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At Niagara Children’s Centre, we have policies and procedures in place to ensure the safety, security, privacy and accountability of everyone who works with and interacts with the Centre. Please take some time to review our policies and procedures and be sure to ask Niagara Children’s Centre staff any questions you may have.

Client Rights and Responsibilities

Niagara Children’s Centre is committed to providing children and families with a positive service experience and an environment where expectations are clearly communicated. Our client rights and responsibilities statement was developed to support our commitment and to ensure all clients* have a clear understanding of their rights and responsibilities.

*Client refers to the child, youth or family

While engaging with Niagara Children’s Centre, you have the right to:

  • Receive quality care and service in a clean and safe environment
  • Be involved in decision-making regarding your child’s treatment
  • Receive information and answers to your questions about our services, your child and your child’s individual service plan
  • Give or refuse consent to any proposed care and be advised of the risks and benefits of the therapy being proposed
  • Be treated with courtesy, dignity and respect
  • Privacy and confidentiality of your health information and record of care
  • Receive care in an environment that is inclusive and respectful of diversity
  • Respect your language, culture, religion, gender identity and sexual orientation
  • Receive care in an environment free from abuse, exploitation and retaliation
  • Have your questions and concerns heard without fear of reprisal and have Centre staff provide timely responses to your concerns
  • Be informed of any unanticipated service reductions and contingency plans related to your child’s service

You have the responsibility to:

  • Provide accurate information about your child’s developmental, medical and personal history, including their legal/custody status
  • Provide information on any other services (including private care) your child may be involved in
  • Be actively involved in developing goals and the plan of care for your child and family
  • Be actively involved in treatment sessions and carrying through with home programming
  • Ask questions when you do not understand or require more information
  • Accept the consequences should you refuse treatment or not follow the treatment plan
  • Be courteous and respectful of other clients and staff
  • Notify the Centre in advance if you are unable to attend your appointment
  • Keep your child home if they are ill
  • Ensure the safety and supervision of your child when on Centre premises
  • Ensure the security of your personal property

Reviewed and Updated: February 2022

Commitment to Your Privacy

Collection of Personal Health Information

Niagara Children’s Centre collects personal health information about your child and family. The personal health information we collect may include:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Health and developmental history
  • Records of visits to Niagara Children’s Centre
  • Care your child and family received during visits to Niagara Children’s Centre

Occasionally, we collect personal health information about children and families from other sources if necessary and if permissible by law. We require your consent to collect information from sources outside of your health care team. Any personal health information we collect is contained within a secured electronic system (see below for our guide to privacy and consent for families). We limit collection of information to what is required to provide care to you and your child.

Uses and Disclosures of Personal Health Information

We use and disclose personal health information to:

  • Provide treatment and care for children and families
  • Collect payment for treatment and care
  • Plan, administer and manage our internal operations
  • Conduct risk management activities
  • Conduct quality improvement activities, such as sending satisfaction surveys
  • Educate students at the Centre
  • Conduct research
  • Compile statistics
  • Fundraise to improve our healthcare services and programs
  • Comply with legal and regulatory requirements
  • Fulfill other purposes permitted or required by law
  • Provide care to those receiving services

Your Choices

Parents and caregivers may limit access, make corrections to their children’s personal health records or withdraw consent for some of the above uses and disclosures. To limit access, make corrections, or withdraw consent, please speak with a member of your child’s health team and they will provide information on how to make changes. Please note there are some legal exceptions.

Privacy and Social Media

We take great care to protect the privacy of our clients, visitors and employees, particularly in light of the widespread use of social media (i.e. – Facebook, YouTube, blogs, etc.). If you wish to photograph or video your child while they receive services at the Centre, we ask that you first discuss this with your clinician to ensure that this does not interfere with therapy, and that the privacy of others is protected. Unless consent has been provided, the images may only include your child and you/your family. You must also have permission from your clinician to take any images of her/him.

