We are Strongest Families Institute (“SFI”), a charitable organization providing mental health educational services for children, youth, adults and families and individuals by phone and/or online (the “Services”).
Privacy and confidentially are integral to the Services we provide, and to that end, we do our utmost to protect personal information. “Personal information”, which may include personal health information, means information about an identifiable individual, or information that in combination with other readily available information, may identify an individual.
This Privacy Statement outlines our practices with respect to the collection, use, retention, and disclosure of personal information, whether obtained directly from you through visits to our website, www.strongestfamilies.com (the “Site”), or through use of our Services (whether provided over the phone, through SFI’s online service, or through a mobile connection), or indirectly, such as from referral agents, provincial or territorial health associations and/or health care providers. This Statement also outlines for you the choices you have relating to your personal information, or if you are a parent or guardian of a child receiving Services, relating to the personal information of that child. If at anytime you wish to share information with SFI, please do so using a secure pathway.
By using the Services, or visiting our website, you agree to the provisions of this Statement.
1. Collection and Use of Personal Information
We collect and use personal information that is gathered from clients accessing Services, from referral agents, provincial and territorial health associations, or health care providers which you may authorize to provide information to us, and from individuals who visit our Site:
a) When you use our Services
We require personal information about our clients to help us provide the best intervention and highest level of Services possible. Upon referral to our Services (whether referred by a health care provider, other referral source or self-referred), you will have the option of completing an online questionnaire (intake process) or having us contact you to complete the questionnaire (intake process) via telephone or teleconference, which involves the collection of personal information about you and/or your child (if your child will be enrolled in a program). The specific personal information we collect may vary depending on which of our Services you are accessing, but may include the following:
- Contact information, such as email address, telephone number, address and postal code;
- Other information that helps identify you such as gender, and date of birth;
- Personal health information, such as information about a medical diagnosis (this information is optional and will help in your intervention);
- Demographic information, such as your ethnicity, income level or occupational field, education level or marital status (these optional questions are intended to identify what part of the population you are in, you can choose to provide the information or not).
- We do NOT collect health card information, social insurance numbers, banking or credit card information, or any similar sensitive information.
For SFI online Services, you will be asked to create a username and password to create an SFI account. We recommend you do not share or disclose your SFI username and password to anyone to protect your privacy.
We do not use personal information for any purposes other than to provide you with the Services, and for those purposes identified in this Statement. In addition to using your personal information to provide and maintain our Services, we may also use it to:
- notify you about changes to our Services;
- provide client support to you;
- gather analysis or valuable information so that we can improve our Services;
- monitor the usage of our Services; and
- detect, prevent, and address technical issues.
SFI takes great precaution and care when analyzing or reporting on data, by anonymizing the data, meaning no personal identifying information is disclosed, with anonymized data reporting there is no way to identify a person.
b) When you visit our Site
Certain information (including non-identifying information) is gathered from you when you visit our Site. This includes, but is not limited to, usage information, IP addresses, and login attempts. Some of this information is collected to review in aggregate to identify errors and security problems with our Site. We do not sell this information to third parties or use it to track or identify individuals.
We use "cookies," which are small data files placed and stored on your computer, to help you manage your use of our Site. Our Site uses the following cookies:
- WordPress Multi-Language plugin cookies: These are used for tracking a user’s configured browser language and language preferences for our Site.
- WordPress cookies: These are used to authenticate logged-in users, password authentication, and user verification.
- WordPress Theme cookies: These are used for testing and maintaining our site, and to track user preferences within the context of our site’s WordPress Theme.
- Other cookies: You may accrue cookies from third party service providers while visiting our website.
SFI’s privacy statement and policies only apply to the SFI online services. SFI is not responsible for the privacy policies and practices of any third party websites. We encourage you to read the privacy policies of these other websites to understand their information privacy practices.
2. Disclosure of personal information
When you choose to begin Services with us, before or at the time we collect any personal information from you, we will obtain your consent to collect, use and share your personal information among SFI staff who will be providing Services to you, and assisting in your intervention.
Your personal information will only be shared with those individuals within our organization who need it for their work, and more specifically in order to ensure we can provide Services to you. We may share your personal information:
- with your legal guardian;
- with your SFI clinician, and those SFI staff members involved in your intervention;
- with your other health care providers (e.g., family physician, referring source) outside the organization so that they can follow your progress and assist with ongoing health care and follow-up;
- with other individuals, if you provide consent;
- when we suspect certain types of abuse, or neglect, or safety issues or to reduce a risk of serious bodily harm to a person or to the public;
- to assist professionals who do health research, as long as strict privacy requirements are met; and
- for a legal proceeding, to obey a court order, or to comply with any another legal requirement.
3. Retention of personal information
We will retain your personal information only for as long as is necessary for the purposes set out in this Privacy Statement, or as otherwise required or permitted by law or agreement (for example, we may retain an archived copy of certain information). All personal information collected is kept in our secure information system, after which time the personal identifying information will be securely rand permanently removed from our system.
4. Security safeguards
We use best practices to secure and protect personal information in our custody and control. We understand that some of the personal information we are entrusted with is of a sensitive nature, and the safeguards we employ to protect this information will align with its sensitivity. As outlined above, only those who have a need to access particular personal information in order to provide Services have access to the information. All SFI employees and those providing Services are trained in the importance of privacy in all aspects of their work.
SFI follows generally accepted industry standards to protect personal information submitted to us. We use SSL (secure socket layer) technology to encrypt information both on our website and on our information system, as well as other technological safeguards including security software and firewalls to prevent unauthorized computer access, we employ restricted file access and premises security. All physical documents that include personal information are secured with physical measures that include locked filing cabinets and restricted access to offices.
5. Information and access requests
You have the right to review any of your personal information in our possession, subject to limitations allowed by law. If you wish to obtain access to your own personal information, or if you have any questions or concerns about our personal information handling practices, you may contact us at any time by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We may ask you to provide sufficient information to verify your identity before access to any personal information is granted. Any such identity verification information will only be used for this purpose.
If your personal information is incorrect, you may log into your account and correct it, or you may ask us in writing to correct it.
6. Updates and Changes to our Privacy Statement
SFI reviews all policies and procedures on a regular basis and may from time to time change and update this Privacy Statement. The date upon which this Statement has last been updated is below.
If you have any questions about your personal information or about our privacy practices, please contact our privacy officer at email@example.com.
This Privacy Statement was last updated on [October 25, 2022].