to those records.

DISCLOSURE TO THIRD PARTIES A CPIN CAS is responsible for the disclosure of records that it owns. The requestor needs to contact each CPIN using CAS directly to request disclosure of the information owned by that CAS.

ACCOUNTABILITY

Each CAS using CPIN has a Local CPIN Information Officer. If you have any questions or concerns about information collection, access and sharing, please contact worker. You can also contact our Local CPIN Information Officer.When you meet with a CAS worker they will review your personal information with you to ensure the accuracy of it. LOCAL CPIN INFORMATION OFFICER