Personal Health Information and Email

Centre staff will not send you emails that contain your personal health information. If you would like to send an email with personal health information to your clinician(s), please be aware of some of the risks identified by the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario:

  • Emails can be sent inadvertently to the wrong recipient, for example, by mistyping an email address or using the autocomplete feature. Once sent, an email can also be forwarded or changed without the knowledge or permission of the original sender
  • Email is often accessed on portable devices, such as smart phones, tablets and laptops, which are vulnerable to theft and loss
  • Email may also be vulnerable to interception and hacking by unauthorized third parties
  • The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario offers a helpful email fact sheet where you can learn more: Communicating Personal Health Information by Email Fact Sheet

Protecting Your Important Information

We take steps to protect your personal health information from theft, loss, unauthorized access, copying, modification, use, disclosure and disposal. Some methods we use to protect your information include:

  • Conducting audits and investigations to monitor and manage our privacy compliance
  • Taking steps to ensure that everyone who performs services for Niagara Children’s Centre protects your privacy and only uses your personal health information for the purposes you have consented to
  • Adhering to our Guide to Privacy and Consent for Families

For more information about our privacy protection practices, or to raise a concern you have with our practices, please contact:

Kathy Bell
Director of Clinical Services and Privacy Officer
Niagara Children’s Centre
567 Glenridge Avenue
St. Catharines, Ontario, L2T 4C2

Phone: 905-688-1890 ext. 200
Email: privacy@niagarachildrenscentre.com  (Please do not send personal information via email)

If you are dissatisfied with how Niagara Children’s Centre has managed your personal or private information, please contact the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. The commissioner can be reached at:

Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, Ontario, M4W 1A8

Phone: 416-326-3333 or 1-800-387-0073
TDD/TTY: 416-325-7539
Email: info@ipc.on.ca

Complaints & Compliments

Niagara Children’s Centre is committed to providing clients and families with quality care and service based on a family-centred care philosophy and in line with our clients’ rights and responsibilities and our core values.

Niagara Children’s Centre encourages families and clients to provide their open and honest feedback about their experiences with Centre staff and services. We use this feedback to improve our offerings and ensure a consistent level of care and customer satisfaction.

Complaints Process

If you have concerns with the service you have received, we encourage you to first discuss your concern with your child’s therapist or the person involved. If the result is not to your satisfaction, you may direct your concern, verbally or in writing, to the manager of your child’s team. If a satisfactory resolution is not achieved within 10 business days, your concern may be referred to the appropriate department director. If a satisfactory resolution is not achieved within 10 business days of being referred to the department director, your concern may be referred to the Centre’s Executive Director.

Compliments Process

We also welcome any compliments from families and clients recognizing our employees’ efforts. If you would like to recognize an employee, team, or the Centre, please notify the respective manager, or send an email to our general inbox at info@niagarachildrenscentre.com.

Niagara Children’s Centre Employee Code of Conduct

Our Code of Conduct applies to all members of Niagara Children’s Centre including employees, consultants, board members, volunteers, students and contractors. Our Code of Conduct also applies to our clients with the expectation that they will act within the spirit of the code while at Niagara Children’s Centre.

Our Code of Conduct

  • Is a shared commitment to the expected behaviours that flow from our organization’s values
  • Documents the behaviours that are expected of all members of Niagara Children’s Centre
  • Supports the achievement of our mission and goals

Respect Underlies All We Do

To demonstrate our commitment to respecting everyone we work with and serve, we will:

  • Conduct ourselves in an honest, professional, courteous and friendly manner in all matters pertaining to our position and in a manner that projects and maintains the reputation of Niagara Children’s Centre
  • Treat everyone with respect and dignity
  • Contribute to a workplace that is free of harassment, violence, reprisal and discrimination
  • Recognize and demonstrate respect for diversity
  • Protect and keep confidential all personal information of our clients and our colleagues as well as information designated as confidential pertaining to Centre operations – we will access only the information required to complete our work (see our Commitment to Your Privacy policy for more information)
  • Ensure that our grooming, attire, manner and attitude is professional at all times
  • Use and protect the Centre’s buildings, grounds, equipment as we would our own

Families and Children Come First

To demonstrate that families and children come first, we will:

  • Practice in a way that is consistent with the principles of Family-Centred Care
  • Be guided in our decision-making by the needs of children and families
  • Advocate on behalf of children and families
  • Maintain appropriate professional boundaries
  • Ensure that client and family involvement in Centre promotion is voluntary, informed and protects the person’s dignity

Innovation and Excellence are the Cornerstones of Our Achievement

To demonstrate our commitment to innovation and excellence, we will:

