Consent to Services
At Addiction Services for York Region (ASYR), counsellors and clients work together to create new understanding and awareness about substance use and gambling that will support change. Below, we have set out a description of the terms and conditions upon which services are provided. If you have any questions about the policies and procedures described below, please feel free to discuss them with any member of our staff.
If your appointment time is not convenient for you, please ask your counsellor about alternative arrangements. We strongly encourage you to keep your scheduled appointment to ensure continuity of service. According to ASYR policy, clients who do not attend 2 consecutive appointments without calling may be asked to go back onto the waitlist. Clients who do not attend 3 appointments without calling (regardless of order) may be asked to go back onto the waitlist. Clients who cancel or reschedule 3 consecutive appointments with less than 24 hour notice may also be asked to go back onto the waitlist. Your counsellor will outline the attendance and participation expectations of your designated program.
Transition and Discharge Criteria
The Intake department will refer you to the appropriate program within ASYR. Some programs may have a waiting list. Many programs will allow 8 to 12 counselling sessions. You may decide that the program’s service is no longer needed or desired, and exit the program. You may also decide, in collaboration with the counsellor, that you have successfully completed the program. In addition, you and your counsellor may decide that upon completion of one program you may be eligible to be transferred to another program within ASYR or referred to an external agency.
In the first two to three sessions you and your counsellor will collaborate in developing a clear treatment plan. It is important to know that your treatment plan will be based on what you want to achieve in life and your goals around the addictive behaviour. Once you and your counsellor agree on the treatment plan, it will stay in your file and can be referred to and modified as necessary.
The information that you discuss with your counsellor(s) will be treated as confidential, and will not be disclosed outside the professional relationship without your informed consent. However, while ASYR staff will make every reasonable effort to safeguard your privacy and confidentiality, it may not be possible to maintain absolute confidentiality in all circumstances. ASYR may disclose your information in any circumstances in which it is legally or ethically compelled to do so, including the following:
- If you present as a danger to yourself or others, including ASYR staff.
- If there are reasonable grounds of suspicion of child abuse under the Child and Family Services Act, or, if you are under 16 years of age, that you have been the victim of child abuse. (E.g. the witnessing of violence in the home or risk to children due to the caregiver’s use of alcohol or drugs).
- An order, subpoena or summons is served by a court or other legal authority requiring disclosure.
- If there is a legal duty to report to a professional organization. (For example, when it is suspected that you have been the victim of a professional who has breached their profession’s Code of Ethics.)
- If you present a risk in the operation of a motor vehicle. (E.g. a person arrives at a session impaired and insists on driving; the police will be notified if alternative arrangements are refused).
ASYR cares about your safety and if any safety concerns are identified, ASYR will take measures to reduce your risk and promote safety, including infection prevention and control issues.
- ASYR does not allow children under the age of 12 to be left unattended by their guardian or caregiver in any ASYR locations. If you must bring your child(ren), please ensure that you bring someone to watch over them while you are in session.
- Clients whose behaviour(s) puts them at risk of contracting or spreading infections such as HIV/AIDS or hepatitis will be provided, on request, with educational information based on individual needs on issues such as safer sexual and injection drug practices and other community resources such as testing sites.
ASYR is committed to maintaining and upholding integrity, honesty, and fair dealing in all of our business. It is the expectation that all clients have the responsibility to treat staff and other clients with respect. A breach of respectful behaviour may result in disciplinary grounds up to termination of services offered by ASYR.
Weapons, Seclusion and Restraint
Any form of weapon cannot be brought into the agency unless it is an authorized weapon owned by enforcement officers. If a counsellor or client reveals that they have a weapon on them, they will be questioned about the weapon and asked to leave the premises immediately in order to properly store this weapon, if it is authorized by the law. If an individual is in possession of an unauthorized weapon, it will be necessary to inform the police and to contain the individual in their own space away from others, if possible.
A weapon is defined as an object carried on an individual when the individual has the intent to harm someone or him/herself with this object. The object in question could be a gun, a stick, a knife, or any tool that could cause harm. If an individual clearly has intention to harm anyone or him/herself with a form of weapon, the police will be notified immediately. The individual in question will be contained in one area, if possible, until police arrive.
Addiction Services for York Region does not restrain individuals under any circumstances but focuses on keeping others in the agency safe, as well as the individual who becomes aggressive and may be a threat to him/herself or others. This means that the individual might be isolated from others in the agency, if this is possible, or other individuals brought to safety outside of the agency or in locked rooms. The enforcement officers are the only authorized individuals who can physically restrain individuals.
Client Information and Privacy
Your personal information is protected by privacy legislation, Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, 2001 (PIPEDA), and will be collected, used and disclosed by ASYR only for the purposes of facilitating your treatment. We may also use your information internally to evaluate our own effectiveness and performance over time. We employ a team approach to working with clients; therefore, some of your personal information may be shared with other staff at ASYR for professional consultation. As part of consultation and to ensure quality of service, you should also be aware that you may be asked to have your counselling/group session observed by other members of our clinical team; or be asked to give permission for video or audio tape. You have the right to refuse this request and this refusal will not affect the services you receive from the agency.
ASYR employs reasonable security arrangements to ensure that your personal information can only be accessed by agency personnel and is not inadvertently or accidentally disclosed to third parties.
Please note, that the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care requires ASYR to enter some client information into an on-line information database called Catalyst, including your personal identification, presenting problems and services received from our agency. However, any personal identifying information, such as your name, contact information or presenting problems can only be accessed by ASYR. None of our funding sources, organizations, service providers or individuals have access to any of your confidential data. All data in the Catalyst database is bound by confidentiality agreements in accordance with the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA). Any data or information received by the stakeholders from Catalyst, including the Local Health Integration Network, would be void of client identifying information. The same level of encryption (data security) that applies to Catalyst, applies to the case notes module of Catalyst.
Except as specifically described above or as required by law, ASYR will not release your personal information to other organizations/individuals unless you first give permission for us to do so.
If you have any concerns or questions about the privacy or confidentiality of your information, you may contact our Clinical Director at our main office, 14785 Yonge Street, Suite 210, Aurora, ON L4G 1N1.
Access to Records
Your file is the property of ASYR. You may have access to information in your file through an oral or written request to the Clinical Director. (ASYR may refuse access to some of this information where it is legally or ethically required or authorized to do so). An appointment will be arranged for you to review your personal information. To ensure confidentiality, we ask clients to review the information on the premises.
Request for Letter
In certain circumstances, you may request a letter from the agency. Five business days are required to prepare the letter. The letter will reflect objective and factual information regarding your involvement with the agency. For further clarifications, please discuss with your counsellor.