Frequently Asked Questions

Part X of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act sets out new rules for the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information by service providers, including children’s aid societies. It establishes rights for individuals to access and request corrections to their personal information and provide consent on how their personal information is shared.

What service providers are subject to Part X of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act?

What service providers are subject to Part X of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act?

Part X establishes new access and privacy rules for personal information held by service providers in the child, youth and family sector. These include children’s aid societies, group homes, and services for at-risk youth.

When will I be able to obtain access and make corrections to my records?

When will I be able to obtain access and make corrections to my records?

Part X of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act comes into force on January 1, 2020. As of this date, you will have a statutory right to access your personal information from a service provider within specific timelines and to request corrections.

What kind of information can I ask for?

What kind of information can I ask for?

You can ask to see and get a copy of your personal information in your file. It includes information about your history, your health or notes from talks you’ve had with a social worker or other professional. Your service provider must help you get this information if you ask.

Do I have to be 18 before I can ask to see my personal information in my file?

Do I have to be 18 before I can ask to see my personal information in my file?

People of any age can ask to see or make corrections to the personal information in their file.

How much does it cost and how long will it take?

How much will it cost and how long will it take?

It is free to ask for a copy of your information. In most cases, service providers must get back to you in 30 days.

Does Part X apply to adoption records?

Does Part X apply to adoption records?

These rules do not apply to adoption records For more information about getting your adoption records, call 1-800-461-2156.

Will I get all the information I ask for? Can I ask for a copy?

Will I get all the information I ask for? Can I ask for a copy?

Sometimes the service provider may not be able to give you all the information you ask for. This could be because they aren’t allowed to under the law. When a service provider does not give you all of the information you’ve asked for, they have to tell you why.

Even if the service provider cannot show you everything in your file, it is not enough for them to give you a short summary of what’s in it. They must give you access to your file and a copy of it if you ask for one.

Information is wrong or missing from my file, how do I get it fixed?

Information is wrong or missing from my file, how do I get it fixed?

Ask for the correction by writing to the service provider. Some service providers may have a form you can use. Tell them what is wrong or missing and be sure to give them the information needed to fix the problem. Asking for a correction to the personal information in your file is free.

What can I do if I don't get the information or changes I asked for?

What can I do if I don’t get the information or changes I asked for?

If a service provider doesn’t let you see your personal information in your file or won’t make corrections to it, they must tell you why in writing. They must also let you know if what you’re asking for will take longer than 30 days.

If you don’t agree with their reasons for not giving you the information or making the changes you’ve asked for, contact the service provider. They can work with you to find a solution. If you are still having problems, you can contact our office to make a complaint about the service provider.

 

What happens if I find out my personal information has been used, lost, stolen or shared without my permission?

What happens if I find out my personal information has been used, lost, stolen or shared without my permission?

Your service provider needs to let you know if information they have about you has been lost, shared, stolen or viewed when it shouldn’t be. They need to write down what happened, what they are doing to fix the problem, and who to contact if you have questions. They also need to tell you how you can file a privacy complaint with our office.

What does the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario do?

What does the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario do?

Our office makes sure that children’s aid societies, group homes, and other service providers follow the rules to protect and provide access to personal information under Ontario’s child and family services law. As of January 1, 2020, if a service provider denies your request to access or make corrections to your personal information you will be able to file a complaint with our office. You will also be able to file a privacy complaint with our office if you believe a service provider has improperly collected, used or disclosed your personal information.