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Privacy and Confidentiality

FSEAP Vancouver (a Division of Family Services of Greater Vancouver - FSGV) handles information in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Canada), and the Personal Information Protection Act (British Columbia). Information about the substance of these acts is made available at FSGV branch offices. Questions and/or complaints regarding privacy and confidentiality as they directly pertain to the programs and services delivered by FSGV may be directed to the agency’s Privacy Officer; in addition, agency staff will advise clients of their rights with regard to privacy and confidentiality.

All participants in programs operated by Family Services of Greater Vancouver 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. FSGV 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).

On occasion, clients may request that agency staff share information with other persons or organizations. Such requests should be referred to the clinical manager in order to make an appropriate decision. In all such cases, written consent of the client is required.
Family Services of Greater Vancouver regularly reviews its privacy practices, and updates this policy as needed.

Contact Information for the Family Services of Greater Vancouver Privacy Officer

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

Privacy Officer
Family Services of Greater Vancouver
201 – 1638 East Broadway
Vancouver BC V5N 1W1
Phone: 604-731-4951 Fax: 604-733-7005

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.privcom.gc.ca or the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia at www.oipc.bc.ca

Limits to Confidentiality

1) Children in Need of Protection – Family Services of Greater Vancouver is required under the Child, Family, and Community Service Act of British Columbia to report instances where it has reasonable cause to believe a child is in need of protection to the appropriate authorities. Whenever possible, parents are to be advised of the substance of the complaint, unless doing so would clearly create danger to a child or children.

2) Duty to Warn – Potentially Suicidal/Homicidal/Dangerous Clients – Family Services of Greater Vancouver has a duty to protect the client from him/herself or to protect others if the client is perceived as a threat. In the case of a suicide threat, a medical referral or hospitalization may be instituted. If the client is considered to be dangerous to others, the police and/or a threatened person(s) may be informed. The CEO or designate must be informed of such an incidence by way of unusual occurrence reporting.

3) Legal Proceedings – Staff members shall give evidence in court on a client-related matter only in response to a duly served subpoena, and upon express order of a court or tribunal of competent jurisdiction.

Code of Ethics

  • We shall maintain the best interests of our clients as the primary professional obligation.
  • We shall put personal safety and freedom from harm first in our decisions regarding what constitute the best interests of our clients.
  • We shall respect the intrinsic worth of all persons we serve in our professional relationships with them.
  • We shall act in ways that acknowledge both diversity and oppression, and promote the reduction of systemic and institutional barriers to the well being of our clients.
  • We shall conduct our professional duties and obligations with integrity and objectivity.
  • We shall ensure that our professional, personal, and occupational interests do not affect our relationships with clients, our judgement, or our competence.
  • We shall protect the confidentiality of all professionally acquired information. We shall disclose such information only when required or allowed by law to do so, or when clients have consented disclosure.
  • We shall promote services, programs, and the agency in ways that are consistent with this Code of Ethics, with agency policy, and with standards of practice outlined by the various accreditation and registration boards that govern our professions.
  • We shall promote excellence and maintain competence in the delivery of services and in our professions.
  • We shall advocate for change in the best interests of our clients and for the overall benefit of society.
    This code is adapted from the Code of Ethics for the Board of Registration for Social Workers in British Columbia and has been revised.

Grievance Process

FSEAP Vancouver respects the right of all clients to be heard, informed and involved in decision making in matters affecting them. In keeping with this, all participants in FSEAP Vancouver's services, have the right to grieve or complain about any program decisions or actions impacting on their lives or the lives of their children.
A statement of grievance or complaint may be taken to any of the following:

 •the person with whom they have the complaint, or
 •a staff member with whom they feel comfortable, or
 •the clinical/program manager, or
 •the program’s vice president.
A response will be given within 30 working days.
Appeals may be made in writing to the Chief Executive Officer.
Individuals may utilize the support of advocates or other assistance during this process.
The filing of a grievance will not result in retaliation or barriers to service.

fseap Vancouver
A Division of Family Services of Greater Vancouver
T 800.667.0993
T 604.732.6933
F 604.739.4353

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