Notice of Information Practices
This Notice of Information Practices describes how the Children’s Aid Society 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 (CAS) have the exclusive mandate to provide child protection services in Ontario. CAS works 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 CAS’ work together to fulfill their mission.
What Is CPIN?
CPIN is a provincial information management system used by CAS to store information needed to deliver child protection services, pursuant to sections 281 and 311 of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017.
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, CAS’ use the information collected to carry out our functions under the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017 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 and under our supervision;
- assessing and approving homes for children who can’t remain with their families; and
- placing children for adoption
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 those directly involved 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 members of a child’s extended family, foster parents and adoptive parents. 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
CAS’ share information with each other to better protect children. Information given to one CAS may be provided to another CAS when the other CAS needs to know the information to provide child protection services under section 292 of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017.
CPIN is designed to permit enhanced access to information between CAS’. Societies disclose information to one another within the system. Records stored within CPIN are available to staff according to their role in the provision of child protection services.
Service Providers are persons or organizations who assist CAS 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 the 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 in the future for child protection services. 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.
When you meet with a CAS worker they will review your personal information with you to ensure the accuracy of it.
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 request their information from any CAS where they received service.
Disclosure To Third Parties
CAS’ are responsible for the disclosure of personal information subject to Part X of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act.
CAS’ provide field placement practicums for social workers, child and youth workers and other future child welfare professionals in partnership with educational institutions.
Each CAS has a local CPIN Information Officer and a Privacy Designate. If you have any questions or concerns about information collection, access and sharing, please contact your worker. You can also contact the Society’s CPIN Information Officer or the Privacy Designate.
You have the right to file a complaint with the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario:
Cpin Information Officer Facs Elgin/Oxford CPIN Coordinator – Tammy Boyer
Privacy Designate – Adri Hewitt
Agency Contact – firstname.lastname@example.org