Frequently Asked Questions

What information does CASLM collect?

We collect personal information when involved with service users in relation to child welfare matters. Information may be collected from you as well as from other sources who may have knowledge of you and/or the circumstances leading to involvement. 

Why does CASLM need this information?

The CYFSA mandates the CASLM to protect children.  We are required to receive and respond to all reports of child maltreatment, neglect and abuse.  We collect information in the course of delivering this service.

For further details about the information we collect, refer to: What Information Do We Collect About You?

How does CASLM protect my information?

The CASLM continually strives to protect the records that we hold.  Some of the ways we do this include:

  • Educating our staff, care providers, volunteers and students on the importance of privacy and their obligation to follow practices and procedures that support confidentiality;
  • Equipping staff, care providers, volunteers and students with photo identification to be used to validate their representation of their role with the CASLM;
  • Restricted access to our administrative office space;
  • Established policy and procedures related to records management;
  • Established security measures for storage of all paper records; and
  • Established security measures for all electronic records.

Does CASLM share my information with anyone?

Sharing your personal child welfare information with another individual or organization is referred to as disclosure.  The CYFSA, and related regulations define when and to whom your information may be shared both with and without your consent. 

For further information related to disclosure refer to Do We Share Your Information with Anyone?

What systems do you share and with whom?

Within Ontario, beginning in June of 2014, the Ministry of Community and Social Services launched a five-year project for a provincially phased deployment of a shared child welfare data management system known as the Child Protection Information Network (CPIN).  This system was designed to promote the protection of children and youth as it facilitates seamless access by child welfare agencies to an individual’s child welfare history across the province. This is used when agencies are responding to current reports of maltreatment, neglect or abuse. 

Do I have to participate in research and surveys?

The CASLM is required to collect and report congregate data to regulatory bodies such as the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services and the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies.  Additionally, on occasion the CASLM will also participate in research, subject to codes of ethics and regulations. Typically, in both circumstances, the data that is collected is non-identifying.  Informed consent will be sought whenever a research project seeks to include identifying information (in which case, participation is voluntary). 

On occasion the Society will seek voluntary feedback from service user through the use of survey tools.  Again, participation in such initiatives is voluntary.   

Will CASLM disclose my personal information to other organizations or to my employer?

Unless the disclosure is permitted or required by law, the CASLM requires your written permission or a court order to disclose your personal child welfare information to any organization or person. 

Where is my personal information stored and for how long?

It is the practice of the CASLM to retain records of child welfare involvement permanently.  Our paper records are securely stored on site or through a purchased service. 

How do I access or request a copy of my personal information?

As detailed in Part X (10) of the CYFSA, you have the right to access your personal information and CASLM has an obligation to make it available to you with limited exceptions.  If you are actively involved in services, you may ask your Child Protection Worker for information about your record.  If you are uncomfortable initiating such a conversation or if you are former recipient of services, please refer to How do I Access My Personal Information for directions on alternate ways to seek access through submission of a written request.

Can my family see my personal information?

Your personal information will be protected.  Your family will only be contacted with your consent except in a few circumstances as permitted by law or by treaty agreement (subject to the requirements and restriction in the Regulations).   For further information related to permissible disclosure without consent, refer to Do We Share Your Information with Anyone?

Will my family or friends be able to get information about me over the phone?

Any information provided to your family and friends will be restricted to circumstances that meet the criteria for permissible disclosure. On the rare occasion that your information is shared with a family or friend, steps will be taken to confirm the connection of the individual to you and to verify their identity at the first point of engagement.

Can all CASLM staff access my personal information?

All staff have taken an oath of confidentiality at the time of hire with which they are expected to comply. Authorization to access electronic records is held by designated CASLM staff as a requirement to support their work.  All staff of the CASLM are bound by policies and practices related to privacy and confidentiality and are aware of code of conduct expectations. CASLM staff are permitted to access only those child welfare records involving persons with whom they are involved in the provision of direct service or in cases where they have a direct or indirect role in supporting the delivery of organizational services. 

Can my lawyer access my personal information?

A lawyer who is under retainer may act as your agent and has the same rights to access as you do.

Can a third party obtain information from my personal record?

If you are consenting to the disclosure of information to a third party, please have that party send their written request along with your signed authorization to our disclosure unit. 

Under certain circumstances, disclosure of your personal information may be provided without your consent.  For more information on this, refer to Do We Share Your Information with Anyone?

What if I have concerns about my privacy?

You may contact our Privacy Officer to discuss your concerns, or the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, which has oversight with respect to information practices in child welfare. Refer to our Privacy page for contact information. 

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