  • Be open and responsive to new ideas and actively seek feedback and opportunities for improvement
  • Take personal responsibility for our professional growth and development while actively seeking opportunities to develop new competencies
  • Adhere to established standards of work
  • Demonstrate ethical behaviour
  • Abide by the code of ethics and professional standards as outlined by our professional associations and regulatory bodies
  • Know and follow all pertinent legislation applying to our work at the Centre and be vigilant in ensuring our practices meet regulatory requirements
  • Be guided by best practices
  • Work to ensure a healthy and safe environment for all, and comply with our individual responsibilities for health and safety

Teamwork and Partnerships are Vital

To demonstrate our commitment to teamwork and partnerships, we will:

  • Place the goals of your child’s care team and our partnership with your family above our own individual aspirations
  • Work actively, cooperatively and collaboratively with others and recognize our impact on one another
  • Hold ourselves accountable, take responsibility for our words and actions, and follow through on our commitments
  • Be accessible to others and share information that others require to conduct their work
  • Resolve conflicts directly and in a professional manner, following timely and appropriate channels of communication
  • Practice active listening and seek understanding of other perspectives
  • Recognize and support one another in our roles

Conflict of Interest

To demonstrate our commitment to managing conflicts of interest, we will:

  • Acknowledge, disclose and appropriately address any real, perceived or potential conflict of interest that may interfere with ethical delivery of service to clients and/or Centre business
  • Accept gifts and favours only if they are of nominal value and based on goodwill, rather than on the potential for unfair advantage
  • Ensure that equipment and supplies that are provided to us will be used directly for our work at the Centre
  • Avoid direct soliciting or personal fundraising

Reviewed and Updated February 2022

Accessibility and Customer Service Standards

At Niagara Children’s Centre, we are committed to excellence in serving all clients and their families. To demonstrate our commitment, we provide our services in a way that is accessible to people with disabilities and that meets the highest standards of customer service. Please see below for information about our accessibility and customer service standards.

Our Commitment – Niagara Children’s Centre is committed to excellence in serving all customers, including people with disabilities.

Assistive Devices – We train our staff to ensure they are familiar with various assistive devices used by customers with disabilities while accessing our goods or services.

Communication – We communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability.

Service Animals – We welcome people with disabilities and their service animals. Service animals are welcome on the parts of our premises that are open to the public.

Support Persons – Support persons accompanying people with disabilities are welcome at our facilities. Fees are not charged for support persons.

Notice of Temporary Disruption – In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to services or facilities for clients with disabilities, Niagara Children’s Centre will notify clients promptly. A notice will be posted clearly on our website, at the main entrances to our 567 Glenridge Avenue location, and at any applicable satellite locations. The posted notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, the anticipated length of time for the disruption, and a description of alternative facilities or services, wherever possible.

Training for Staff – Niagara Children’s Centre provides training to all employees, volunteers and anyone else who represents the Centre who interacts with clients, families, the public, or who interacts with third parties on behalf of clients and families.

Training Includes:

  • An overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and the requirements of the Niagara Children’s Centre Customer Service Standard
  • A review of the Centre's plan related to the Customer Service Standard
  • Information about how to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities
  • Information about how to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person
  • Information about how to use personal communication and mobility devices or other assistive devices available on-site or otherwise that may help with providing goods or services to people with disabilities
  • Information about what to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing Niagara Children's Centre goods and services
  • Updates when changes are made to Niagara Children’s Centre’s plans and policies
Accessibility Plan: 

To learn more, please follow the link to Niagara Children's Centre's Accessibility Plan.

Feedback Process:
Clients and families who wish to provide feedback on how Niagara Children’s Centre provides goods and services to people with disabilities can do so verbally, in writing, or by email.

Please send your feedback to:

Kathy Bell
Director of Clinical Services and Privacy Officer
Niagara Children’s Centre
567 Glenridge Avenue
St. Catharines, Ontario, L2T 4C2

Phone: 905-688-1890 ext. 200
Email: kathy.bell@niagarachildrenscentre.com

Please allow up to three business days from the receipt of your message to receive a response. We will address complaints according to our organization’s regular complaint management procedures.

Modifications to this or Other Policies  – We will modify or remove any policy of Niagara Children’s Centre that is deemed to not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. From time to time, Niagara Children’s Centre will review its policies and make appropriate updates or modifications.